Turning a new leaf

It’s fall — arguably Wisconsin’s best season. That means a boundy of harvests, and jump scares, and the joy of another election.

At the mention of politics, does your heart fill with optimism or dread? Do you imagine a leader inspiring hope, or a litany of ads and emails bombarding daily life? Democracy shouldn’t feel like this, right? But what’s to be done?

Each fall, the call is to vote — prescribed as a panecea for what ails our dysfunctional republic. The filled-in oval, a magic pill to ward off conspirators and radicals. The results, however, present more like a placebo, with little to no change in the status quo.

To this state of affairs, we must resolve to completely overturn the apple cart. We must try to fundamentally reimagine what life in a democracy can look like, and actively work to redefine what we all owe to each other.

Such an evolution — of our collective conception of public life — may be our only chance to smother the dumpster fire of party politics and enable us to build popular power.

All we need is a spark of inspiration, followed by lifetime of dedicated public service. All we need to do is share the bounty and the burdens, and be willing to center representive government around human value rather than economic power.

Before we burn the place down, we should try it. And there’s no better setting than under the turning leaves of a Wisconsin autumn.


Focus government on human value, not power, CapTimes, October 16, 2022