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Travis Rowley: Heartless Conservatives? Or Deluded Liberals?

Friday, October 07, 2011


Conservatives often make the mistake of complaining that liberals use political correctness for the express purpose of silencing them. While there is some truth behind this assertion, it assumes way too much conscious insincerity. The fact of the matter is that most liberals have never conspired to recklessly charge their political opponents with “racism” and other forms of bigotry.

While liberals are often forced to resort to character smears once their arguments are confronted by superior ideas, this is usually a learned impulse, a portion of the Left’s anti-intellectual subculture that – because it actually has succeeded in silencing many conservatives – has largely prevented liberals from ever dealing with the weaknesses within their own philosophy. Thus, liberals have actually come to truly believe in the decades of smears that they have aimed at their political rivals.

A couple of months ago this writer referenced a “decades-old” media myth that liberals themselves created, and then proceeded to base future opinions and policies off of: “Republicans are old, greedy, grumpy, racist, rich, white males. Everyone else is a Democrat. Absurd, yes. But that’s really what liberals think.”

This sentiment is often referred to as “liberal elitism.” And it’s difficult to imagine a better case study than longtime Projo columnist Bob Kerr.

Bob Kerr

Within one of his recent writings, Kerr celebrated Governor Chafee’s despotic decision to place the question of offering in-state college tuition rates to illegal aliens in the hands of the Board of Governors. “It is such a good thing,” Kerr believes, that the Board of Governors “rescued the policy from the General Assembly, where, as proposed legislation, it had languished for seven years as senators and representatives yielded to the high, angry heat of opponents.”

The nerve of elected officeholders to actually listen to their constituents!

Kerr went on to ask, “Why oppose this? Why oppose something that helps and doesn’t hurt? Why try to deny opportunity to people who will be more productive because of it? Why use a line on a map to shut off hope?”

These are all great questions.

But the real question is this: Why is Bob Kerr asking these questions? Does he seriously not know the responses that Chafee’s critics would offer? Is he unaware of the concern over attracting even more illegal aliens to the state, people that would likely put further strains on state and municipal budgets? Is Kerr unaware of the sacred principles at stake – namely liberty, the rule of law, and a government process marked by checks and balances? Has he not heard people question the fairness and prudence of having undocumented students crowd out the children of Rhode Island taxpayers from state colleges? This is a point that even Eva Mancuso, a staunch Chafee supporter, referred to as “a valid argument.”

A reading of Mr. Kerr’s column illuminates a very revealing fact: Kerr never confronts any of the arguments that have been consistently articulated by Chafee’s conservative critics. He ignored them all.

This cleared the way for Kerr to offer his own explanation as to how anyone could possibly disagree with him, and oppose a policy that applies such “reason and compassion and common sense.” According to Kerr, this is a policy that only the most hideous among us could disagree with, and “that pretty much sums it up. It’s more a human question than a legal one.”

Kerr writes, “There has always been in the most virulent and hateful opposition to undocumented immigrants, a sense that these people living in daily uncertainty are being used to reaffirm a sense of American privilege. Keep them down to keep us up. Round ’em up, send ’em back where they came from, and let us all feel a little more special.”

That’s about as much as Kerr’s liberalism will allow him to understand conservatism.

Kerr’s Delusion

The fact of the matter is that progressive Democrats have simply failed to convince Rhode Islanders and their elected representatives of the worthiness of this cause (Go figure, the liberals have lost the debate). The liberal instinct, however, is to then bring the debate to a shallower level – demonize the opposition in order to attain a moral high ground so decisive that it can justify just about anything, including tyrannical political measures. In addition to using the word “angry” several times to describe Chafee’s critics, Kerr called the entire resistance “small, mean and heartless.” And he meant it.

By ignoring their actual opinions, choosing instead to portray thousands of Rhode Islanders as selfish and cruel, Kerr only managed to further delude himself: “[This policy] is such a good thing, too, because it shows again how truly petty and desperate the effort to shut out undocumented immigrants has become.”

Desperate? Wasn’t it desperation that prompted Chafee and the progressive Democrats to resort to bureaucratic autocracy, making Rhode Island the only state (out of 13 total) to enact this policy without the consent of the legislature? As Kerr noted, the legislation “had languished for seven years,” forcing the progressives to “[rescue] the policy from the General Assembly.”

