Stay the course with Deval Patrick

By Mike Fox

Courtesy Flickr/Steve Garfield;

What ever happened to facts? I know politics have long been derided for lying and deceitful action, but for awhile at least, people accepted reality and made judgments based on it. If something works, it works. If someone does their job successfully, they did their job successfully. Sure, statistics can be massaged, but at a certain point, there is an unquestionable reality. Former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan put it simply, “Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.”      

Through a perfect maelstrom of discontent, frustration, media manipulation and preying on people’s emotions, Republican candidates around the country have convinced people to ignore facts and accept conjecture or even outright opinion as reality. For example, if a conservative pundit says Democratic politician is failing at his job because the ideals of the Democratic Party are doomed to fail. Suddenly, people just start believing this without any real evidence.

Here in Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray have performed an incredible job surrounded by circumstances which have plagued elected officials across our country. We are growing up under the specter of one of the worse economic crises in United States history, due to no small part of the previous Republican presidential administration, but Massachusetts has persisted through it with incredible results.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released data showing that Massachusetts is leading the nation in job growth. Let me repeat that: We are leading the nation in job growth. Nearly 65 thousand jobs have been added to the state’s economy since December 2009.

A recent University of Massachusetts report stated that the Massachusetts economy is growing at a rate twice the rest of the nation. And we’re supposed to believe that the Patrick administration is failing at managing our state during this crisis. It seems pretty damn obvious that they’re doing one of the best jobs in the country and considering the circumstances; I will take the best job over with something working then hollow anti-incumbent rhetoric that is simply trying to capitalize on popular sentiment.

Outside of basic economic indicators, Governor Patrick’s record speaks for itself. Criminal Record Offender Information, or CORI, reforms have made it easier for people to move on in life and rehabilitate from past mistakes. People who need jobs, who need stability, now have a better chance at being welcomed back into society. This shows a level of compassion and understanding of the circumstances of individuals rarely shown today by elected officials. This is real change.

Massachusetts’ K-12 programs were among the top-rated in the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top Program.” The program awarded grants to states whose students performed the best and were able to meet core curriculum guidelines chosen to measures attainment of practical skills and deeper academic knowledge. With questions over the effectiveness of public education brewing through the attention to the documentary “Waiting for Superman” among other pressing studies, Massachusetts has shown the nation that it is a leader and provides a working model. Not to say the fact that a commitment to public education is essential for building a stable future.

People are moving back into the state and higher proportions of students are staying in Massachusetts, not leaving “Taxachusetts.” The Patrick administration has figured out how to use state money wisely and effectively to make Massachusetts thrive and be a place to live. Considering that while I was growing up, our state had a reputation for a population in exile and businesses fleeing for all other points, the facts again speak for themselves. Not to mention, Deval Patrick has been the first Democratic governor since Michael Dukakis in 1990 and suddenly the state’s economy is working. And it hasn’t been through cuts, it has been through responsible and deliberate leadership.

A while ago I realized that if I were to run for office against someone doing their job well, it would demonstrate a certain selfishness or at least egotism. I do not doubt that Charlie Baker is an intelligent and capable man, but the question stands that what kind of doublethink must be employed to ignore clear signs of success and call someone a failure simply for their beliefs.

Even though I consider myself liberal and I am a registered Democrat, I understand that conservative ideals have as much of a place in society as liberal ones. They can act as an effective check when governance becomes too radical and starts hurting those being governed. These are difficult times, but Governor Patrick’s actions are doing nothing but helping the people of our state as much as possible.

Halfway through my last fall semester of college, I am a bit afraid of the world I am graduating into. So much of the country is suffering and change seems a little bit more difficult and something needing real work and progress now, not just hanging a poster or decrying beliefs. Income disparity is growing, luxuries are fading, and intelligent choice is becoming more and more of a necessity over actions that bring emotional fulfillment but no real results.

When all signs point to Massachusetts persevering better than almost all states, credit is due where credit is due. Governor Deval Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, and the rest of their administration have and are providing us with the leadership to make the future more secure each day.

Michael Fox is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]