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Shevlin says the I's have it

Tom Shevlin, who operates the RI Report Web site and who helmed Bill Harsch's AG run last year, has had enough with the Republican Party. He seems fed up with both the perennial marginalization of the GOP in Rhode Island and the national party's wandering away from its principles. So Tom, like most Rhode Islanders, now calls himself an independent:

Whatever the case, the party that I signed up with; the party that I historically identify with - from Lincoln’s ideals of equality and union to Roosevelt’s trust-busting, big stick carrying, conservationism - has become sallow and aloof from its founding principles.

Conversely, I have become more obstinate in my principles; unwilling to compromise myself for the sake of a political party, averse to defending the intellectual dishonesty of party figures for the sake of a parenthetical ‘R,’ and rigidly opposed to group think.

. . . .

I’m an individualist. I believe that government and society are two different things, and the more just and independent a society is, the less need it has for government.

I’m a tree-hugger. I believe that personal responsibility dictates that we be responsible stewards for our environment. My Saturday morning pilgrimage to my local farmers market christens my weekend. And I would rather leave my children a clean environment than a trust fund.

I’m cheap. I don’t believe in spending money that you don’t have and I want to hold on each hard-earned dollar I make. I don’t believe that my wallet should be open for public use nor do I believe that the government can be trusted to spend the money it does collect responsibly.

I’m also paranoid. I can’t stand the thought of either Big Brother or the Nanny State watching over me no matter how good the intentions appear to be.

But most of all, I’m a practicing Catholic. I believe in private charity, humility, and forgiveness. And I am riddled with guilt and the ubiquity of my shortcomings. And I have a healthy fear of the consequences of my moral misconduct. 

While I think it would be good for Rhode Island to have a more competitive two-party system, Governor Carcieri hasn't made much progress toward making this a reality. So it won't be a surprise if more people are thinking like Tom.

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