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Oh Happy Day In Wisconsin As Governor Tony Evers Takes Office

January 7, 2019

There were moments during the lead-up to the oath taking for Wisconsin’s new governor when the music and songs conveyed the mood of the state far more than any speech could.  I admit to getting tears when Fanfare For the Common Man, the work from American composer Aaron Copland, was played.   While the statehouse was filled with the music I reflected that an educator without harsh partisanship, but instead with a mild-mannered personality along with a keen intellect, was about to lead this state.

The inauguration of Governor Tony Evers is a balm for our state, which has been subjected to division and acrimony.  The calm, low-key style of Evers marks a contrast with his predecessor who always seemed in a hurry to climb the political ladder.  Evers understands his talents were honed for the job he now holds.  His duty and calling are to benefit those who he has now sworn to work for day and night.

Looking at Evers taking the oath left no doubt that he is the embodiment of the ethics and soundness of the Midwestern character.  Not proud or showy, but confident and practical.  He made promises to the people and was elected to office as a result.  His firmness of purpose does not require loud outbursts or slamming his hand on a podium.  His step-by-step approach with a reasoned road map, along with the backing of the citizenry, will allow for success.

For all the bombast and chaos that marks so much of our politics it is truly refreshing to see one succeed from a foundation of education.  His love for Kathy, his wife, along with a paragraph in a local news story about wanting to make sure his upcoming schedule has time for family, rounds out the picture of the man who now is governor.  He could enter any home from Ashland to Pewaukee and be at once comfortable with a cup of coffee at the supper table.

During his speech in the rotunda there were two lines that jumped out at me.  He stated that, “We must turn the page on the tired politics of the past.”  He also said, “It’s time to remake and repair our state and to reclaim our better history.”   Those beliefs were at the center of why I supported Evers in the crowded primary, and was so proud to cast a ballot for him in November.

Last October I blogged these lines.

My perspective is that we need to again have the tone and comportment in our state politics of the kind that we knew from our past.  It is vital that we correct the harsh and damaging rhetorical course that we are now on, and arc towards our commonalities.  

There are going to be mighty bumpy roads and long hours at the capitol, but there is one thing I am confident of as we go forward. The old-fashioned ideals and characteristics we want in our politicians, regardless of what party they align themselves with, or what policy ideas they espouse, are contained in our new governor.  Evers grasps the fact Wisconsin needs to move forward, solve problems, and meet in the middle to address policy deadlocks.

Being politically mature and exhibiting level-headedness may not make for flashy headlines and tweets, but soundness of judgement is just what the Wisconsin voter cast a ballot for when electing Evers.

It is indeed, as William J. Reed Community Choir from Milwaukee sang so powerfully leading up to the inauguration late Monday morning, Oh, Happy Day.

21 Comments
  1. Zoltar Speaks! permalink
    January 11, 2019 4:11 PM

    dekerivers wrote, “You have not been banned.”

    Good. My apologies for assuming you might have banned me.

    Why is it that most Progressives I come across online where we tend to disagree on certain things they always resort to vile insulting rhetoric like “go masturbate”? Give it a rest.

  2. January 11, 2019 3:38 PM

    You have not been banned. But this space is run akin to a newspaper with Letters to the Editor. There are norms of the road which are applied. You get to air your views but one does not get seven letters printed in one edition of the paper. Take a break and go masturbate and come on back.

  3. Zoltar Speaks! permalink
    January 11, 2019 2:56 PM

    dekerivers,
    If you have banned me from submitting comments, at least be man enough to tell me why.

  4. January 11, 2019 1:10 PM

    It is clear that you are not aware of the words spoken by President Ronald Reagan. Too many (for what passes as conservative today) are not guided by the traditions of the nation, or our history. Too many conservatives today are fastened to their resentments while nothing else matters.

    But what Reagan said in 1989 matters, as it is rooted in our national DNA. The words he spoke are anchored to the complete story of this nation.

    “I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

    And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was 8 years ago.But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.”

  5. Cornelius Gotchberg permalink
    January 11, 2019 8:10 AM

    ”He can help to show your lack of understanding about the idea of America.”

    Spare me the self-congratulatory clap-trap. The fact that youse envision yerself as just so gosh darn nice does little to diminish yer suffocating arrogance.

    ”There is a temptation for everyone who has made it safely to the shore of a secure nation to roll up the drawbridge and forget all those who still are needing help.”

    What nearly every Lefty intentionally fails to note is that Righties (most, not all) have no problem with LEGAL immigration. Not only that, but yer weepy argument is undermined by the preponderance of LEGAL immigrants here seem to agree.

    And lest we forget, and as yet unexplained you’s, is ALL those prominent Lefties, (to a one!) are ON RECORD as being AGAINST illegal immigration…until they got woke.

    Not unlike Hopey Changey, Hillarity, & Joltin’ Joe did on SS marriage; you know, like, when it became politically expedient.

    Youse never answered the question: Why not allow the U.S. establish reciprocity with Mexico; approach illegal immigration the same way they do.

    And you’s ever wonder why, after being offered safe haven/sanctuary in southern Mexico, the caravan chose to continue north for another dangerous ~ 1000 miles/1609.34 kms?

    And gosh, didn’t they hop RACIST fences/walls at Mexico’s southern border?

    Why yes, yes, I believe they DID hop RACIST fences/walls at Mexico’s southern border!

    Wouldn’t be because their handlers had a commitment to get them to our country so they could vote democrat, would it?

    Ah Lefty; so MUCH hypocrisy, so little time!

