Bakst’s Worthy Question

Charles Bakst presents a question that he thinks the governor ought to ask himself, and although my way of answering it mightn’t be what Bakst expects, I think it’s a worthy consideration:

I said Carcieri would say he wasn’t calling them bad people, only that they’d made bad decisions. [URI Feinstein hunger center director Kathleen Gorman] said, “Point to me the first person who never made a bad decision in their life. I think he is calling them bad people.” She termed him “very mean spirited.”
I prefer not to think of Carcieri that way. He certainly doesn’t think of himself that way. But if I were he, I’d ask myself: “What am I saying that’s coming across wrong? How can I demonstrate I really do care?”

Bakst’s first question is both silly and a bit of a trap. It’s not Carcieri’s presentation so much as his conclusions and beliefs that are branding him. My suggestion is that he could both prove his sincerity and highlight the inadequacy of the expected “I really do care” answer from the usual suspects by making room in his schedule for explaining his beliefs directly to the kids and adults most dramatically affected by his conclusions.
How does he demonstrate that he really cares? By speaking truth to powerless, thereby giving them more power — in the form of confidence — to make better decisions.

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16 years ago

Carcieri spent part of his life living in the slums of a third world country attempting to help those who are truly poor.
By contrast, Gorman receives a healthy salary as a professor at a taxpayer-funded institution where she studies the poor.
So who has more credibility?
Also, what is it with the Hunger Center at URI and the Poverty Center at RIC? Is it really the job of state-funded institutions to house tax-exempt entities that seem to exist solely to lobby for additional taxpayer funding?
For once, I’d like to see a researcher from RIC or URI make the news for something like, oh maybe discovering the cure for a disease instead of “discovering” that the state shouldn’t cut social programs.

16 years ago

“instead of “discovering” that the state shouldn’t cut social programs.”

16 years ago

These institutes should be removed from any state propoerty and funding.

16 years ago

I almost lost my breakfast when I read Bakst yesterday. Is Gorman the most we can expect from our university? Ask her this: Have the people in our state prisons made bad decisions? Are they all bad people? Is Gorman able to differentiate between the two? Good people make bad decisions all the time.
It are the consequences of our mistakes that teach us most. Calling those who point out the bad decisions “mean-spirited” is childlike. Bakst’s lack of integrity as a journalist was made clear when he allowed her to say this without any follow up.

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