Where are all the courageous leaders when we need them most?

Fri, 09/02/2022 - 1:30pm

Alan Hassenfeld is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Hasbro Toys. Jim O’Neil is a former federal prosecutor who served as Rhode Island’s Attorney General for three terms. Both endorse Sarah Morgenthau for Rhode Island’s Second Congressional seat.

There is a reason Rhode Islanders have lost faith in politicians. Many lack the integrity and courage to stand up for what is right. They are more focused on getting elected or re-elected. We are witnessing this same behavior right here on the home front. A state office holder without a compass, who jumps from one race to another to gain more power, and who misleads voters by showcasing someone else’s home in his TV ads. Another who doesn’t have the courage to take a stand on issues, and
who aligns himself with radical politicians more interested in weakening our democracy than honoring their oath to the Constitution.
What’s happened to the truth-tellers? What’s happened to courageous leadership?
When we both considered endorsing Sarah Morgenthau for Congress, a key consideration was her ability to have influence in a divisive Washington, where many Republicans vote “no” rather than come up with their own solutions. Would she have enough courage to stand-up to these road-blockers? We found our answers in Sarah’s roots and Washington track record.
Sarah comes from a family of courageous leaders. Generations of women and men who weren’t afraid to speak truth to power no matter how unpopular their view. To them, public service was not a career, but rather a mission to do the right thing for those who didn’t have a voice. We can say without reservation that Sarah inherited that same moral compass and commitment to serve.
We knew Sarah’s mom, Ruth, who ran for the same congressional seat in 1988. Ruth’s family fled from the Nazi’s grasp in war-torn Austria when she was just eight years old. She went on to advising Presidents Kennedy and Carter and served as a delegate to the United Nations. Sarah’s great-grandfather was the Ambassador to what is now Turkey under President Woodrow Wilson. He was the first to notify the President of the Armenian Genocide. Sarah’s grandfather, who served as FDR’s Treasury Secretary and another truth-teller, alerted the President of the Holocaust, courageously defying the State Department’s aggressive concealment strategy.
Politics is not for the faint of heart. How many leaders do you know who have the courage to consistently stand up for what’s in the best interest of their constituents and Americans overall, without worrying about angering a radical leader who will later endorse an opponent? How many really want to solve problems and are brave enough to put all options on the table, even controversial ones, to ensure that no stone
is left unturned?
We believe Sarah’s competitive advantage in this race stems from her extensive Washington experience. She worked in both the Obama and Biden Administrations in important policy-making roles, such as in Homeland Security, where she worked to keep our country safe. The only candidate with first-hand experience in getting things done in Washington, Sarah can add value to our state on day one. There is too much at stake in our country right now to send a purely opportunistic politician to represent us in Congress.
We have an historic opportunity to send Rhode Island’s first Democratic woman to Congress — the first! We also have the chance to send a leader who actually has the intestinal fortitude to do right by Rhode Islanders.
James O’Neil, Esq.
Narragansett and
Dodge Cemetery Road, Block Island