Correcting a Misconception About We Right Wingahs

Come an idle Saturday night (“idle” being a very relative adjective in my case), our referral logs led me to a September post by URI professor Michael Vocino, in which Professor V. voices some misconceptions about Anchor Rising, specifically, and conservatives in general. The minor one, first:

If you go to the spokespeople for the RI Right Wing at Anchor Rising, you can see that the fight against education and social services for middle and lower class RIslanders is in full swing.

I’m pretty sure that by law (or bylaw, as the case may be) left wingers must refer to us as the “self-proclaimed spokespeople for the RI Right Wing.” We lost the “broadly proclaimed spokespeople” title the other night when Matt Allen beat Andrew in the thumb-wrestling competition at our local VRWC meeting. I am, however, plotting a route of reclamation that depends upon the title’s passing from Matt to Bill Felkner to Will Ricci, whom I believe Monique will be able to defeat in a game of Connect Four come August. I’ll keep y’all posted as to our progress.
More seriously, Vocino probably isn’t alone in having this incorrect impression (emphasis added):

Unfortunately the pundits at Anchor Rising fail to make the obvious connection that RI Republicans are out of touch with the people of RI AND that could be the reason they can’t elect anyone and the reason even those Republicans elected are jumping ship.
RIslanders WANT a state-supplied health care system, they want a state-supplied education system, they want all those services that are their right to expect from their governments, EVEN IF IT MEANS higher taxes.

Some would make the case that Rhode Islanders are more conservative in certain respects than their Democrat leanings lead us to believe. My own assessment is that such conservatism as exists in Rhode Island is too often roped into the Democrat coalition via patronage and unionism. A strong argument could also be made that the RI Republicans are (although less so, these days) “out of touch” with RI conservatives, which compounds the problems at the voting booth.
Be that as it may, it simply isn’t true that we AR pundits lack understanding of Rhode Islanders’ actual leanings. When it comes to such things as Vocino’s preferred socialism, however, we believe that Rhode Islanders who back such an approach are wrong, and that they will learn of their error only through painful experience with its consequences. We see the junkies’ dependency, and we argue against it. Unless those with affection for the status quo begin to peel away from the coalition, they are going to suffer from a collapse in which they, themselves, are complicit.
Which concept (complicity) brings us back to Vocino, and his closing question:

What kind of system or man wants to make a profit out of lending money to others who want to go on to college?

Well, it’s certainly a question worth contemplating professor.

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Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

I guess that “state supplied” is the euphemism du jour for taxpayer funded.
Many of the people who don’t want the socialist nirvana described by the Professor have left the state. More leave every day – a trend that seems to be accelerating.
And the RIGOP has been predominantly “moderate” presenting no real alternative to the Democrats (essentially Democrats without the pervasive corruption).
But note how Don Carcieri – who has been willing to take on the Democrat General Assembly and unions (not as forcefully as I’d like, but more so than, e.g., Lincoln Almond) – was left standing in spite of the Democrats’ best efforts to unseat him, and in a Republican wipe-out year.
That indicates that if the RIGOP was willing to forcefully take on the Democrat machine it’d find a receptive audience among RI’s electorate (most of whom register independent – itself an indicator of dissatisfaction with the Democrats).
If the RIGOP was willing to fight it’d also have an easier time recruiting candidates. At present a party that doesn’t stand for much beyond “go along to get along” doesn’t offer much to prospective candidates – people of the “go along” ilk might as well run as Democrats and enjoy the succor of patronage; while people who lean conservative Republican face the prospect of having to fight the “moderates” of their own party, much less fighting the Democrats.

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
13 years ago

Simply shocking! Another college professor serving up a socialist agenda.
These cowards that hide out in college faculties are like pedophiles at playgrounds, awaiting the easy prey of undeveloped minds.
It’s not surprising how they so sound so stupid and uninformed when you are out of collgeg, working for a living, after just a few years.

