People think town meetings in Vermont are quaint and antiquated, but they address exactly what Mr. Appiah is suggesting. People want to be heard. People come with something they want to say, that they want people in town to hear, and once they've had the chance to do that, they are much more willing to listen to others and go with the majority opinion and vote. It's hard to make town meeting good. Hard to choose a time when people can attend, to bring up subjects that really need to be discussed, to keep one local faction from overriding another. But the possibility to share with others in your community is there and very valuable. And such opportunities are shrinking in current American life.
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