A New Hobby? Just Do Your Job! ~ (Dracut)

By: Philippe Thibault – 3-23

I have had several people approach me over the past few years in Dracut to “pick my brain” prior to running for office. I am more than willing to sit down with anyone over a cup of coffee to engage on the topic of local government. Coffee is generally the main motivation, but government is a close second. One such person asked me “how do I win in Dracut?” I asked if that was a rhetorical question because I have never garnered that prize as a candidate. My interviewer did go to win against a longtime politician, astounding many people. My short response to the question was “the hell if I know.”

I still get called a politician by many, including family members. I refute the moniker. I am a better committeeman than a politician. Committeemen are those who do the work, politicians are those who take the credit. Dracut has far too many politicians, one sits as the Chair of the Board of Selectmen.

Alison Genest may be listed by Getty Images as a stock photograph for ribbon cuttings. This would be fine if her job were that of a media consultant, in public relations, or as an influencer. Honestly when did “influencer” become a profession? But if there is a ribbon to be cut, you know that Genest will be sauntering about the crowd making proclamations of the wonderful job she is doing.

The town’s finances are the best ever (thanks to CARES Act money of some nine million dollars) and new businesses are opening (after COVID 19 shut them all down). Maestro, please queue Lesley Gore’s Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows. Now I am not dumping on the Town of Dracut. I will put it up against any other community as a beautiful place to live. As a lifelong resident, I continue to be active at all levels of community involvement.

There are twenty-four hours in a day, and I like to fill them. My point is that it is the committeemen that have done more to make the community as wonderful as it is. The politicians are only there to collect glory. Try to get Genest to attend a meeting if she is not the chair of the committee. For that matter she has cancelled and postponed meetings that she could not attend in a desire to maintain her power. There are certain criteria that must be maintained, one of which is no heavy lifting and another of no sharing.

The persecutions of her husband’s writings are another abhorrent feature of this political tag team. He labors over his writings for the demise of others. He has never learned the difference between critiquing and criticizing. The former being used for improvement and the latter for destruction. He may claim to be a First Amendment proponent, but it is his first amendment rights that concerns him, not yours. The governmental philosophy of this man is nothing more than that of a political contrarian. He is a Monday morning quarterback as he makes commentary on committeemen to score points for the politicians.

Teddy Roosevelt said it best in his “Man in the Arena” speech in 1910:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Everyone should be recognized for the effort they put into life’s arena. Some are more visible in their battles than others. I have always been more comfortable in the wings. I will start a new hobby of being more expressive. I wonder if the politicians will start doing their jobs. ◊