Monique
Editor
13 years ago

“RIslanders WANT a state-supplied health care system, they want a state-supplied education system, they want all those services that are their right to expect from their governments, EVEN IF IT MEANS higher taxes.”
Higher than our current position of fourth highest taxed?
Fourth highest taxes in the country which inexplicably provide only fair to poor services? Does the good professor, for example, defend the recent NECAP results which shows that only 20% of Rhode Island’s eleventh graders are proficient in math? How does this correspond to teacher compensation, where Rhode Island ranks eighth highest?
Or contrast the provision of social services, where Rhode Island spending is in the top third, to the funding of higher education, where Rhode Island is in the bottom 10%.
Is the professor seriously contending that what Rhode Islanders want, in their heart of hearts, is high taxes, lousy services and an emphasis of social programs over higher education?
A.R. and other pundits who speak truth to power in Rhode Island are simply voicing an expectation of more and better from our well funded state and local government, especially when it comes to the children. I would invite the professor to join us.

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>”RIslanders WANT a state-supplied health care system, they want a state-supplied education system, they want all those services that are their right to expect from their governments, EVEN IF IT MEANS higher taxes.”
Don’t forget that people like him rarely stray from the echo chamber of the faculty lounge, faculty (labor union) meetings and watching PBS.
The Rhode Islanders that he talks to indeed want those things … for they themselves live off of the public teat, and they think it works just fine (it does for them).

Will
13 years ago

I don’t know if you known much about Mike Vocino — who is an extreme radical leftist professor at URI (and that’s even by typical leftist professor standards) — but he’s a rather “interesting” character to say the very least. I’m a little surprised to find out that he’s still teaching (he probably has tenure). You can comfortably dismiss pretty much everything he said, because he’s not what one might call a credible source regarding Republican politics (that’s putting it nicely!).
FYI, His main claim to fame before appointing you spokesman for the VRWC was to be “interested” in the former College Republican chair, who was one of his students — and I don’t mean in a political way. Um, er, well let me just give you the story link and you can read it for yourself, as it was widely covered at the time. It was a rather interesting episode (I seemed to have used the word “interesting” a lot — that’s very interesting, isn’t it?). Happy reading!
http://www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org/news/775/
NathanielNelsonProfVocinoarticle080105.htm

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

A former neighbor of mine was a professor at Brown(not all Brown professors live on the east side)and he told me one day that he felt his purpose as a professor was to indcotrinate his students-this after I mentioned that Robert Kaplan,a current events writer and editor at The Atlantic Monthly,said in a televised interview that after a semester of classes a student shouldn’t be able to determine his prof’s political point of view.

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>A former neighbor of mine was a professor at Brown(not all Brown professors live on the east side)and he told me one day that he felt his purpose as a professor was to indcotrinate his students-this after I mentioned that Robert Kaplan,a current events writer and editor at The Atlantic Monthly,said in a televised interview that after a semester of classes a student shouldn’t be able to determine his prof’s political point of view.
I went through Boston University in the ’70’s – Political Science degree no less. Even then it was under full indoctrination mode, led by Chief Indoctrinator / Department Chair Howard Zinn (yes, that Howard Zinn).
Young and relatively naive (and we were coming off the 1960’s) I was somewhat put-off by it, but didn’t realize the extent of it until years later – when, despite by B.A. in Political Science, I found out for the first time that there was a political philosophy called libertarianism, and relevant authors such as Hayek and Mises making compelling and intellectually sound (albeit competing) arguments.
In my case their attempt at indoctrination backfired, as I’m about as “conservative” as they come.
Even then I intuitively realized that they were overreaching and that made me suspicious; but even more so when I discovered that there were very different (and competing) intellectual arguments, and I felt cheated at having not been exposed to this competition when paying (what now seems bargain) amounts of tuition ostensibly to receive a broad-based “liberal arts” education.
Needless to say, I don’t donate to BU as an alumni.

Monique
Editor
13 years ago

“when I discovered that there were very different (and competing) intellectual arguments, and I felt cheated at having not been exposed to this competition”
Because these arguments are just wrong, TomW. We have to teach compassion and broadmindedness. Students will be exposed soon enough to capitalism and all that oppress-the-worker, cutthroat stuff.

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>Because these arguments are just wrong, TomW. We have to teach compassion and broadmindedness. Students will be exposed soon enough to capitalism and all that oppress-the-worker, cutthroat stuff.
Hence the saying “if you’re not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, and if you’re not a conservative at 40 you have no head!”

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