10/30/09

A Year from Now, Will Rhode Islanders Vote Yes on State Name Change?

So the RI General Assembly has passed a law calling for a 2010 referendum on a state name change, dropping "plantations" from the official name. It will be interesting to see what the vote result will be. Rhode Islanders are a traditional lot and aren't that especially eager to embrace change - if they did we wouldn't still have a Democratic controlled legislature despite its obvious failings. I may be proved wrong come next November, but I think most Rhode Islanders will reject the revisionism that's at the heart of the name change and, in a related way, the assaults on Christopher Columbus and now Roger Williams.

Revisionism may be close to the bleeding heart strings of liberals, academics, and affected minorities (understandably for them) but not to the state's established rank and file. Of course, as the state's demographic base changes issues like these have greater impact than they would have had 20 years ago, so anything's possible - if the newer arrivals actually get out and vote.