A Local Focus on Apathy and Fear
My essay on apathy and fear in Rhode Island is in today’s Providence Journal. From the version that Anchor Rising readers may have already read on the American Spectator’s site, I’ve changed the focus a bit and added some key anecdotes with a much more local focus.
To expand even more on the anecdote about the woman’s comment about my children: When she realized I was standing next to a local news reporter, she shouted across the street that her comment to me was “off the record.” Those who know the rules for reporters know that wasn’t a legally binding request, but I don’t think the reporter had any interest in shining light on that aspect of Tiverton politics.
Then the woman decided that she liked her offensive comment so much that she walked back across the street, past me and the reporter, to say the same thing to a female friend of mine who had just exited the building (albeit more quietly, so the reporter couldn’t hear).
As with government overtime for laundry workers, it’s entirely possible that the only instances of outrageous and destructive governmental and political activities in Rhode Island are the ones that happen to be discovered. I’d wager, though, that what I’ve managed to observe or hear about is only the slightest indication of a much more integral culture of corruption and intimidation.
That junk doesn’t end, and Rhode Island doesn’t begin to heal and to recover, until it comes into the light and, more importantly, Rhode Islanders insist that it is wrong. Bad voting habits are important, but shamelessness may be even more insidious.