By Chris Powell
Before voting on the huge increase in appropriations being sought by the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, state legislators should watch the video taken of the dozens of students and their friends who on March 2 invaded the Student Center at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain to prevent the showing of a film most probably had not seen.
The film, “The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd and the Rise of Black Lives Matter,” was to be shown by the Central chapter of Turning Point USA, a conservative group. But the protesters commandeered the stage and chanted slogans, took seats and shouted interruptions, and even after being persuaded to leave by a university official, made so much noise outside the hall that the film had to be canceled.
The protesters called Turning Point USA a hate group even as their own misconduct dripped with hate for freedom of expression. They chanted “This is what democracy looks like” as they committed fascism.
A protesting student interviewed by the Hartford Courant called the film “triggering,” yet, by attending the event, she had sought to be “triggered.” Indeed, the protesters outnumbered the people who came to see the film, and the protest brought far more attention to the film than the event’s organizers achieved by themselves.
This fascism from the political left is now typical of higher education throughout the country and it increasingly infects public higher education in Connecticut. It suggests that higher education is more interested in political indoctrination than scholarship — indoctrination financed with tax money.
A university committed to freedom of expression and academic freedom would punish the students who prevented the showing of the film. If this is “what democracy looks like” at Central, legislators should stop sending public money there.
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SLEAZE IS LIBERATED: Political blogger and newspaper columnist Kevin Rennie, a former Republican state legislator from South Windsor, revealed the other day that Democratic state senators are soliciting lobbyists at the state Capitol for thousand-dollar donations to the Hartford mayoral campaign of state Sen. John Fonfara. While state law long has forbidden legislators from seeking contributions from lobbyists for legislative campaigns while the General Assembly is in session, the ban doesn’t apply to municipal campaigns like Fonfara’s. Still, the solicitations stink of extortion, the more so because Fonfara is Senate chairman of the legislature’s powerful finance committee. Many lobbyists need his favor.
Gross as this is, it may be more notable for showing just how politically uncompetitive Connecticut has been made by the Republican Party’s infatuation with Donald Trump. Connecticut Democrats seem to believe that as long as Trump is the face of the opposition, they can get away with anything.
Will Republican legislators make an issue of the sleaze of their Democratic colleagues, as by proposing to extend the lobbyist solicitation ban to cover municipal campaigns? Will Connecticut Republicans see that their association with Trump facilitates everything wrong Connecticut Democrats do, and thus the state’s decline as well?
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SUPERSTITION EVOLVES: A resolution to apologize for the witchcraft convictions and executions that occurred in Connecticut nearly 400 years ago is advancing in the General Assembly and getting much publicity though it is only pious posturing, as if anyone today needs to be told that witchcraft really isn’t so powerful and that innocent people were hanged.
Meanwhile the state should be much more concerned about recent wrongful convictions, some based on false confessions sweated out of young people. Recent wrongful convictions and imprisonments are estimated to have cost the state about $48 million. So legislation has been proposed to prohibit police from misleading, intimidating, or coercing criminal suspects.
What constitutes misleading, intimidating, and coercing may be difficult to define, so the legislation probably will lead to much litigation. But this issue is far more compelling than an official admission that Connecticut’s superstitions have evolved over the centuries. While state government no longer believes that witches can do much harm, it now believes that, if the right political spells are cast, men can become women and women become men just by thinking it so.
Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Connecticut. (CPowell@JournalInquirer.com)