For the past two months, I have worked tirelessly with fellow concerned citizens — Republicans and Democrats, partisan and unaffiliated — to stop illegal immigration in California. What does my fight on the other side of the country have to do with the corruption stopping up any good governance in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and why should Rhode Islanders care?
A common thread links the politicize shenanigans of the Ocean State and the Golden State. Deeply entrenched, illiberal interests have taken over every major branch of their states. They have drafted and crafted legislation to their own narrow, greedy ends. More importantly, they have subverted the rule of law, or permitted outright lawlessness. Worst of all: Enforcement of laws conflicting with their intentions has become all but non-existent.
Everywhere that I have gone in Los Angeles County protesting the appointment of two illegal aliens to city commissions in Huntington Park, CA, I have met with loud applause for the cause of We the People Rising, a coalition of “had enough” conservatives who demand enforcement of the law, deportation of illegal aliens, and government of the people — the citizens. We have called Immigration Enforcement and Control (ICE). We have contacted the district attorney’s office. We have reached out to every possible governing body and enforcement agency in the region. Even the California attorney general’s office.
The answer? “They have not committed a crime in appointing two illegal aliens.” Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (a good friend, ideological twins, of Rhode Island representative David “Grand Theft Auto” Cicilline by inference) represents the South Los Angeles region including Huntington Park. I actually confronted her at a military academy workshop within her district. Her response to the appointments of the two illegals? “If they have broken the law, ICE could come in right now and arrest them.”
I never imagined a sitting legislator justifying the abrogation of law with the same excuse used by naughty children and nefarious criminal enterprises.
What has happened in this country? Is this trend present elsewhere?
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) blasted this non-enforcement epidemic in regards to gun violence. This country does not need more gun laws, but rather proper and consistent enforcement. Under the Obama Administration, prosecutions related to gun crimes have gone down substantially.
Laws are a piece of paper without enforcement, reduced to nothing but feckless protest and pleas. Consider the sad allegory of The Lord of the Flies, in which Piggy, with conch in hand demands respect and audience according to their agreed rules. The wild boys who resorted to abuse and predation obliterate him and the conch with the rolling of a heavy boulder.
Worse yet, what kind of future are our elected officials enabling? Revisit Orwell’s 1984: “A boot in your face, forever!” The rule of force in place of the rule of law gives way to chaos, destruction, and untold anxiety. No justice, no peace. No enforcement, no nothing.
And now to Rhode Island.
Corruption has become the abnormal norm, much like children playing hide-and-seek in war-torn countries, with bombs dropping in the background while kids, indifferent to the screams and thundering blasts, play on.
One Rhode Island politico told me one of the “Italian City” stories in Providence during the reign of Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci. A fire would break out on a key piece of real estate. The firefighters would show up just in time to keep the flames from devouring other buildings — that’s it. The current owners would have no choice but to sell the property, and the intended buyers, connected with the same flagrant illegal activities, could scoop up the real estate.
Now the corruption has gone in-house, even professionalized. Lawmakers forced out for selling influence and misusing campaign funds. Recently, the Attorney General of Rhode Island, Peter Kilmartin, stood on the steps of the federal court house and blasted the brazen pay-for-play perversions of former Speaker (now convicted felon) Gordon Fox. What a mess, and a seeping fraud so widespread that no one higher up or down below could hide the morass.
Yet, with the arrest, conviction, and incarceration of a dirty politician from Mount Hope, the same attorney general now wipes his hands from any interest or responsibility connected to 38 Studios.
Pension expert and Providence, RI, corruption exposer Michael Riley tweeted the following:
The attorney general in any state, in any country, is the law enforcement top dog. Higher up than any district attorney, lead prosecutor, or sheriff, he makes sure that the laws are executed, enforced, and, when they are broken, that the law breakers are duly “engaged.”
And he won’t do anything about the corruption, malfeasance, waste, and fraud rampant in Providence. I am pretty sure he would say to the 38 Studios investigators, “Done Deal. Game Over.”
What is to be done? The press is the Fourth Estate, right? More revelations show that the Providence Journal sat on a story revealing dirty initial negotiations among investors and the RI Department of Economic Development.
In California, concerned citizens have not taken “too bad” as a final determinant. Not content to allow local cities to flout federal law, positioning illegal aliens ahead of legal residents and law-abiding citizens, we have stormed the rogue Huntington Park City Council, contacted every media outlet thinkable, and even pressured the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The LA County Sheriff is enforcing the law as much as permitted, too.
I now encourage and exhort all concerned citizens in Rhode Island, taking a quote from Samuel Adams: “It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”
If we cannot look to our leaders, then it is indeed up to We the People to keep the pressure on, and fight the good fight, never letting up on corruption, waste, and non-enforcement. The more that we show up and shout, the more people in office will recognize who really has the power.
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a blogger, writer, and commentator on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow his blogs at The State of the Union and As He Is, So Are We Ministries and on Twitter.