Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time To Close The Leadership Gap In WI!

By Jeff Simpson  Cross posted at Purple Wisconsin

May 25, 1961,  President John F. Kennedy addressed the Joint Session of Congress and called upon the people of America to do great things.   Listen to it here!   President Kennedy stood in front of Congress and the Country to ask for everyone to band together, spend a massive amount of money(Up to $9 Billion dollars) and not just send a manned space flight to the moon, but also a Rover nuclear rocket, weather satellites and other space projects.  
Then more than a year later, President Kennedy gave his famous "We choose to go to the moon" speech in front of 35000 people at the Rice Football Stadium :
"Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."
President Kennedy realzied we are all in this together and called upon the country to work together and accomplish great things.  Which we did!   In 1969, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.   Proving we can accomplish great things when we work for a common goal.
President Kennedy showed us that leadership is pulling people together.  In Wisconsin, we have the exact opposite.  Our Governor has lived by a credo and philosophy of "divide and conquer".   Scott Walker tipped his hand early on, when he shared his philosophy with his number one donor.
While President Kennedy called upon the country to unite to be stronger in his signature speech, Governor Walker gave us the exact opposite with his signature speech
This is — you know, I told my cabinet, I had a dinner the Sunday, or excuse me, the Monday right after the 6th. Came home from the Super Bowl where the Packers won, and that Monday night I had all of my cabinet over to the residence for dinner. Talked about what we were gonna do, how we were gonna do it. We’d already kinda built plans up, but it was kind of the last hurrah before we dropped the bomb. And I stood up and I pulled out a picture of Ronald Reagan, and I said, you know, this may seem a little melodramatic, but 30 years ago, Ronald Reagan, whose 100th birthday we just celebrated the day before, had one of the most defining moments of his political career, not just his presidency, when he fired the air-traffic controllers. And, uh, I said, to me that moment was more important than just for labor relations or even the federal budget, that was the first crack in the Berlin Wall and the fall of Communism because from that point forward, the Soviets and the Communists knew that Ronald Reagan wasn’t a pushover. And, uh, I said this may not have as broad of world implications, but in Wisconsin’s history — little did I know how big it would be nationally — in Wisconsin’s history, I said this is our moment, this is our time to change the course of history. And this is why it’s so important that they were all there. I had a cabinet meeting this morning and I reminded them of that and I said for those of you who thought I was being melodramatic you now know it was purely putting it in the right context.
President Kennedy talked in terms of what we could build together and Governor Walker talks about "dropping a bomb" on public workers.  Even his supporters readily acknowledge that divisiveness is his one talent:   Walker's tenure as governor has been among the more dramatic, divisive and consequential in state history.  Scott Walker even leads the nation in most negative advertising in this election cycle.
While this starts with Scott Walker, it does not end there.  With the electoral success, that the divide and conquer strategy has brought, it is now ingrained in the Wisconsin republican philosophy.   Wisconsin was recently rated as having the most negative ads in the current election cycle.   Go to MaryBurke.com and you will see a republican controlled website with nothing but negative attacks on Mr. Walkers opponent.  Even the latest Scott Walker TV Ad -  "wedding dress'  - while it is demeaning to women, it portrays the Democrat as stupid, dumb, illogical and foolish.   It also portrays a rift between the Bride and the mother of the bride.
In Scott Walker's Wisconsin, no one is allowed to get along!
President Kennedy saw how much potential we had as a country and asked us to do great things. Scott Walker has seen success by dividing us so his biggest campaign promise, is one that is a proven failure but fires up part of his base.    We did not know if we could truly land a person on the moon, or if we could be first, but working together we accomplished it.  
We do know however, that drug testing to receive desperately needed benefits, is proven to be costly and ineffective.   It does not stop Scott Walker from making his re-election campaign about making the poor pee in a cup.  It is a program that has failed in Florida and Tennessee, yet he wants to bring it here.  Is the least common denominator truly what Mr. Walker thinks of the people of Wisconsin?
Pitting public workers against private workers, poor against the wealthy, employed against the unemployed, Native Americans against immigrants, police officers against fire men and women,  public schools against private schools, single parents against two parent families, donors against non donors, democrats against republicans, neighbors against neighbors,  people who signed the recall against people who didn't, and the list goes on... There is plenty of hate to go around and someone ready to grab the scraps that are left over when the dust settles.
The people of Wisconsin deserve better than a Governor who works so hard to divide us.  The people of America will demand more! 
When we ask for great things we get great things, that is leadership at its finest.  When we ask for drama and divisiveness, we get drama and divisiveness which shows weakness and pettiness. 
If our politicians can not see that, then it is time to elect new politicians! 
Let's move forward as a state - together!   

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