Fear of the Unknown (But Suspected)
This week, reading the paper has become a discouraging exercise. We’ve entered a world in which social issues like same-sex marriage and a welcome sign to illegal immigrants are declared, without challenge, to be economic development issues, with tax increases as the grease for growth — in which an all-white collection of left-wingers, unionists, and political insiders is asserted to be evidence of a new era of tolerance and the elimination of ideological division.
It’d probably be reasonable to speculate that the collective urge to flee Rhode Island has never been higher.
Something that then-Governor Carcieri told Ed Fitzpatrick back in the good-old-days of 2010 keeps coming to mind as the basis for my concern:
During an exit interview last week, I was curious to see if Carcieri is expecting Chafee to unravel or reverse many of the things he has pushed for and stood for during his eight years in office.
“I don’t know,” Carcieri replied. “Campaign rhetoric and slogans are different than what you’ve got to do to run the place.” So, he said, “Let’s see what happens. Am I concerned? Yes. But no one person is going to determine the direction of the state over the next four years. You’ve got a legislature that, I think, understands the issues.”
Given Lincoln Chafee’s public statements and the long history that made some of us willing to vote Sheldon Whitehouse into the Senate in order to keep him out, I have no confidence that Chafee will adjust to the realities of the office, as we tacitly expect all victorious politicians to do. One should imagine that newly elected officials have at least a moment, upon sitting at their desks on day one, of panic, followed by a gradual acclimation to the realities of authority. I have difficulty imagining Chafee in that state of mind.