Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Why do I allow anonymous postings on this blog? It’s a question that comes up from time to time.
1) If I “allowed” only posts from people who identify themselves, it would be nearly impossible to ensure that the identities are genuine. So, from a practical standpoint, it’s not doable and, besides, it would put a chokehold on the number of blog participants.
2) Anonymous posters often bring information to a discussion that would otherwise never see the light of day.
The tone of the conversations does get more aggressive when people post anonymously. No question about that. Just keep in mind that it’s a two-way street. As an anonymous poster, one tends to go after other posters and public personalities in a no-holds-barred way. That’s fine, but if I respond to you in an equally aggressive manner, don’t act like you’re insulted, embarrassed, or that you have your feelings hurt. What’s good for the goose…
I also am criticized from time to time about even running a blog as an elected official. I’m told that, as a state rep, I should never inject myself into local issues (pay-as-you-throw is a perfect example). I might make someone mad and lose a vote. Two points come to mind when I hear these arguments:
1) I am intensely interested in local issues, whether or not they are linked to my service as a state representative. As a former selectman, am I supposed to turn away from the issues that drew me into the political arena in the first place? For better or worse, you’ll see me continuing to comment on local issues, offer advice to our local boards, attend town meetings, and hold signs for candidates who I believe in.
2) It is key for me to stay connected with people in my district. This blog is a part of that. Can the blog be used by a potential opponent to dig up things that might help them in a race against me? Sure. But, for me, the position of state rep does not define who I am. I work very hard at the job. I love handling constituent issues. At the same time, I see myself as a husband, dad, accountant, small business owner, musician, amateur humorist—not as a
Beacon politician. Whether or not my approach to being a state rep is a good one will be borne out at the polls on the first Tuesday in November next year. Hill
So now I invite all of the anonymous posters to take me on, but don’t get your dander fluffed up when I come right back at you.