To the Editor:
I received the Republican Town Committee’s (RTC) letter sent in mid-March and was immediately alarmed by rhetoric outlining their platform for the upcoming municipal election. Then I saw Mr. Nixon’s letter published in the CT Examiner on March 31st in response to a sermon delivered at the First Congregational Church.
First, Mr. Nixon’s letter sounded like the sermon hit the nail on the head and he’s just sorry that anyone outside his base properly interpreted what “parental rights” mean, like a teenager who has been caught doing something they know was wrong and is trying to talk their way out of it.
It appears the letter the RTC sent to the whole town was sent with the hope that everyone but their base would either throw it right in the recycling or were too dumb to know that “standing up for parental rights in the town’s school system regarding the school’s curricula and student policies” is identical to the rhetoric used by Ron DeSantis and many others to justify the banning of hundreds of books, “don’t say gay” laws, and to prohibit the use of gender affirming pronouns in schools.
It sounds like Mr. Nixon understands these are unpopular policies among all but the far-right, and when he and the RTC decided to include that rhetoric as part of their platform and criteria for selecting candidates to run in this year’s municipal election, and as part of our State Representative Devin Carney’s platform, they should all expect significant blow-back from the community.
It is hard to believe that none of the 33 members of the RTC Mr. Nixon mentions are familiar with this rhetoric and the actions that have followed it all over this country.
It seems the Old Lyme RTC has fallen right in line with the most extreme Republicans, and we should be wary of all candidates they present as part of their slate this fall.
Editor’s Note: We invited Randy Nixon, who is the chairman of the Old Lyme RTC, to submit the letter he sent to CT Examiner, which is referred to above, to us for publication on LymeLine. He has not responded to our request at this time. Therefore, for reference, we are including a link to the letter, Sermonizing a ‘Complete Misrepresentation of the Facts’ in Old Lyme, here.
Jill Whitney says
Having just read these letters to the editor and Mr. Nixon’s letter to CT Examiner, I think it would be helpful if Mr. Nixon and other members of the RTC spelled out what “parental rights” would look like in Lyme-Old Lyme. If what they envision is significantly different than the book banning and teacher intimidation being done in other states…well, what would it be here? What about our excellent school district does the RTC think needs to be changed? Which parents’ rights would take precedence? (Those who support, say, a welcoming environment for LGBTQ students, or those who are uncomfortable with that?) Parental involvement in the schools has always been a strength of our district; I don’t think anyone disputes that. But the RTC’s “parental rights” language seems to be implying something more than that. What, then, is the goal?
Paul Fuchs says
One would think that if it was not the intent of the RTC to mimic the rhetoric of DeSantis, and the meaning he implies, they would have chosen their words more carefully.
Charlotte Scot says
This is chilling. The idea that a local political party would go anywhere near the radical DeSantis book banning, anti gender, anti-woke, etc is chilling and should be a wake-up call to people in this community to start speaking up about these issues.
I fear that the quietude of this community is being taken advantage of. First, they pushed through a vote on arming guards in our schools. The RTC ran a candidate for school board who believes that no airplanes struck the WTC. Now they are wanting to arm our police department with AR’s. My small rural community is becoming a hotbed of controversy and divisiveness and I don’t like it. I am an unaffiliated voter and I’m not sure what woke means…I do know what National GOP means by parental rights and I find it appalling.
Dwayne Basler says
Are your misrepresentations divisive? You might want to do some research and put some thought into your posts. Facts are important. If you take the time to educate yourself, you might not be so angry and divisive.