Sometimes I’m of two minds about a topic and the fact that former Gov. Deval Patrick is involved in promoting Boston Olympics is one of those. Welcome to my inner dialogue.
Me: What the heck is Deval doing? Instead of trying to promote some initiative that could actually help this state he’s accepting some big money to pimp the Boston Olympics.
The other me: Is what he is doing illegal?
Me: (sputtering) Well no, it’s just unseemly.
The other me: So why are you objecting to it? It’s a capitalist country. This is free enterprise. Someone offered him a job and he took it.
Me: But it makes him look like any other politician. He gets out of office and instead of doing something positive with his fame and political capital, he just takes a lobbying gig that pays outrageous money.
The other me: So he is behaving like a Republican. Is that what bothers you?
Me: Well, yes. I do hold Democrats, even Massachusetts Democrats, to a higher standard.
The other me: Why do you do that? Look at all of the rotten to the core Dems there are in this state who have held office; people who are more concerned about maintaining power than they are about the public good. So if the Boston 2024 committee offered this job to Bill Weld would you be as upset?
Me: Probably not. I expect Republicans to go for that kind of gig and money.
The other me: When are you going to get through your head that a politician is a politician regardless of affiliation? Sure there are some good people you know who are state reps, city councilors, state senators, and mayors and some of them are members of the Grand Old Party. The trouble is too many elected officials past and present are not like Jimmy Carter – involved with his or her church, working for an organization such as Habitat for Humanity and trying to view the world from both a religious and Constitutional point of view. Deval isn’t a bad guy for taking the job. He’s just typical.
Me: I guess I didn’t want him to be “typical.”
The other me: Remember this is the guy who put casino revenue into a budget before there was any way to collect that revenue. He’s done some bone-headed things.
Me: Yes that’s true.
The other me: All he is doing now is a time-honored path for a former pol. He’s taken a good-paying lobbying gig for something many people believe will be good for at least one part of the state. It looks benevolent. Of course it won’t be. How will the state afford such a thing? You know taxpayer money will be used in it. But, this move will keep Deval in the public eye while he considers his next move, whatever that may be.
Me: You’re right. Pardon my Pollyanna approach.
The other me: That’s quite all right. I’m used to it by now. You just set yourself up for disappointment all the time. Now can we agree on a movie to watch?
A reader took me to task in a private email for not offering solutions to racism as part of my column about the observation of the 50th anniversary on the march from Selma.
All right. How about we support the president’s initiative about making community colleges free? Access to education will allow everyone – not just members of minority groups – to give themselves tools they need to improve their financial situation in this changing world.
How about maintaining voter rights? There has been an ongoing effort to make voting more and more difficult in some states and it would appear the targeted groups include African-Americans. This is disgraceful and very anti-American.
What about more training for police officers on problem solving to avoid confrontations that can spiral out of control? And more community policing to bridges between neighborhoods and police departments?
Finally, how about treating people a person meets – all people – in the manner you would like to be treated?
Agree? Disagree? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.