Erika Sanzi is not happy with Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo’s decision to sign legislation giving teachers’ unions their long-sought-after evergreen contracts, which guarantee that they never have to negotiate if they don’t like the direction in which their contracts might go. Under an image of a card reading, “GAME OVER Thank you for playing,” Sanzi starts her post by noting the thank you offered to Raimondo by National Education Association of Rhode Island Executive Director Robert Walsh. Writes Sanzi:
It’s never a good sign for students or taxpayers when the Executive Director of NEA RI is sending thank you notes to the Governor—on Twitter. Perhaps a moment of silence is in order. There was a time that Governor Gina Raimondo was a champion of reform, that rare Democrat willing to ignore and even clap back at unions if it meant doing right by taxpayers. And students. And parents. And the state’s economy. There was a time she knew that evergreen contracts could bankrupt the state.
Sanzi will be an interesting Rhode Island personality to watch going forward. Her post appears to be one of those cris de coeur that mark a moment of final realization. Personally, I’ve had so many that I don’t remember the first. That is why my most difficult occupational task is reading and grading legislation. In any legislative session, a person who reads all of the legislation that receives a floor vote in either chamber of the General Assembly will come across at least a half-dozen bills per year that are so obviously insane and damaging to the state that it blots the “Hope” right from our flag to know that elected legislators are actually approving of them.
At the end of the day, there are only three directions to go upon such a realization. The first is to make the conscious decision not to know. This is the origin of “Rhode-apathy.” A person decides that the state has enough positives to stay and comes to the wholly rational decision that worrying about things that can’t be changed can only detraction from enjoyment of the good.
The second option is the most common one among conservatives and Republicans, which is to get out of here. This may be the biggest factor making a right-of-center opposition seem impossible. Any momentum we build up seems to swirl off into eddies when our strongest supporters crash upon that last rock and they decide they have had enough.
The last option is for those of us who think in terms of a civic responsibility approaching missionary work. Stay and fight. Find the weakness in the corruption and beat it. I’ve chosen this path in large part because I think Rhode Island is likely a leading edge. It’s a ground zero in the zombie apocalypse of corruption, and being here is the only way to find the cure.
I hope Sanzi takes door number 3.