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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Teaching and Knowledge

For John, BLUFNot all opinions are equal.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Dracut Town Moderator Leo Gaudette took Host George Anthes to task on City Life Friday morning for commenting on Town Meetings without having attended a Town Meeting.

It seemed a little snarky.  Professor Anthes teaches Government at UMass Lowell.  I am willing to bet dollars to donuts (I wonder if that is still a good ratio, as it was when I was young) that Professor Anthes hasn't "experienced" everything he teaches.  What about County Government?  At one time Professor Anthes was part of County Government, but in this day and age a young professor might have never experienced County Government here in Eastern Massachusetts, but I would expect him or her to educate students about it.

If direct experience were required to comment, few would be able to speak.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

Craig H said...

I don't know the circumstances well enough to have an informed opinion on the specific matter described in the original post. However, I will agree with the general opinion that those never having participated in a Town Meeting style government are poorly qualified to offer opinions about it, regardless of their experience and education--ESPECIALLY if that experience and education are in other forms of municipal government. The role and power of the Moderator is just the tip of the iceberg of potential ignorance "city" and even county government experts will, in my experience, always poorly understand.

A point that direct experience should never be required as a prerequisite for speaking is fair enough. However, to suggest that education about, and exposure to the world of *representative* democracy might yield useful insight into the machinations of raw capital-D Democracy in its literal form is a hopeful reach at best. When you compound that possible mistake with the necessary truth that Democracy is always, by definition, local, (and, hence, poorly perceived by any outsider), it is easy for me to see why someone from a Dracut Town Meeting would feel compelled to admonish someone from a Lowell brick tower that their ignorance might be showing.