Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Watch for the Will O' the Wisps on Your Right and Then Veer Right Off the Deep End

Folktales are full of apparitions and fuzzy specters that hover between fantasy and reality. It looks like District 5 School Board candidate Kay Brooks has written her own folktale over on her blog today about some nebulous "they" in the netherworld trying to "silence" her and to "deny" her "full partnership" in holding the MNPS accountable to the taxpayers. She is never really specific about whom the "they" is, so we do not really know whose feet she wants to "hold to the fire."

She cuts and pastes quotes from her opponent, Gracie Porter, and from her predecessor, Lisa Hunt, both of whom agree that every citizen in Nashville is vested in and ought to influence public school policy. But no one but Kay Brooks herself has ever tried to stop Kay Brooks from participating in the process. Until Michael Craddock came along, other than voting and paying taxes, she opted entirely out of the public schools; not just pulling her children out, but also choosing not to exercise leadership in some capacity in our local public school culture. That was her decision, and it cost her valuable experience to fall back on in her campaign. But while voting and paying taxes do guarantee one representation in the debate, they do not in and of themselves entitle any individual to take the representative's seat. Otherwise, like some monstrous game of musical chairs, we would all be diving for that one seat. A candidate for the seat has to show herself capable and worthy to the voters in the district in order to be granted the privilege of serving those voters. Michael Craddock only has so much power over a district not his own.

So, I do not know where Kay gets the idea that full partnership equals entitlement to an empty School Board seat absent the decision of the voters of District 5. And I do not know why she concludes that someone out there is attempting to silence her. I am fairly sure, though, that jumping to those conclusions will do nothing to extend her public service past the August election. Voters are more interested in what the candidates pragmatically intend to do and they are less interested in allusions to monolithic conspiracies directed at specific candidates. While the latter may gain sympathies, only the former gains votes.

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