Aren’t rescue missions, by definition, acts of desperation?

Kerr has certainly remained loyal to the Left’s decrepit subculture of political correctness, self-deception, and anti-intellectualism. To Kerr, Rhode Islanders standing against Governor Chafee are cruel and stupid. That’s it. That’s all he needs to know. That’s all his readers need to know. And the world shouldn’t have to wait so long for a bunch of “small, mean and heartless” people to come to their senses.

Once one understands that many liberals have truly come to believe the lies and myths they have crafted and established, it becomes less perplexing to discover elites such as Bob Kerr championing the desertion of democratic institutions.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans and a consultant for the Barry Hinckley Campaign for US Senate.

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VERY good article, Mr. Rowley.

Comment #1 by William Suffik on 2011 10 07

Bob Kerr has been poisoning the minds of Rhode Islanders for years with this kind of stuff. Great analysis of the liberal mentality!!

Comment #2 by Gip H. on 2011 10 07

All you have to do to figure out who's smarter is put this article up against any of Bob Kerr's. Great article, Travis. As for you Bob - you will inevitably go down in history as being part of the problem in Rhode Island. One of the many Progressives that fought day after day to break down American exceptionalism and usher in "compassion." Freedom is compassion, Bob. Prosperity is compassion, Bob. YOU and YOUR feelings running the state is not compassion. That's STATISM. How do so many "smart" people still miss this?

Comment #3 by Kevin O'Connor on 2011 10 07

interesting how the substitution of left vs right words and positions in this article would produce the mirror image conclusion and is captured in the article's title.

Comment #4 by ken fish on 2011 10 07

Priceless. Way to put Kerr in the corner.

Comment #5 by Chris O. on 2011 10 07

KEN - i think it's pretty well-known that liberals, far more than conservatives, resort to personal attacks and political correctness. I think rowley's correct...it's a political "subculture"

Comment #6 by Drew M on 2011 10 07

Another self serving red meat article about a nothing issue.
Rowley while not presenting any any so call arguments for denying instate tuition, does take the time to insult plenty of Rhode Islanders.
"Left’s decrepit subculture of political correctness, self-deception, and anti-intellectualism." sounds insulting to me.
Maybe he should talk about Mt Hope bridge tolls.

Comment #7 by Real Clear on 2011 10 07

Real Clear, You missed the point. This article isn't about in-state tuition. Therefore, Rowley wasn't obliged to "present any arguments" for it. The article was about the "Left’s decrepit subculture of political correctness, self-deception, and anti-intellectualism." It doesn't matter if you're insulted. Rowley doesn't ask people not to insult others. He asks that people at least present a valid argument and stay on topic, rather than lowering themselves to demonizing their political opposition in order to prove their error. And Rowley made an ARGUMENT (a good argument) that this "decrepit subculture" exists on the Left.

Comment #8 by Chris O. on 2011 10 07

can anyone tell me why this young man is trying to make a name for himself going up against someone who could cream him in any debate? have you noticed you haven't even popped up on bob kerr's radar? he has more important things to do, then have a go between with a young blogger. as it was said in contagion "blogs are like graffiti with punctuation" its great you are young and enthusiastic about your ideas but don't attack a well liked man who is much more experienced than you!

Comment #9 by annemarie treadeau on 2011 10 07


Rowley hasn't popped up on Kerr's radar? He has more important things to do? I guess you missed it when Kerr went after Rowley. It was ROWLEY who responded to KERR: http://www.golocalprov.com/politics/who-says-its-so-cool-to-be-a-liberal/

I guess Bob Kerr isn't the only liberal who's "deluded"

Comment #10 by Chris O. on 2011 10 07

ANNEMARIE --- I've been reading Bob Kerr's opinions for years. And I've read enough of Rowley to know that Kerr would not "cream" him in a debate. In fact, I think Rowley creamed Kerr today. That seems to have upset you, but you sound very small and petty when you suggest that Rowley is just trying to make a name for himself. Kerr is in the arena of public opinion. Why should he be safeguarded from criticism? You seem to think that, just because Kerr is older than Rowley (and "well liked), Rowley should keep his mouth shut. That's just crazy.

Rowley is not a blogger. We're blogging. Rowley is a columnist, and just as much a professional writer as Bob Kerr is (and a more talented one, too).

