Editorial: Trumbull needs purple politics

One month into 2016 and Trumbull residents are feeling déjà vu.

Is it 2015 again? What happened to the promises of civility and the hopes of bipartisan compromise?

It seems that peace is an unachievable plateau — something out of the reach of those who have been elected to run this town.

And while the political blame game will assign different villains to creating such an overwhelming and suffocating disruption, the reality is that the fault is in the enduring mind-set that Trumbull is a town that should be divided into a community of Republicans and Democrats.

It’s a flawed logic — one that’s teetering on the line of destruction, if it hasn’t crossed it already.

Of course, that’s a bit of an editorial exaggeration. Political parties will persist, and conservatives’ and liberals’ unceasing clash will be fought on a battlefield that has an inherently fractured foundation.

However, expelling ourselves from a macro, big-picture conversation, the issue at hand here in Trumbull remains relatively clear: This isn’t about who’s on the left or who’s on the right. Rather, it’s about becoming whole — a complete circle, if you will, that is void of spectrums.

It’s about showing restraint when feeling frustrated and exploited. It’s about choosing patience in the face of defiance and insubordination. And it’s about seeking, with a relentless pursuit, a middle ground that can’t be leveled to the ground at the first sight of contempt and disagreement.

The adversarial start to the new year has been magnified in these pages over the last four weeks, and like him or not, First Selectman Tim Herbst was right in his letter last week: This discussion needs to be about the entire town, not just a sliver of it.

“It is your job, my job, our job to represent all of the 36,000 people who live in the Town of Trumbull,” the town’s top official wrote.

Now, I’m not saying this statement comes without blemishes — I’m sure it will have its fair share detractors in next week’s paper. And I understand there’s a history here in town that builds a narrative of manipulation and selective governing. However, the truth of that sentence perseveres with a tenacity that can’t be shunned or ignored based on party allegiance.

This isn’t about 5,500 people; it’s about 36,000 residents.

It’s not about the majority or the minority; it’s about taking a fragmented Trumbull and forging it united.

And that can happen only when community is put above party.

So for now, let’s disregard color; let’s mix the reds and blues together and form some purple.

That process begins with Republicans working to represent Democrats and Democrats working to represent Republicans.

Nobody said it would be an easy process — facelifts usually aren’t a comfortable undertaking. However, there is no other option at this point.

This institution we call government that we lean on passionately, and with an unprecedented fervor, needs our undivided cooperation.

Otherwise we will be left with what we currently have: leadership that comes from a self-restricted and confined corner.

And nobody wants that anymore — just ask the 36,000 people living here, and I’m sure they’ll tell you they want a peaceful, protected and positive community.

They want purple.