I'm not sure if I was living in Kansas City or Washington, but I do remember the first time I heard Tommy Thompson interviewed on TV. I had been away from my native Wisconsin for quite a few years and had lost touch with the happenings in the state. So, when I heard that the governor of the State of Wisconsin was about to be interviewed, I became very focused on listening. I was prepared to be proud. Instead I was flabberghasted! Almost immediately I thought to myself, "Oh my, the people of Wisconsin have made a terrible mistake and will correct it in the next election." Little did I know that Thompson would be elected over and over to that office. Thompson always struck me as a guy with little intellect, easily compromised principles, and there were always whispers of his womanizing and intimate sideline activities. But the media seemed to give him a free pass.
Tommy Thompson is not alone in being the governor with little aptitude and littler principles. He has had lots of company. I continue to be amazed at the very low quality of people who run for governor here. Is this the best we can do? How did we slide so far from the wonderful politicians of the past: LaFollette? Victor Berger? Frank Zeidler, Gaylord Nelson?
This comes to the forefront as I review the men currently considering a run for governor in the next election. We have a governor, Jim Doyle, who is uninspiring and cannot lead from a position of popular swing to his Democrat Party? Then Mark Neuman came forward. This is the same man who publicly proclaimed that he would never higher a gay person on his staff. And then there's Scott Walker whose total dynamic is being against taxes. That's some field.
We deserve better. It is our own fault. We listen to pundits and commentators who either have a strong political bent or don't know what they are talking about. It further amazes me how an educated public as we have in Wisconsin, supposedly, falls for the inadequacies of its political office-seekers and the media that fails miserably in reporting about them. There is a terrible void in leadership here.
Somehow, some way we must let our voice be heard. We must assertively say that we expect much, much more from the roster of candidates for all offices, and especially governor. The complexities of the governor's office cannot be filled with shallow, myth-driven, one-issue, insensitive, ambition-only, uninspiring candidates. Gay-bashing or no-taxes or selling out to corpoate influence should be seen as anathema to good government.
"The more ignorant the authority, the more dogmatic it is. In the fields where no real knowledge is even possible, the authorities are fiercest and most assured and punish non-belief with the severest penalties." -Abraham Myerson
"The government of the United States is not in any sense founded upon the Christian religion." -John Adams [yes, THAT John Adams]
"The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need done, but cannot do at all in their separate and individual capacities." -Abraham Lincoln