Raising The Bar

Published by the Wake Up Tucson Blog, 11/18/2011:

I will start by saying I do not know Phil Lopes.535af4b96e847.image

However, he made a series of statements this last week (unusual in their clarity as examples)  that I would like to address due to their implications regarding the level of discourse and understanding in our fair Pueblo.

In case you are not familiar, Mr. Lopes is a long time Arizona activist, a founding staff member of Pima Community College, a former senior manager at the AZ Dept. of Health, a state legislator and the current coordinator of the Tucson Chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America a “group of left-leaning Democrats, Independents, and Greens who work… for progressive change.” (PDA Tucson website).

Those roles have placed Mr. Lopes in the group of what, in our city, passes for “Public Intellectuals”.  This group includes political party leaders, any number of media personalities, some members of the university, and a few participants from the business, religious, non-profit communities and others.

“Public Intellectuals”, as a vocation, can be defined as the entrepreneurial class within any community’s market of ideas.  And as with all entrepreneurs they are constantly competing for customers.  However, unlike those in the business world aiming for dollars or other measures of growth, entrepreneurs in the political and thought arenas are competing for ears and minds.  They count their success not in financial terms but in how many people they can get parroting their beliefs and the level of influence of those who echo their thinking.

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