Editorial: Choose decency, decorum

Posted 7/7/21

The notion that no one in elected or appointed government is above reproach is a foundational principle of our nation, a key aspect in our First Amendment right to speak openly and candidly as well …

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Editorial: Choose decency, decorum

Posted

The notion that no one in elected or appointed government is above reproach is a foundational principle of our nation, a key aspect in our First Amendment right to speak openly and candidly as well as, we should add, a crucial component of having a free press.

Questioning those who have been granted authority is fundamental to how we regulate ourselves in this country, and is elemental to our concept of “community.”

Those who seek office of either kind should understand those ideas better than most, albeit sometimes they fail to grasp the significance or the potential repercussions their words and actions from the seats of which they sit carry.

In addition, those in residence who, correctly, use their voices in affirmation or opposition to someone or something also need to recognize if their commentary, likewise, is to be taken as meaningful or be considered serious it must have some basis in reality.

As any of the aforementioned pertains to current events, it resonates with the ongoing Metacomet saga in East Providence.

Too many people are being dragged either inappropriately or incorrectly as emotions have taken over factual arguments. And some of those who have entered into the conversation are either knowingly or unknowingly not always speaking the truth.

There are enough “bad actors” in the city, past and present, who deserve some level of ridicule for events that have or could take place here. That the members of the Waterfront Commission and, now, Planning Board are the targets at the moment due to the Metacomet matter make neither common nor literal sense.

Sure, of their own volition, they have taken on these positions of much authority and their renderings on Metacomet will undoubtedly have a commensurate affect on a large portion of the city. At some level, they are public figures and their moves, rightfully, deserve ample scrutiny. However, simply casting aspersions about their motives to fit a certain narrative are, in and of themselves, untoward and, highly likely, underserved.

Which is a shame because those who are against any type of plan to redevelop Metacomet have valid points to raise. Many have done so cogently, but others haven’t and whether or not they realize it they’re hurting the cause of the rest who have the best of intentions.

When all of this is said and done, and that still won’t be for a long period of time yet, one faction will undoubtedly feel aggrieved. It is a natural reaction.

However as this situation unfolds, wouldn’t it be nice if everyone involved could reflect upon their participation as having been done so with decency and decorum?

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Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.