Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Writing in the Providence Journal (2 Oct) in the Letters to the Editor, a correspondent complains, "as the final indignity, we'll get to watch former Governor Lincoln Chafee stumble his way through the first Democratic candidates' debate. My God, can it get any worse?" This writer needs to rethink the whole question of indignity and embarrassment. Who can embarrass us but ourselves? Nothing any one else does can cause me to feel embarrassment if I did not myself support or encourage the action. Human dignity resides in the person herself and can never be taken from that person. What is the indignity in having elected as Governor a man who had the courage to oppose the Iraq War on the national level, and opposed and helped to expose the dirty dealings of the 38 Studios insiders scam? As a child, too sensitive to the ridicule of others I would feel embarrassed because of our poverty, our circumstances, our lack of Christmas gifts, our lack of money to buy groceries, and many times my mother would reassure me, "The only person who can shame you is you." Lincoln Chafeee has not shamed this state: his raising of difficult and contrary opinions is in the tradition of the archetypal INDEPENDENT MAN and historically personified in this state by personages like Roger Williams, Thomas Dorr, James Wilson, Edward Harris, Anne Hutchinson and Henry Shelton--to name just a few who come to mind. I look forward to hearing what Chafee has to say, and if he embarrasses himself--that will be his problem--not mine and not Rhode Island"s.

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