To the Editors:

Opponents swore profanity within earshot of children and in one case threatened physical harm at an open air “meet and greet” event for our candidates for state Senate and House across from Stop & Shop Plaza last week. This, along with anti-Semitic and anti-police flyers in Westport and stolen Republican lawn signs across the state, are painful reminders that national politics can infect our community and turn neighbors against neighbors.

I know it’s hard to resist the poll-tested talking points coming from political professionals in Washington and Hartford, and the vitriol stoked by corporate media. But if we are to remain a civil and tolerant community where ordinary citizens can step up and run for elective office without fear, then we must exert social pressure on those among us who take politics far too zealously and personally. This is not game where one side wins when the other side loses.

We all lose when the best people are reluctant to represent us. That’s when we surrender our independence to career political activists. The Wilton Republican Town Committee is committed to always defend our town with pride and represent our neighbors with civility.

Chris Lineberger, Chair

Wilton Republican Committee