A foreboding thought came to me after my weekly conversation with John DePetro, this week.
The topics that we covered had a recurring theme of elected officials who seem not to care how their actions appear — from Gorbea’s obvious breach of transparency, to Kilmartin’s eight years of running interference for insiders, to Raimondo’s failure to hold anybody accountable for unacceptably low test scores in public schools.
Meanwhile, the same Providence Journal that is criticizing these officials in the strongest terms endorsed the full set of them. I’ve wondered if different members of the editorial board assert more authority when it comes to endorsements during elections than they exercise when it comes to expressing policy views throughout the year.
Some people say that, even when there are other candidates in the races, there really is no viable choice. I don’t agree with that; after all, gambling on somebody who has to learn on the job has the benefit of sending a signal to all elected officials that they have to care how their actions appear because voters will replace them, with unknowns if necessary.
Whatever the case, one can’t deny that most statewide races are simply locked up by the nominated Democrat, who can only be threatened in a primary (whether by union stand-ins or more-radical progressives). The sobering thought one has is that Raimondo’s stronger-than-expected victory may be a signal that this hegemony has now captured the governor’s office.
If the governor’s office is no longer threatened by a competitive political race, we’re done. The lunatics run the asylum. Competition is the most effective and incorruptible way to restrain elected officials, and if they don’t face that restraint, they really don’t have to care what we all think.