It’s no secret that politics today in our country, state and especially our city has been monopolized by the extremes. Whether this has been driven by the 24 hour news cycle, most notably FOX News or MSNBC, or huge lobbyist bank accounts held by corporations and public union organizations is up for debate. What is clear, however, is arguing the fate of our government along the extremes will get us more of what we have now.
Unfortunately time is not our friend in attempts to sort out the winners and losers of this type of debate here in East Providence, as a budget commission has settled in and is now, de facto running the city. It reminds me of the proverb uttered by one of Gene Roddenberry’s characters in Star Trek. "Only a fool fights in a burning house." Well the house is on fire, and we still have people pointing fingers at each other in relentless fashion here on The Patch.
I’ve recently found it somewhat comical, though at the same time troubling, that many of my posts and comments, along with some other posters, have been vilified by both sides of the extremes. It’s as if logic and reason now have no place in our political conversation. I’m sure some of this is coming from those associated with the heavily union backed Democratic Party and the union loathing Republican Party. And then of course even the local Democratic Party is severely split depending on what set of unions are supporting each faction, which further complicate matters.
What gets lost in all this, unfortunately, is identifying the real problems here in the city and focusing on solutions together.
Great thinkers over the millennia, going back to Buddha and Aristotle, among many others, have always advocated the "middle way" to the path of wisdom. If we can’t identify leaders who can move along these lines, without reverting to personal attacks and back room politics, I’m sure many people in East Providence, will themselves decide to act normally upon finding themselves in a burning house.