    The Gotch

  6. January 10, 2019 9:03 PM

    You can read the words of President Reagan’s last speech. He can help to show your lack of understanding about the idea of America. There is a temptation for everyone who has made it safely to the shore of a secure nation to roll up the drawbridge and forget all those who still are needing help. As a historian let me assure you that America was founded on the ideal of refuge. Indifference is a betrayal of our founding mission. The words on the Statue of Liberty cannot be but an empty promise if we do not follow the calling from the start of our nation.

    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.

  7. Cornelius Gotchberg permalink
    January 10, 2019 8:33 PM

    ”Compassion and humanity call us to assist these refugees.”

    Seriously…SERIOUSLY!

    OUR children are too fat, or starving to death (depending on the narrative du jour), aren’t well-educated enough, don’t get adequate health care, won’t have the life expectancy/economic opportunities of their parents.

    Speaking of the the parents: they have wage stagnation, no savings, poor job prospects, are two days away from the dole themselves, the ones that aren’t already homeless will be by the end of the month, ad infinitum ad nauseum.

    And you want the U.S. to take on mucho mas more that will need services several orders of magnitude greater?

    I’m not a math/macro-economics guy, but I learned a looooong time ago that, harsh as it appears, picking up strays isn’t a viable long-term strategy, regardless of how deftly it ramps one’s Messiah Complex endorphins and siphons off yer suffocating White Lefty Guilt.

    How much longer do you believe the leader and friend to free people and people seeking freedom can afford to continue as:

    *the world’s free haberdasher,
    *the world’s free clinic,
    *the world’s free landlord,
    *the world’s free smorgasbord,
    *the world’s free babysitter,
    *the world’s free mental health provider,
    *the world’s free jobs training/placement provider
    *the world’s free educator,
    *the world’s free transportation service,
    *the world’s free police force,
    *the world’s free disaster relief repository, etc., etc., etc.?

    And to a world that hated us long before Hope-n-Change, and of course the embodiment of the ethics and soundness of the Midwestern character delivered us from evil?

    Welp, hated us riiiiiight up until their time of need, [intermission] and incuriously commenced hating us riiiiiiiight after their empty hat had something in it.

    Free (frē)
    adverb:
    At _The_Expense_Of_Others.

    the Gotch

  8. January 10, 2019 6:57 PM

    Zoltar,

    There is no room for you to argue that the Democratic Party, or the inauguration ceremony this week in Madison, was not a far more accurate picture of our state than what Republicans show at such times.

    Only a few years ago the GOP was hammering in WI away at excluding the civil rights of gay men and women from marriage rights. Gay and transgender teenagers were an actual part of the program when Democrats were elected.

    The fear and disdain the Republicans have for people of color is obvious in your conventions, policy platforms, and over-all rhetoric. The attempt to make President Obama as something other than an American citizen was all the proof one needs to see or hear from recent history.

    The Democratic Party has been the leaders of policy changes and the needed disruptions to toxic racism in the nation. To counter such changes conservatives hold onto their resentments. Education and more earnestness in making a better life would be a more profitable undertaking for those who call themselves Republicans.

  9. January 10, 2019 6:47 PM

    Zoltar–

    First let me say Peter uses his name while you hide behind some demonic face.

    To your comment about Walker, let me underscore for you the message you seem to miss. Reading comprehension matters in my world, and you should feel the same. Walker did not represent me as my governor and did not represent other thinking or caring person. Was he elected? Yes. Did he govern in a manner to reflect the people? No.

    Let me demonstrate that point.

    Before Christmas Governor Scott Walker sent a letter to Donald Trump with a variety of issues highlighted in which he sought help from the federal government. One was a request to give Walker more authority in how many refugees could come from certain countries. The fact the letter was constructed and sent during the Holidays, and following another year of horrific images and news accounts from places like Aleppo, seemed very harsh. No one who has followed world events can not measure the need that refugees face in our world today. Walker who came from a home where his father was a pastor should not need reminding on the meaning of “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

    The anti-immigrant theme has been well documented as a major force in both European politics and the election cycle of this nation which turned logic upside down. Playing to a political base which wants to hear about closing borders and even embracing anti-Islamic messages has proven to be effective as a campaign tool. I hate to say it, but facts show what has happened.

    If Walker can not see the most human reason to open our arms to the refugees then let us talk about the cold hard bottom line. The needs of the state.

    Walker should easily see the rationale for seeking immigrants to this state as over-and-over experts speak about the worker shortage we face. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce reports that since 2010 our state looses 10,000 residents to other states and better paying jobs. As those same reports note our state is also dealing with a lower birth rate. Just compare the number of high school graduates vs. those who start kindergarten to better understand the problem we face. Our economic engine requires able workers and if we fail to provide what business needs there will be even more reason for firms to move away.

    If Walker does not desire to have refugees reside in our state and participate in our economy then he has a duty to make sure the policies that create refugees are reconsidered. Therefore, might we also see a letter from the governor to his president about the oligarchs in Central America who deny their people democracy? Might we read of his feelings about repressive violence from despots who the US supports which leads to refugees? Does Walker now realize there are huge international consequences to actions such as the willful invasion of Iraq which created in large measure the recent surge of refugees from the region?

    Compassion and humanity call us to assist these refugees.

  10. Cornelius Gotchberg permalink
    January 10, 2019 6:23 PM

    Curious; was Diamond Deficit Doyle the embodiment of the ethics and soundness of the Midwestern character when he looted the Patient Compensation Fund of $200 million?

    The Gotch

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