EDITORIAL

A primary responsibility

Posted

Although it feels like just yesterday that the pool covers came off and crowded public spaces became inundated with the sickly-sweet scent of body odor and sunscreen, summer is giving her final bow goodbye in Rhode Island – despite intermittent 90-degree days trying to convince us otherwise.

One surefire way to know that fall is fast approaching is the advent of election season. Although we are in between presidential elections this year, mid-term elections in some ways are even more important, as they decide races that have implications from your local community and all the way to Washington D.C.

The Statewide Primary will be held on a Wednesday this year, on Sept. 12 – due to the conclusion of the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah falling on Sept. 11 this year. The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. You can find your polling place and a sample ballot for your declared party by visiting https://vote.sos.ri.gov. For information on sending in an emergency mail-in ballot in the case you are unable to physically be at a polling location, visit http://www.elections.state.ri.us/elections/upcoming/index.php.

The importance of voting in any election is something we feel the need to spend some ink on and allocate space for. It is the core democratic principal that binds our country together and enables us to, in a sense, choose our own fate; who governs us, how we hold those who do not carry out the will of the people accountable for their actions and who we prop up to give a chance to do a better job.

This year, unfortunately, interest in running for local office is far more stagnant than any healthy democracy should be. Around 30 percent of seats in the state General Assembly will go wholly uncontested this year, with countless more local municipal positions facing no challengers. Such a reality is one that is bad for us all, as unopposed politicians have no reason to re-think mistakes, no reason to fear being unseated from their positions of power and no reason to feel like servants of the public.

This is why voting for positions that do have multiple candidates a week from now becomes even more important. Some of these races are decided by the primary, as there is no opposing party challenger. These races also give you the opportunity to dig deep into your local issues and the people from your community who seek to attain that position. Why are they running? What do they hope to achieve if elected? How would that impact you?

In assessing a candidate, it is even more crucially important that you look into a candidate’s actions versus their rhetoric. Anybody can promise wonderful things and appear polished and spotless in front of a microphone, however the impetus is on you, the voter, to look beyond the words and try to find examples of this candidate doing work that supports their statements. Have they volunteered in a previous capacity elsewhere? Do they work to assist others? Or is it all hot air?

Too often, nationally and locally, we treat the sacred act of voting as if it were an inconvenient obligation. Some will simply mark off names based on party lines, or who so-and-so at the office said they liked or who the talking head on TV said was the better choice. When it comes down to it, the best candidate for you is a decision that only you can make, and you are doing a disservice to yourself and the democratic process by not seriously engaging in it.

Political races shouldn’t be won and lost based on the number of yard signs you can stick in the grass or the promises you can make on a campaign flier. Races should be won by engaging with the populace that you hope to help govern, and convincing enough of those constituents that you deserve a shot at the job. If the candidate is an incumbent, measure your willingness to vote for them based on how they delivered on those promises made when they were first seeking election.

Being able to vote is what makes America free, but voting based on legitimate reasons after taking the time to conduct the necessary research is what makes America great.

Comments

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Justanidiot

Get out and vote next Tuesday the 12th.

Tuesday, September 4
richardcorrente

Dear Justanidiot,

I could not agree with you more old friend but, um, the primary is "Wednesday" September 12th.

See you at the polls.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, September 5
Justanidiot

sorry mister mayer, wednesday is the 11th. erection day is on monday the 13th

Wednesday, September 5
Justanidiot

rereading my comments i see my error. election day is always on a tuesday, so it will be on tuesday september 12.

Wednesday, September 5
Justanidiot

just remember that all elections are on tuesdays

Thursday, September 6
Justanidiot

Just checked, and the next election in Tuesday November 6th. Now you know the real story.

Thursday, September 6
richardcorrente

Dear Justanidiot,

THANK YOU!

For a lot of reasons. You have made many humorous remarks, misspelled EVERY word, entertained us all, and most importantly, got your message across to the reader. You haven't always agreed with me. That's OK. You have always offered constructive (not destructive) criticisms about my ideas and the ideas of others. Warwick needs many opinions like yours in order to write the most beneficial regulations. I have always enjoyed all that you have written here in The Beacon and I hope you never stop. Whoever you are I wish you and your family nothing but health and happiness. Some day I would love to meet you.

Happy September old friend.

Happy September everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Friday, September 7
CrickeeRaven

I hereby give full and complete permission for other commenters to copy the following, in part or its entirety, with no attribution expected or required:

To the Twice-Losing Candidate:

You have failed, yet again, to do anything but humiliate yourself in public. As predicted, thousands of honest, taxpaying voters rejected your candidacy today, making you the first candidate this century to lose to two different mayors in Warwick.

And it’s your fault. At every opportunity where you could have improved your image or behavior, you instead consciously decided to make yourself look even worse.

Where you could have admitted to your tax delinquency — and possibly even earned sympathy from others who have fallen victim to predatory lending — instead you denied public information that proved your failure to pay property taxes, leading to the loss of your former residence to tax sale, and claimed you had “won” a court case against your lender.

Where you could have corrected your false claims about changes in Warwick’s population and school enrollment — based on numbers that you invented by misinterpreting legitimate data — instead you repeated them, over and over again, showing that you did not care how completely the facts proved you wrong.

Where you could have corrected your version of how the FY18 budget was passed, instead you kept repeating that your failed 2016 campaign influenced the city council to cut spending and taxes — when every single part of that claim was a lie.

Where you could have tried to earn your party’s endorsement, instead you first falsely claimed on your website that you had it, and then attacked your party as “political insiders” when you didn’t receive it, and despite the fact that many of those same people contributed to your 2016 campaign.

As if all that weren’t enough — as if your complete refusal to acknowledge verified facts, your petty vindictiveness toward your party, and your continued false claims were not proof enough of your utter unfitness for office — you used this website as a free advertising platform for your campaign activities, attacking others, making wild accusations against public officials, and using a fake title that you neither earned nor deserved.

The voters of Warwick rejected your candidacy, again.

The results today are 100 percent your fault. You made that happen.

Not “political insiders,” not website commenters, not the media — you.

So, use this site to make your last pathetic statement claiming otherwise.

Try to convince other people, one last time, that the facts are wrong and you’re right.

And then, after you’re done making a pathetic fool of yourself one last time, do us all a favor and go away.

Thursday, September 13