Comment #11 by William Suffik on 2011 10 07

This whole liberal media argument should be put to bed. It's overtired.
Yes, there are some liberal columnists like Kerr out there, but I think you'll find for the most part that the people in higher pay grades in the conglomerates that own most media outlets, who have the power to hire and fire and determine what gets coverage and what doesn't (the counterparts of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes in other news organizations), are anything but liberal. I don't think you'll find liberals in the executive suites, where the people with MUCH more power than the likes of Kerr, the real "elite," reside.

Comment #12 by David Pepin on 2011 10 07


Undocumented immigrants pay way more into the government than they receive back. sales taxes, property taxes and often income and payroll taxes. They don't strain municipal and state budgets. Next time you make claims, please use sources, otherwise you're just an empty sloganeer.

Comment #13 by Craig O'connor on 2011 10 07

And Craig...your sources were.....????
Stake out the emergency room at one of our city hospitals and see who pays what to WHOM!!!!!

Comment #14 by Colonel Bowie on 2011 10 07

Kerr is irrelevant; just another sorry old liberal trying to get notied by the younger set. The only redeeming quality he has is his service as a Marine, for which we thank him. Otherwise, he should take whatever buyout comes his way at the Projo. Fall River Bob doesn't even live in RI. The hypocrite talks about things that don't really affect him.

Comment #15 by Michael Trenn on 2011 10 07


The Democrats have to rely on those extra voters in 2012, whether they are legal or illegal. THIS IS A TRUE FACT THAT CAN BE AUTHENTICATED. The Republican hardliners are already hoping to derail Rep. Lamar Smiths Mandatory E-Verify, so their special interest lobbyists can still get their fair share of cheap labor. These people are coming here and not just through our shared border with Mexico, but by international flights from across the world. Both political parties have their own agendas, with the Liberal Extremists pushing the Department of In-Justice, trying to block the current Alabama immigration policing laws. More state will follow Arizona, Alabama, Georgia and others, but will be enveloped in lies from the other side and the goal of the Obama leadership in crushing any chance of a states sovereignty being upheld. Americans can aid themselves and the millions of their fellow population, by insuring the passage of the mandatory Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2885) in the coming Congressional sessions. This will help to combat the millions of foreign workers now illegally co-existing in the workplace and halting for good profit inspired employers from hiring them.


E-Verify signifies a breakthrough in our immigration laws and the only avenue we have is our vote in pressuring Congress in passing H.R. 2885 Bill. Until this happens, no state is safe for the unbound repetitious force of illegal migrants and immigrants straining America's welfare and public expenditure resources. By Looking towards California, a state of American success in just 10 years has fallen, moreover unfairly burdened with millions of illegal alien families. They have bled the legal public treasury of billions of dollars in free services. The children of illegal alien parents and the unrelenting onslaught of sponsored--CHAIN MIGRATION has scored deep gashes in the California safety-net. Welfare benefits for the children of illegal immigrants cost America's largest county in 2010 more than $600 million last year. It is officially claimed the "total cost for illegal immigrants to the Pacific state taxpayers" was more than $1.6 billion in 2010.

Oh! With the Alabama law in full swing, where are the—ECONOMIC—illegal immigrants going? May be California, Nevada and any unrestrictive states, where illegal nationals can raid the welfare systems.

New York is another State with relaxed immigration laws, so it’s no wonder there welfare entitlement commitment is zooming ever higher. Then again, Andrew Cuomo, collected the title of “Architect of Ruin” along with others as Rep. Barney Frank. On Coumo’s watch he pressured banks and financial houses to offer low income, specifically illegal alien’s mortgage loans—even though they didn’t have the means, to pay them back—even they couldn’t qualify with sufficient credit. All this issue was quietly snuggled away into dusty files somewhere, so the public remained in the dark. This had the cause of effect of the rest estate crash that took place in 2009.

