In all, it was another memorable night in Swansea at the place with the plastic statues.
P&J guess there’s an element of pride to be taken in the fact that the recent “Job One: Leadership” poll conducted by the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University, Rhode Island PBS, and The Other Paper shows that the public’s level of disgust with The Biggest Little’s political leaders runs neck-and-neck with national disgust for Congress, and may even exceed hatred for the abominable former veep Dick Cheney, who had numbers while in office that couldn’t have topped Beelzebub’s in a head-to-head ranking. We have the worst! We’re number one!
The big question is, “Why do the folks at the State House continue to be re-elected?” Whether they get busted for crimes, blatant lying, or just generally obnoxious or corrupt behavior, their constituents repeatedly put them back in office. Part of the problem is that the state doesn’t have a Republican Party to speak of, and the amount of uncontested contests during every election cycle is shameful. This opens the door to a parade of punks. But where is the “throw them all out” movement/protest by the citizenry?
“You get what you deserve,” is the answer. If Vo Dilun voters don’t put the folks they obviously have no faith in and/or despise to the electoral sword, it’s their fault. It would also be nice if people who have the chops and desire to serve in the General Assembly — no easy task, to be fair — roll up their socks and get involved, which was a point made in the Journal article reporting the poll results by Hassenfeld Institute director Gary Sasse, one of the most respected voices in the Little Rhody political arena. But P&J don’t like our future chances, especially when the local media (read: The Urinal) give newcomers short shrift.
Champions of the state like Grow Smart RI director Scott Wolf have been beating the drum forever for people to take an optimistic view of all the state has to offer, instead of fobbing us off as still living under the “Mobsters and Lobsters” motto. Phillipe and Jorge share that view; we live here by choice. But when the majority of the public continues to represent the silence of the lambs, good luck.
According to an old line, you wouldn’t trust most Little Rhody pols to hold a quarter for you. Instead, we give them millions and act surprised when we never get it back. If you have this big a problem with your legislators, look in the mirror, folks.
After the beloved educator, author, and advocate for the poor and powerless, Richard Walton, passed away last year, a group of his many friends got together and created the Red Bandana Fund in honor of the red bandanas he always wore. Stephen Graham, another activist of note, recently passed along to P&J information on how community members can nominate someone for the Fund’s annual award. They are looking for “an individual who displays a continued and steady commitment to issues related to social justice and peace . . . recognizing important work in areas of poverty and homelessness, inequality, environment, and militarism.”