RIGOP Blessing and Curse: Straight Line from Nowhere to the Top

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The first thing one sees upon picking up the Newport Daily News today is a stock photo of me next to the quotation:

You can go straight from doing nothing to running for U.S. Senate on the Republican side because there are so few people involved.

I was one of a half-dozen Republicans and conservatives whom Derek Gomes interviewed for an article about Republicans in the state, to complement a recent one about Democrats.  (Unfortunately, the article isn’t online for non-subscribers.)

One part of my extended statement to Gomes that I wish had made the cut was a benefit to being out of power:  The RIGOP has no influence to sell, so people tend to be involved for the right reasons, and the odds of corruption are lower.

I also wish the article had gone into some of the other topics Gomes asked me about.  He quotes Young Republican Barbara Ann Fenton as saying that Rhode Island Republicans are socially liberal, compared to the party nationally.  I’d suggested in my interview that that might be part of the problem.  The unanimous support for same-sex marriage, for example, is why I am (as Gomes notes) “a conservative but not a registered Republican.”

As a worldview, socially liberal and fiscally conservative is untenable, at least inasmuch as we acknowledge a responsibility to help the less fortunate.  Part of our solution for those folks must be to help build a healthier society overall.  If (for example) the “fiscally conservative” solution is simply to rely on private charity, it’s difficult to make the case that we shouldn’t just make our charity compulsory through taxation.



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