Politics is at its best when viewed as the art of the possible. Making policies that open doors to future growth, opportunities, and expanded horizons is really what politicians should aspire to do when given the chance. It is what citizens desire to hear, and how they wish to be led.
When President Kennedy made it the nation’s cause to have a man land on the moon he pointed in the direction that our country should always face.
Onwards and upwards.
The people responded to JFK’s challenge, and the space story remains one of our brightest moments as a country. The countless products and businesses that flowed from the decision to go to the moon impacted the nation in ways that can never be fully told.
When the opposite happens, and politicians shy away from bold ideas it not only makes them look small, it makes the public feel defeated. Such was the case today for the State of Wisconsin when the funds for high-speed rail were removed by the federal government.
The federal action took place because Governor- elect Scott Walker, a man who never finished college, and only was a “C” student at Marquette, wrongly concluded that trains are somehow a drain on society.
The action taken by the federal government resulted from Walker’s limited understanding about Wisconsin’s need for high-speed rail. His political gimmick against the train for the campaign worked in getting him elected. Sadly there was no way to move past his own rhetoric to insure that the greater needs of the state, both now and into the future, would prevail on this issue once we won office.
It is only proper that the administration of President Obama remove the funds for high-speed rail from Wisconsin and give them to others who are more in tune with the potential good that rail provides.
Illinois is such a state where train service is appreciated and understood. Their economy needs the help, and unemployed people south of our state’s border will be most appreciative that Wisconsin’s new governor is looking out for their needs.
I only wish Scott Walker had thought about the needs of Wisconsin first.
That perhaps as many as 5,000 people who could have been working at various stages of the construction project will remain unemployed makes me think Walker’s campaign promise of job creation was nothing more than a political gimmick. Future growth and expansion of business and tourism that would have resulted from this high-speed train in our state has now been ruined by someone who has not even been sworn into office. All this makes me fear what will happen when Walker has real power come January!
There are times to play to the base of the party to sway voters and incite them with red-meat rhetoric. That is what, one can argue, elections are for. Walker clearly did with the train issue this fall to win office. But once elections are over mere politicians should strive to be more. They should aspire to be leaders.
Someone might clue Scott Walker into this idea.
We reflect with fondness over JFK making sure the moon landing was a moment our nation would always cherish. It proved what a leader can do when calling a nation and its people to greatness.
What we saw in Wisconsin today was a moment when a politician named Scott Walker downsized hopes, limited the future, and broke the tradition of always moving forward in Wisconsin.
This day will be long remembered too.