A Same Old Same Old New Face
While we’re talking political platforms, it’s worth noting that candidate Dan O’Connor has put himself forward as a candidate for whom those currently represented by John Loughlin (R., Little Compton, Portsmouth, Tiverton) should not vote. His letter to the editor of The Sakonnet Times isn’t online, but it’s adequate to summarize that O’Connor lists the various obvious problems that the state has, offers some political clichés, and writes revealing paragraphs like this:
I am a young, fresh candidate who hopes to make it to the General Assembly in order to shake the status quo while bringing a new perspective and new ideas to the State House. I have no ties to any elected officials and have not spent any time in “back rooms” working on deals behind the scenes [that] do nothing to help Rhode Islanders. I also intend to run as a Democratic candidate which is the party currently in power. As a Democrat, I will have the ability to work with the party to help our district.
So O’Connor advertises himself as an outsider and then explains that he’s running as a Democrat in order to more easily become an insider. He has no experience in “back rooms,” but he looks forward to entering them. He intends to “shake the status quo” by reinforcing it as a partisan.
I am running on three principles, the economy, the environment, and education. These are core principles so important to the well being of our state and are the principles I will be dedicated to working on once I am elected. Although the economy is an easy topic that so many politicians claim they are working on, we have seen no improvement here in Rhode Island. With the various challenges we face as a state, we need to tackle the issues with the economy in the same breath as education and the environment. In fact, all three of these are interrelated and need to be worked on in tandem. Creating green jobs and the people to fill them is one of the primary goals I will work on once elected to the state house.
It would probably be unfair to dwell on the possible meanings of O’Connor’s pledge to “create” people to fill green jobs. It is not unfair to suggest that his vague plan illustrates precisely the wrong understanding of how government can positively affect the economy. It is also not unfair to scoff at his subsequent declaration that government “cannot solve all the problems our state faces.” Why, then, should we rely on government to pick and choose the industrial direction of the state? Is Mr. O’Connor more qualified to construct profitable industries than the folks who’d actually research the benefits of setting up shop in Rhode Island and investing their own money to do so?
Dan’s face may be fresh, but it’s one we’ve seen before — far too frequently. Come on, Little Compton. We look to you for better.