The Student and the Teacher

As I’ve intermittently mentioned during my time at America’s Right, in addition to my duties as an administrator for an all-boys’ Catholic college preparatory high school, I’m also one of its baseball coaches. That is where this story begins.

About fifteen years ago, a sophomore at our school, Travis Rowley, was one of the young men talented enough to make the cut for our varsity baseball team (no small feat, I might add, if you know our baseball program – Rocco Baldelli has passed through our halls, as has Evan Marzilli, who as a Freshman at South Carolina, recently played an integral role in leading the Gamecocks to the national title. That should make Jeff all warm and fuzzy). Given that Travis was only a sophomore, it was more likely than not that he wouldn’t see a lot of playing time for the big club; hence, he was occasionally sent down to practice and play with the junior varsity – for me.

In a previous piece here on the site, I referenced the wrong-headedness of pre-judging anyone. I had been told by various people that Travis was a prima donna, thought the world of himself, yada, yada yada….foolishly, I believed them without ever having taken the chance to get to know him myself. All I can recall is that first moment when I perceived him to be dogging it on the field and my opening all barrels on him. He looked at me like I had two heads. Suffice it to say, the varsity coach kept him away from me for the rest of the season.

Fast-forward two years, and Travis Rowley is sitting in front of me in one of my sections of English IV-British Literaure, Honors. Given that he was a good student, I decided to just play it professionally with him and not to make judgments. What I learned that year was that Travis was one of the nicest, most respectful and intelligent kids that I have ever had in class, right down to this day. By the end of that school year, he and I were exchanging Braveheart quotes as we passed one another in the hallway (there’s a shock) and were on our way to a great friendship. Even more revealing about his character was when, just before he graduated, I took him aside and apologized for the incident two years earlier, essentially telling him that I had no right to have lit into him the way that I had. His response? Well, he merely said that he didn’t even remember it (I still can’t see how that could be) and that he probably deserved it.

Travis went on to a fantastic academic and athletic career at Brown University, where both he and his older brother Kyle starred for the football team (Kyle is still active in Arena football, in which he is one of the all-time leading quarterbacks). A funny thing happened while Travis was at Brown, however; he began to see that every value that he had learned growing up, and in many ways even himself as an individual, were on trial at Brown. After all, Travis was white, athletic, intelligent, and Catholic, which made him damn near the undead on campus. His experiences led him to write a book entitled, Out of Ivy:How a Liberal Ivy Created a Committed Conservative. Once I heard that my former student had written a book, I quickly got my hands on a copy and read it.

I’ll be honest and up-front here: it is at this point that Travis and I switched roles, as his exposition of the shocking and degrading nature of many of the things that take place at Brown University opened my eyes to exactly the things that I was beginning to see in American society. As I began to become more immersed in politics, particularly when Barack Obama began to campaign for the presidency, I began keeping notes with regard to many of my own thoughts, which eventually became a book of my own. So, in many ways, I owe Travis a debt of gratitude in opening my own eyes as to the nature of what’s happening to our country.

Travis is now the chairman of the Rhode Island chapter of the Young Republicans, a group that is doing some incredible work in trying to untie the Democratic knots that have held this state hostage for decades. He also fills in on the politically-conservative Helen Glover show on 920 WHJJ in Providence from time to time (to which you can listen on the Internet). His latest major endeavor is the release of his next written work, entitled The Rhode Island Republican. It’s a fantastic look at not only what the political Left has done to Rhode Island but also an explanation of exactly the nature of the national threat represented from those diligently working on the far-left.

Travis has an open invitation to contribute here at America’s Right, as he brings an awful lot to the table. At the bottom of the piece is a link to his website, in the event that anyone might be interested in either purchasing his latest work or contributing to the Rhode Island Young Republicans, as every dollar helps their efforts. If Rhode Island can be saved, any state can. Personally, I can think of no better circumstance in 2012 if those four electoral votes are the ones that drive a stake through the heart of socialism in this country once and for all.

That said, I present Travis Rowley.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Last year, a column of mine that appeared in the Providence Journal began with this sentence: “Rhode Island’s problems begin with unions and Democrats.” Three weeks ago, I released a short election-year book for Rhode Islanders that expounds upon that sentiment, and begins with this: “The only thing that can save the State of Rhode Island is the RIGOP – The RI Republican Party.”

To many, this is a shocking assertion to be made within the most solidly Democratic state in the country, where Republicans hold only ten seats within a legislature made up of 113 elected officials.

Within a book that espouses conservative principles and condemns the entire RI Democrat Party, I call for members of the RI Tea Party and other traditional-minded people to “face political reality, not by embracing the RIGOP, but by claiming it as their own.” The Republican brand, albeit tarnished, is one of patriotism and conservatism. Tea Partiers should sharpen and build upon that reputation. Make the RIGOP live up to its creed by taking it over. Stop pointing to past failures and start affecting the future. This has been my mantra.

