Rhode Islanders Need to Run the Bases Around 38 Stadium


The other night, I attended the forum on the PawSox Stadium deal hosted by Leadership Rhode Island that millennial reporter Ted Nesi moderated. I walked away with two observations: The 38 Studios affair is still very much on the minds of Rhode Islanders, and the people of our state are reaching their breaking point.

The best part of my job is talking to Rhode Islanders. We’re a plainspoken people, never afraid to tell you the way things are in our state. However, it is frustrating when it does not amount to more than talk.

I want to see the people of our state take action, and change the way things are for the better. At the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, we often say that the status quo is the enemy of our future, and that is the truth. Our people need another path forward to building a Rhode Island that has a future that can be truly free and prosperous.

At the forum, I was chatting with a retired woman who said she only had one piece advice for the young people of our state, “buy a plane ticket.” Maybe I’m too much of an idealist, but I don’t think things are that hopeless. It is still worth it to fight for Rhode Island. She told me that the stadium deal is sure to be another 38 Studios — that our state had just tried this experiment and it failed. Based on the boos and jeers from the crowd toward the two pro-stadium spokespeople, this woman’s sentiments were shared by all but the smallest margin of the attendees.

The 38 Stadium deal is well on its way to becoming more of the same failed status quo thinking that has brought Rhode Island to the brink. I love baseball and everything it stands for, and I love the PawSox. But I don’t want to see my state held hostage to another special interest. With the opposition to the stadium deal mounting, the lack of investigation into the 38 studios disaster, and our state’s tax and spend ethos, it is easy to see why people are angry.

It doesn’t have to be this way in the Ocean State. I like to remind people that they have all the power. Our elected leaders will listen when you force them to do so. When we don’t take action, there is no one to blame for the way things are but ourselves. Sitting in the dugout on this issue is not an option.

You have the right to demand a Rhode Island that is based on the principles of limited, transparent government, free-market policies, and an open playing field for everyone, not just the chosen few.  We all deserve to go around the bases, not sit in the stands while insiders swing for the fence.

  • Jeff R

    Here here! We all have to make this fight vs. flight decision for ourselves. Do I continue to stay in RI and try to help make it better for my children? Should I just pack up and leave and go somewhere else, which everything seems to indicate is the smart decision for my family? Justin, if you can have faith that things are not hopeless, given everything that you know and the frustrations you must encounter, I suppose I can stick around and help out awhile too. I agree that sitting passively is not an option. Thanks for being the example.

    • OceanStateCurrent

      Thanks for the vote of confidence! There’s always hope, and we’re actually doing the world’s good work by trying to find the antidote to Rhode Island’s serious illness, because it’s contagious.

      Just to be technical, though, this post was written by Larry Gillheeney.

  • ShannonEntropy

    Our elected leaders will listen when you force them to do so. When we don’t take action, there is no one to blame for the way things are but ourselves.

    I moved here in the summer of 1982 — an election year

    That year — and every two years since — I have heard
    the same drum beat from the ‘outraged’ citizens
    here =► Vote The Bums OUT !!

    And the day after every single election day I hear the same results … ALL the incumbents got re·elected … or didn’t even have an opponent on the ballot

    Now I hear that Mattiello has switched and is now backing the Prov·Sox deal … Surprised ???

    If he is not reeeeally careful he is gonna end up in the Club Fed cell next to Gordon Fox-in-the-Hen·house