October 24, 2018
To the Editor:
Several weeks ago, I met Jay Gonzalez, the Democratic candidate for governor in next month’s election, at a fundraising breakfast and I was struck by how impressive, experienced, and empathetic he was, and how spot on his vision is for addressing our Commonwealth’s housing, education, and transportation infrastructure issues. I told him that when I was asked to help organize this particular fundraiser, I had said no, adding that although I did not vote for Gov. Baker in the last gubernatorial election, I like him personally and I have a conviction that it’s important to support a Republican when I can. I had to admit, though, I told Gonzalez, that Baker has accomplished little in his years as governor, and he doesn’t offer much vision for the future.
Over the months after I declined to help organize the Gonzalez event, the continuing deterioration of our nation’s public discourse has weakened my bi-partisan conviction. Baker’s carefully quiet denunciation of only some of the worst Trump excesses while at the same time he is endorsing Geoff Diehl, an avid Trump advocate, in his senatorial campaign against Sen. Elizabeth Warren, tried my conviction even more. Finally, the events surrounding the Kavanaugh confirmation, and Baker’s stumbling response in the recent debate to Gonzalez’s question – “Do you intend to vote for Diehl?” – have shredded that conviction.
The Gonzalez for Governor sticker went on the car last weekend, and the yard sign will go up in the front garden as soon as we get it. I urge my fellow “It’s good to support moderate Republicans when we can” liberal-leaning voters who plan to vote for Baker to reconsider. This is not the time to send a message of moderation, when the Republicans appear completely deaf to it, and likely misread it as weakness.
I believe a better message is this: Actions have consequences, and given where this nation can go with a Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and a Diehl in the US Senate as a rubber stamp for Trump, it’s important to shore up our Commonwealth as a leading example of a better way to govern. Gonzalez can do that, but Baker has not, and will not.
Donald E. Vaughan
Ashmont Hill, Dorchester