Over the past year-and-a-half many people have responded favorably to this message and have entered the RI Republican Party. Still, many others defiantly ask, “Well, why not just take over both parties?” They also insist, “Both parties are the same!”  To these people I flash a copy of my new book, The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left. It is a short, straight-forward, and informative piece that will certainly horrify most of Rhode Island’s old-school Democratic voters, as it unveils the radical actors who have taken control of the party in power. The RI Democrat Party has evolved over the years into a despicable organization made up of liberals, progressive activists, radical socialists, union and community organizers, race hustlers, and anti-Americans.  Oh, yeah – and a handful of ineffectual conservatives.

While exposing all of these characters, The RI Republican also reveals the wirings of the RI Democrat Party, proving that it is funded and controlled by the worst members of the Rhode Island Left – an unethical band of progressives who will not allow common-sense conservatism to gain footing within the party they have worked so hard to conquer.The RI Democrat Party, therefore, must be defeated. Not bargained with, but “[shot] dead like Old Yeller” (The RI Republican).

Ocean State taxpayers must understand the nature of the political forces they are up against. So The RI Republican takes its readers through a dissection of the leftist mind and morals, exposing not only the true Democratic agenda but the political gall and prowess that have enabled Democrats to dupe Rhode Islanders into supporting candidates who actually aim to destroy individualism, redistribute wealth, and bankrupt the state – politicians with no allegiance to liberty or any reverence for the nation’s founding principles. Through the purposeful implementation of an expansive welfare state, the steady establishment of public sector unions, and the shameless manipulation of the state’s minority community, Democrats have been incrementally socializing the Ocean State for decades.

Rhode Island now suffers from an extension of what ails Europe and most inner cities – socialism justified by an entitlement mentality. Absent a two-party system, all Rhode Islanders have been force-fed the same vile indoctrination that Democrats deliver to the minority population – you’re a victim, and Democrats will take care of you. Only the perpetrator changes when speaking to middle-class whites. Minorities are victimized by Republican racists, but whites are “oppressed by CEOs and corporate elites – the capitalist system itself”(The RI Republican). In other words, minorities need Democrats to raise taxes in order to redistribute wealth into Providence neighborhoods, and whites need Democrats to raise taxes in order to protect them from rich people. Race politics. Union class-warfare politics. Both are highly effective. Both are Democratic lies.

Not just Providence, but the entire State of Rhode Island is now suffering the devastation that results from progressive government. A state well-known for its atrocious economy is now known for its inability to rectify the situation. Democrats will not lower state taxes, will not slash government spending, and will not balance the state budget. They are a party of cowards and nincompoops, “strictly beholden to radical progressives and unrelenting special interests” (The RI Republican).

The larger message of The RI Republican is one that reaches beyond state borders and serves as a flare to other states. Rhode Islanders are currently enduring the lessons of tyranny and radicalism. We didn’t listen to the Founders’ wisdom and warnings. We allowed our state to be taken over by a political ruling class called the RI Democrat Party, foolishly under the impression that democracy could save us if things ever got too bad.

But what are the chances, within a state whose citizens have become so highly dependent on government, that a team of serious small-government reformers will be elected to initiate what must be done? Indeed, many Rhode Islanders believe their home state is a lost cause and have already packed up and moved elsewhere.

If Rhode Island is salvageable, however, it will take the election of a team of conservative Republicans who are unafraid to propose and enact the necessary reforms – people who don’t care if they are disinvited to the Democrats’ dinner parties.

And it will feel like war, as the entrenched ruling class watches their kingdom come under siege.

As I indicated at the beginning of the piece, Travis is the Chairman of the RI Young Republicans ( The Young Republicans are always looking for donations, as every dollar helps the phenomenal efforts they’ve been making to this point. The more important initiative relative to this article, however, is that Travis and many members of these common-sense, conservative activists plan to physically canvas the state and drop copies of his pamphlet off to as many homes as they can before election day – an incredibly committed endeavor. Should any of our readers be interested, copies of Travis’s book – which I’ve read, cover-to-cover, and trust me, is an incredible read – can be purchased at All proceeds are directed exclusively toward printing further copies of his work.

In many ways, Travis’s work is reminiscent of the revolutionary pamphlets of some two centuries ago. It might just be me, but I don’t think there are many common-sense people who would argue the point that we are, indeed, living in revolutionary times.



  1. whats_up says:

    Excellent, the more people that get involved in electing our Reps and Senators the better off we are. Everyone should have a civic life, regardless of beliefs. While I may not agree with everything Travis says, I am thankful that he is getting involved. That is the greatness of America, the people can effect change.

  2. Boston Blackie says:

    John, I hope you know that you had something to do with molding this young man and you should be proud of that. This is more proof that teachers do make impressions on their students. Another reason I don’t want most teachers today anywhere near my kid.

Speak Your Mind