The Problem With Our Politics

Former Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz writes a very compelling article for Isthmus about the nature of today’s politics.

When having an opprotunity to chat with a candidate I always remark in spite of the heat of a race not to fail at having some fun.

Politics, after all, can be fun.  Should be fun.

But there seems nothing fun for any of those running for office this fall, and that is harmful to the process, both in terms of the candidates who put their name on the ballot to the voters who need to endure the slugfest.

What’s missing from these debates is any sense of the fun of politics, the clash of ideas, the mixing it up with your opponent over honest disagreement on the issues. The jab followed by a gleam in one candidate’s eye as if to say, I can take as good as I get, so give me your best shot. A debate between intelligent people who have a sense of humor and love the fight can be enlightening and even entertaining.

We don’t have to hate each other when we disagree about issues.



3 thoughts on “The Problem With Our Politics

  1. “Politics, after all, can be fun. Should be fun.” That being the case, why do you react so badly at times over what could be fun?? Cartoons, etc. and PLEASE – don’t throw out the race card – you’ve about worn that one out…

  2. When you send birther cartoons steeped in racism they are not fun, and really rather base. So yeah they are tossed, as it is not fun or funny.

    It is fun however in politics to recall ‘the boys on the bus’ or chat with those who crunch their way through the snows of New Hampshire seeking votes. It is fun to attend political conventions and feel the energy all around. It is fun for James and myself to make food and have folks over for debates or Election Night and watch as the polls close and votes counted.

    Politics can be very fun, and since 1984 I have been enjoying it at one level or another. Before that and since I have been a constant reader of history, and love the images from our past.

    On Election Night 1860 Lincoln spent part of his night in the telegraph office with legs stretched out near the lone stove wating for word from the states he needed to win to gain the White House.

    Then there was RN who after winning in 1972 closed himself off in a room in the White House to be alone while listening to the heroic strains of “Victory at Sea”.

    These are the things that make politics fun.

    Hope that clears up the difference.

  3. Solly

    Dekels, If you were going to expend your energy on keystrokes on this issue, I wish you would have featured Bob Dole’s statement on George McGovern’s passing, rather than Mayor Dave’s blatherings. Mayor Dave, who dissed them that brung him to the dance (Progressive Dane – and I’m not a member) once he was safely re-elected and trying to curry favor with the bidness community looking toward 2011. Citizen Dave, who when he worked at the capitol, would walk over you rather than say hello, unless he needed something from you. Here’s the Dole quote from the Washington Post on George McGovern, who he worked with across the aisle on the food stamp and student lunch programs: “He was a proud and unapologetic liberal Democrat and I am a lifelong Republican. As chairman of the Republican Party, I did what I could to ensure the defeat of his 1972 run for the White House. When the election was over, however, George and I knew that we couldn’t keep on campaigning forever. We also knew that what we had in common was far more important than our different political philosophies.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s