Last month, we saw a state house vote on legalizing late term abortions. This vote was a betrayal of the promise of a "firewall."

The floodgates are open - and the so-called “firewall” has collapsed. For years, we have heard that moderate Democrats would hold the line against radical progressives. But in recent months, any hopes by mainstream Rhode Islanders that such resistance might be real enough to hold-off the fringe-left have been utterly dashed.

In last fall’s elections, the incumbent Lt. Governor, Dan McKee, refused to directly take-on the philosophical extremism of his progressive left primary-challenger. This legislative session, the Speaker of the House, Nicholas Mattiello, has once again empowered his own political enemies, this time by caving to their demands for anytime, anywhere abortions of viable babies … even though three-in-four Rhode Islanders oppose such brutal practices.

If a pro-life Catholic, who promised to be a pro-life Speaker, continues to appease the radical-left faction in his own party by sacrificing his values on the most sacred of all public policy issues, how can Rhode Islanders ever trust that our rights will be preserved if we cannot even protect the basic right to life?

Next up will be a punishing Medicaid tax on large employers; new “pay equity” regulations that will further burden our vital job-producers; single-payer health care that will limit our policy choices; new carbon taxes and green energy mandates that will raise the cost of electricity and gasoline; legalization of marijuana and prostitution that will further tear at our society’s cultural fabric; and continued roll-back and blockage of of charter-school and other needed educational reforms that could give students a brighter future.

It is a stunning indictment on the lack of leadership in the Democratic party that not one of its officials has stood-up and firmly exclaimed that “Rhode Island will never become a socialist state” and to actually be that firewall against these misguided policies that give government more and more control over our lives.

As has been written by others, true leadership involves three traits: 1) articulating a clear vision of where we want to go, 2) detailing the core values that will lead us there, and 3) convincing others to follow, even if it means standing-up to adversity and strong headwinds.

On all three fronts, officials in the Democratic party have failed to lead. There is no vision; just flailing in the left-blowing political winds. None have stood up for American values against those of their own party’s socialist faction. Nothing but pretending to be a “firewall” as a reason for voters to follow.

Some Democrats in the political class want you to believe they are holding the line against extremism, to trick you into voting for them. But year after year, they strategically allow important pieces of the progressive-left agenda to move into law - just so they can remain in power by appeasing their enemies. This year, they have crossed the line. The charade is over.

Are there any party officials out there with the courage to exclaim even that “the RI Democratic Party will never become a socialist party?” If so, it is time for those persons to step forward and offer new leadership to restore faith in a once proud party.

-Clay Johnson
Chairman of The Gaspee Project

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