September 24, 2007

Bowling Alone

In 2000, author Robert Putnam penned a book Bowling Alone, that bemoaned the decline of "social capital" in America--mostly referring to the lack of civic and community participation. To me, the decline of Civitan Clubs, Key Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis, Jaycees, Elks Lodges, Mooses Lodges, and all the rest is clear.

In his 1958 bid for state rep, Chiles got little press. He got an article in the Lakeland Ledger when he filed, an article for this speech at the Civitan Club of Winter Haven, and of course a mention in an editorial when he actually won. Then the Ledger eased up and wrote a nice profile on Rhea Chiles and her impact on the campaign.

I don't think there is any doubt now, with the internet and television, that the road to political office no longer goes through the Rotary Club. I wonder if its bad or good.

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