Be vigilant of those who confess to be in the true TEA PARTY leadership, as we have been conned before by both sides of the aisle. Making the wrong decision when we vote in 2012, could as well replace Obama with another far right Republican, who are favored by the open border delegations who pour money into their campaigns. We should be nervous of Perry, and the apportionment of money heading in his direction, as he will be capable of swamping the TV channels with unequaled rhetoric. My limited funds will go towards Herman Cain, who is my contender in the race and has a strong plan for our country, including his ambitious D- in relating to his standing opinion, that no illegal alien should be offered amnesty. Romney, Bachmann have also are considered to have excellent records, to finally stop the devastating effect of people from foreign countries pouring into America. The rest of the candidates have poor to abysmal records, while they have been public servants of the people. Much study of the illegal immigration occupation has been accomplished by NumbersUSA, where you can also observe for yourself the outcome.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform has studied these kinds of expenditure nationwide to get an idea of the financial load to local governments, especially at a time when many are grappling with budget deficits. The FAIR organization reported that the cost of illegal immigration stands at about $113 billion a year. Nearly half of that total went toward education costs, according to the study. The outlay was naturally higher in states with large illegal immigrant populations -- in California; the total yearly expenditure was pegged at $21.8 billion. This is a repeat performance and is still spiraling upwards uncontrollably, more so since the Democratic State House and Senate have the overwhelming power in Sacramento. All these dollar figures are verifiable through the offices of Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich. Nevada has major illegal alien problems as well, so unless you live in a isolated bubble—your own state has been hit hard as well?

What we spend in court- enforced contributions from our payroll checks is a sad unresolved situation, where illegal immigration is concerned. Having to repeat the same tired mantra of how much is being extorted from all of us, tends to become exhausting; with no relief in sight. Perhaps by looking to leaders of the--ALL AMERICAN-TEA PARTY, of all legal persons, we can expect a different result and cure this phenomenon. That is scattering throughout the industrialized nations of the world. As a country, we must draw a line and say no more economic aliens, who are heavily attributing to the United States poverty. Our economic viability is fading away, so we should only accept winning immigrants of the highly skilled variety, not the poor that we must support with our dwindling dollars.

Don't expect your neighbor or a friend, to find a few minutes to call the political sock puppets in Washington, as you must contact them accomplished in this fiery issue, as the laws up to this point been ignored for twenty five years. President Obama for a time showed promise with a million or more deportations, but suddenly there was an ominous influence that changed his direction. Unfortunately, the law is not being followed and thousands who came here illegally, but do not carry any criminal blot on their background other than trespassing in our lands, are likely be released. Most countries, not even Mexico allow illegal entry into the country, without being tracked and perceptively be facing a felony wrap. There will be no light at the end of the tunnel, unless we make an effort to pitch the certainty of Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2885). yourself. Unless we pull together--nothing will ever be

There is an unsympathetic attack on E-Verify House bill, that must be overcome by insisting that the Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH); House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA); House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) ; House Chairman of Ways & Means Committee Dave Camp (R-MI); & Members of the Ways & Means Committee. You can insist political action on your part, if you are frustrated with the indifference to the people. Call them today as this bill is ready for a reading and must not be tabled. The Washington switchboard at 202-224-3121, will transfer you to any of these lawmakers.

One Old Vet saying, “Stand next to me and you’ll never stand alone.”

MY EARLIER BLOGS: http://brittanicus-enoughisenough.blogspot.com

Comment #16 by Dave Francis on 2011 10 08

“Colonel Brownie,”

My original comment began with a citation of a news story about how the claim that undocumented immigrants are a drain on the economy questionable at best. I am glad to see you read things carefully before sounding off with knee jerk hatred.

Here are a few more sources for you:


Comment #17 by Craig O'connor on 2011 10 08

Dave Francis -

Thank you for at least using your real name. Colonel Bowie, I am assuming, is an alias.

The links provided above explain why the FAIR and CIS reports on the costs of immigrants are not reliable. Take a look, probably won't change your mind, but who knows.

Comment #18 by Craig O'connor on 2011 10 08

I haven't lost since the Alamo..(and I'm famous for that loss)... and you give me MSNBC to validate a liberal point???? Please!
Anyway I didn't know that was connected to you and I apologize and I can't click on it and go to it..but if it's MSNBC...I won't, and you're right again...it won't change my mind...THEY do not belong in this country...they are not undocumented...THERY ARE ILLEGAL...they committed a crime to get here...but that probaably won't change your mind..." but who knows"? (Nahhhh!)
Don't assume anything either...The Colonel

Comment #19 by Colonel Bowie on 2011 10 08

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