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About The Red Line

The Red Line aggregates common sense commentary on policy and politics published in leading national and Connecticut publications.  It features the latest column of The Red Line’s founder, a noteworthy Column of the Day as well as previously published columns and related TV and radio interviews.

Access to The Red Line is free. Readers may sign up for email alerts when a new Featured Column is posted (about weekly). Readers may subscribe to comment on columns and to provide support for Red Line commentary.


The Red Line does not originate new content. It aggregates commentary published in print and online in respected news and media outlets. Red Line content has been reviewed and vetted by professional editors, ensuring quality and accuracy in keeping with the best traditions of journalism.

The Red Line founder, Red Jahncke, is a freelance columnist, whose commentary is published in news and media outlets spanning the ideological and partisan spectrums, affording Red Line readers an independent voice and perspective on the important issues of the day.

Common Sense Philosophy

In general, Red Line commentary advocates for small government and pragmatism and seeks to offer new solutions in various areas of public policy.

A belief in small government is fundamentally a belief in the free enterprise system that has delivered a level of liberty and prosperity to American citizens that is unparalleled in world history.

American success relies fundamentally upon the initiative of individuals operating in a free society and an open marketplace, seizing opportunities and solving problems. Government should set and enforce rules, including providing incentives to spur achievement, but it should not displace free enterprise.

Small government means limited government that observes limits analogous to the constitutional limit on the federal government. Under the Constitution, all powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved to the states. So too should government at all levels limit itself to powers and activities that only government can provide, such as the common defense, law and order, taxation and public finances and a few other activities as to which there is broad consensus that government should play a role. In general, anything that citizens and private organizations can do, they should be left to do.

Better Ideas

There is no partisan monopoly on good ideas. A good example is Red Jahncke’s proposal to lower the cost of prescription drugs under Medicare and Medicaid. In a 2016 column appearing on Bloomberg, Jahncke proposed that these health agencies be empowered to impose a “most favored nation,” or“best price,” clause governing their purchases of, and reimbursements for, drugs for their beneficiaries. In the summer of 2019, President Trump launched a trial of the proposal covering a specific category of drugs.

Similarly, in the summer of 2016, Jahncke proposed merit-based legal immigration policy in columns published in main stream media outlets. In a Bloomberg column, he proposed that the U.K. adopt such a policy upon resuming control of its borders after Brexit, and, in USA Today, he proposed that the U.S. adopt the same policy. Merit-based immigration policy is followed by the two nations, Canada and Australia, that admit more legal immigrants in proportion to their populations than any other nation on earth (including the U.S.) — with virtually no domestic controversy. Merit-based legal immigration policy was advocated by then-candidate Donald Trump and introduced in Congress by Republican Senators Cotton and Perdue.

Red Jahncke, The Founder

Red Jahncke, founder of The Red Line

Red Jahncke is the founder of The Red Line. He is a nationally recognized columnist, who writes about politics and policy. His columns appear in numerous national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, National Review, The Hill and USA Today, as well as many Connecticut newspapers.

Red’s columns are featured on RealClearPolitics and CT Capitol Report, often leading to TV and radio interviews. He has appeared on national TV shows including Closing Bell on CNBC and Willis Report on Fox as well as The Real Story on Fox 61 in Connecticut. He has been interviewed on radio on numerous occasions.

Red is the founder and CEO of The Townsend Group International, LLC a business consulting firm headquartered in Connecticut. Earlier in his career, he was an investment banker, at E.F. Hutton and J.P. Morgan Chase. He specialized in financial institutions.

Red was raised in Connecticut, where he and his wife have raised four children. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.