To the Editor:
I listened to Governor Lincoln Chafee’s State of the State address for 2014 and was intrigued with his reference to the Bloodless Revolution.
It happens that I am presently reading “Pride without Prejudice, The Life of John O. Pastore,” whose author Ruth Morgenthau opines that the Bloodless Revolution of 1935 was Governor Theodore Francis Green’s “scheme for change.” “Progressive Yankee Governor” Green, as Morgenthau describes him, was joined in scheming with Robert Quinn, Thomas McCoy, “the main strategist, John P. Hartigan and J. Howard McGrath,” among others. The author describes this group as “mostly Irish-American Democratic party leaders.”
Their political plot was successful, and with it began the one-party rule that we Rhode Islanders continue to endure. Interestingly enough, Ms. Morgenthau tells us that in 1944, “McGrath realized that the Rhode Island economy was at a low point as the war ended. Veterans were returning looking for jobs, [despite] a worn out infrastructure, high energy costs and an insufficiently educated and relatively unskilled work force. Pressure for raises was coming from both private and public sectors, and there was a big budget deficit.” Sound eerily familiar?
So what did Pastore’s mentor do? He resigned as governor and become solicitor general of the United States. A decade after the “Bloodless Revolution,” one of its authors, the incumbent governor, retreats to Washington, and as Morgenthau states it, “the grass in Washington looked far greener.”
Ten years and one-party rule leads to economic stagnation, and as the author, herself a liberal Democrat who was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress in Rhode Island, astoundingly admits, “for the next three decades these structural problems dragged down the state economy.”
I submit that one-party rule, whether it is one prior to the “revolution” or its successor, has been detrimental to our people. Whether it is the “Yankee Elites” or the “Working Man’s” party, both have failed us miserably as our economic decline continues.
Eight decades later, yes it was bloodless for a few scheming politicians but useless, and I suggest even heartless, for the people for whom government is supposed to serve!