You Can Learn A Lot of Things By Watching

Guest Post by Peyton Storm
I think it was Yogi Berra who put the title for this article in my mind. It’s such a truism it is almost profound. Charlestown, if you observe the political and social fault lines, is a kind of Rorschach test.

Charlestown may fairly be described as a place one can come to rest one’s mind. I say this not necessarily as a bad thing. Vacationers recreate, pensioners retire, the bedroom commuters repair, and after hours the hard workers find solace among the black birches and white beaches of a largely rural community. The schools are good; the people pleasant; and like good New Englanders most keep to themselves unless a need or a neighbor or nuisance appears.

Shortly we will test the proposition of whether you can beat something with nothing. The CCA candidates and Lisa DeBello have a record. As incumbents they have spoken, written letters, accomplished things for the town. Taxes are low; schools are good; roads are decent; Ninigret Park is developing in an orderly way; industrial wind turbines to this point have been defeated. We have town employees that are second to none in their dedication and effectiveness. The Town Hall is a pleasant stop for all one’s needs. Affordable and elderly housing is increasing; the community is safe for children and elders. Granted Charlestown doesn’t have certain amenities of say a Cranston or the diversity and density of say Central Falls, but people don’t live here for what those towns offer. In fact, the CCA candidates have done a fine job in stabilizing what was in recent memory a chaotic and embarrassing governance.

It could be that the Democratic and unendorsed candidates have something to offer and positive leadership to give. We may never know. Wilfred Collette is so loud; they are so quiet. Wilfred is so present through his Blog; they are so absent by any measure. What is the philosophy behind a stealth candidacy? The point is to enter the arena. To speak about one’s passion and vision. To test your views against opponents and trust that the best candidates will win. Don’t rely on some generic mailing from Collette Central with sparsely fleshed out bullet points.

Let me suggest this. If Wilfred represents you, he has nothing. He’s a critic. He’s negative. He lays back and throws stink bombs. Months after others take a stand he and his party belatedly say what they are for or against. Anybody can call a horse race after the finish. So candidates, if you don’t speak up, a rational person might imagine that Wilfred SPEAKS FOR YOU. You may be one of his minions. Maybe you don’t have any ideas of your own. Or you don’t have the confidence and courage to express them. Hey, give us something. Blink. Nod. Write a letter about the good things you want to do. About how you will build alliances and get your goals accomplished. Show us some knowledge, passion, commitment, life. Knock on a door.

Oh, yes, and let’s not forget candidate and Progressive Blogger Tom Ferrio. Of late Tom’s the “good guy” on the Blog. Come on, Tom! Everybody knows you are laying low. Tom’s such a leader he lets his wife speak for him. Suzanne so recently told us: ‘Yes, that’s Tom hanging out a window in Italy for his campaign picture. But it’s not the expensive part of Italy and we flew there on the air miles Tom earned. You all earn air miles in your career so you can travel free too, don’t you? We Ferrio’s aren’t really rich. Even though Tom is really, really smart and helped invent a wonderful calculator and was a vice-president for Texas Instruments. We can’t afford to live with the wealthy over by the beach. So we just live in our modest nearly $800,000 home on a pond and Tom crows about the free money he gets from our subsidized solar panels.’

Melina Lodge at least deserves a golf clap. She’s done some public comments, if only to savage Dr. Tremblay. Consider that instead of any animus that led to her not being hired, it may have been that the previous administration was simply blocked from appointing her without advertising the job.

As I hoped several months ago, someone, anyone from the Democrat candidates or the unendorsed will tell us what they want to do and how they will get there. I’d love to hear from anybody other than the bloggers. Their warmed over farragoes long ago ceased holding heat. Come on Charlestown Democratic Candidates … show us something! We’re willing to learn.