In political disputes — with truth too often proving a weak defense against the quest for power — we frequently see the strategy of attacking the legitimacy of an action. This person or group is only acting out of self interest. That other person or group is interfering with decisions that aren’t theirs to make. And so on.
Thus, we get the common sneer from Rhode Island insiders and progressives that anybody with a different view who has ever worked with any national group on any issue is really like an interloper trying to impose some foreign idea. For example, they’ll dismiss the long local history of Mike Stenhouse and his family, saying the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is just some “Koch funded” group. (It’s not.)
Of course, it’s impossible to miss the reality that whether something matters seems to depend entirely on whether it serves the insiders and the progressives. A TV station can be owned by an out-of-state corporation, but it’s only a problem if making it a problem helps the local bullies to shove out ideas they don’t like. Out-of-state funding can be pure — even something to tout — as long as it’s from progressive sources.
It is perfectly copacetic, then, for the scowling leaders of the National Education Association of Rhode Island, Executive Director Robert Walsh and President Larry Purtill, to pledge in an online video that their organization will descend upon the Town of Tiverton this summer and autumn in order to affect the local election of our school committee members. Is an election a debate among local electors as to the best way their views can be represented within their town government? Not if the Pooh Bahs of the NEA have anything to say about it.
Nope. They want ultimate control of both sides of the negotiating table. And it isn’t enough for them to make their case on behalf of their local champion and let a court decide who has the better case. They want it all, mostly to send a message to any locals in Tiverton or elsewhere who might attempt to stand up to them again.
Just so, when the union stages a PR event to offer drive-by encouragement of Mullen at her home, the local paper presents it as her having been “showered with support.” Anybody who has witnessed labor unions busing in supporters from far away in order to fill a room will spot this line in the article: “More than 100 people had signed up to take part in the rally, one from as far away as New York, said Stephanie Mandeville, communications director for the National Educators Association, Rhode Island.”
When a special interest has this much money and power and a taxpayer-funded infrastructure to maintain the muscle for a nonstop political campaign, how can the people of any town really have their own voices represented?