So That Nobody Hasn’t Been Warned
Just in time for election season, I’ve finally managed to read Travis Rowley’s The Rhode Island Republican. For good reason, the largest portion of the forty-page pamphlet addresses unions, specifically public-sector unions, primarily in context of the “Cloward-Piven Strategy”:
In 1966, two Columbia University political scientists, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, penned an article in the Nation magazine titled, “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty.” The purpose of the article was to inform Marxist radicals of the most prolific method for hastening a socialist revolution. What became known as the Cloward-Piven Strategy instructed anti-capitalists to overload welfare bureaucracies with impossible obligations, thereby causing civil unrest and economic collapse. The political turmoil, it was predicted, would lead to the rejection of capitalism and the embrace of the quick fixes promised by redistributive policies.
That certainly rings familiar during the era of the Obamanation.
For most of us who pay regular attention, Travis’s project was to collect examples that have tended to blend together into a sense of “normal” over the years, and we do well to seek reminders of the mentality that we face (and that must be stopped at the ballot box). Here’s one telling passage, involving the move in Providence to force businesses to retain employees after a sale or merger:
[Rhode Island Hospitality Association President Dale] Venturini pointed out that “from July 2008 to July 2009, city revenue from the 1 percent hotel tax has dropped nearly 11 percent,” and informed the Council that the “city hotel industry has been battered by the drastic reduction in corporate travel for conventions.” Executive Director of the Convention Center Authority James McCarvill said that the legislation would “make it harder for the Authority to negotiate new contracts for food vendors at The Dunk and for management of the Convention Center.”
But it matters little to dictatorial Democrats what business professionals have to say. And when McCarvill questioned the Council’s authority to have their hands so deeply involved in business affairs, Councilman Solomon “maintained that the city [was] within its jurisdiction since the hotels and convention center buildings currently recieve, or did receive, public money, including city tax breaks.”
Let it be known, once you accept any form of tax leniency from the government, Democrats consider you their property, and grant themselves unlimited license to mingle in your private affairs. Now ask yourself, Have I ever claimed a tax deduction?
It’s quite the reasoning. Government will confiscate the wealth of private individuals and businesses not just for the operation of necessary functions, like public safety and infrastructure, but for the purpose of shaping society. And when they don’t confiscate that wealth, officials see that not so much as money not taken, but as money given.
Of course, to the Left, morality — as conceived and interpreted by the Left — is its own justification for government action, even when it makes no sense, as this insight from Travis notes:
… Howard Dean will have nothing of the free exercise of charity, which is the danger to his liberal logic. If people already have a sense of community, then why would Dean feel compelled to control it? If “communitarianism” is people’s “natural tendency,” why would an elected agency be required in order to provide it? Why is the practice of taking-and-giving necessary in a world chock full of good-hearted communitarians [as Dean argued as justification for blending capitalism and socialism]?”
Well, because liberals want charity to go to the people whom they prefer for causes of which they approve. A cause that has the effect of creating dependents and decreasing the disincentive to procreate recklessly? That’s for them. A charity that reinforces Christian faith? Not so much.
The one concern that I have with The Rhode Island Republican is that I’m not sure whom Travis considers to be his audience. While the reminders to the likes of Anchor Rising readers are worth the short time to read the booklet and a rallying cry to conservative activists is always worth heeding, the people who really require to be informed are those who haven’t already spotted the threads that Travis follows. They are apt to be suspicious of the frequent focus on some narrow figures on the Rhode Island Left, like Patrick Crowley, and pushed toward the apathy that meets partisan squabbles by unnecessary heat and name calling. (For example, Travis declares National Education Association [NEA] Rhode Island Executive Director Bob Walsh to be a “dingbat” early in the text.)
That said, Travis does provide a foundation from which his readers can go on to do the work of persuading their neighbors that their votes, this year, shouldn’t be a simple matter of habit, because that approach has proven to be unhealthy to us all.