On The Road with Dave: Character
“...and never to be content with a half-truth when the whole truth can be won.”
--Excerpt from the West Point Cadet Prayer
Note: Below is a brief summary of this week's video. Please click the link above to view the entire topic.
"Politics as Usual" Needs to be Much More Unusual...
This week we received literally hundreds of inquiries about an article written by Terrence Wall supporting the prohibitively expensive commuter rail project in Madison. In summary, you asked how could he have been so enthusiastic about it in his article, then say he opposes it now?
Simple. It's politics as usual.
And let's clear the air on something right away--this is NOT a "bash Terrence Wall" article...this is an examination of this particular case of "politics as usual" and learning lessons so we can all move forward together with renewed faith and optimism in our political system.
Lesson One: Opinions Change for Political Expediency; Facts Do Not
In this case, commuter rail in Madison would only serve a small portion of Madison residents--let alone Wisconsin citizens--yet it would affect us all in the form in increased taxes. Obviously, this is not a popular issue in an election year...so you have to ask yourself what changed in Terrence's stance on this issue? If it was bad for taxpayers when he wrote the article and supported it...and it's still bad for the taxpayers now and he opposes it, what's behind the change of heart? If a candidate is going to ask you for the most precious thing you control in a democratically-elected republic--your vote--they have to allow you to look them in their eyes...examine them...test them...make sure they share the same character and level of integrity that you believe we need in government or we'll never improve from politics as usual.
And politics as usual hasn't been good to us lately.
Lesson Two: Money is a Corrupting Force in Politics
Once again, we come back to the topic of money...and [as yet another example of why I refuse to actively spend time raising money at this point of the campaign] we know that serving money and serving the people are diametrically opposed. Right now I choose to focus my time on building trust with (and showing character to) the people.
And this isn't just me talking. Most Americans are bothered that "politics as usual" is beholden to money...so it's no wonder why millions of Americans don't even get off their couches to go vote on election day. Our campaign, on the other hand, is committed to showing Wisconsin voters who I am first...then we'll raise money based on you're confidence in me truly representing who you are (hence the "I AM DAVE WESTLAKE" t-shirts and signs).
Yes, it's really that simple.
Again, consider this example--Terrence suggested that his motives for supporting commuter rail was because of a positive experience with it during his internship in London...but as a real estate developer, he likely stood to make a significant amount of money...which calls into question his true motives. I don't presume to know them, but referencing lesson one above, it's a worthwhile discussion if we're to find out what his--or any candidate's--character is made of.
Honesty, integrity, and trust with the people MUST come first. If you don't have these three elements, all the money in the world makes no difference whatsoever. Sure, you might be able to change "bodies" in Washington--but if you don't change the mindset, you haven't gained a thing...and again, we stay stuck on politics as usual.
And this country is so much better than that.
I hope you enjoy the video and I look forward to seeing you on the road…
Accountability Starts Today.
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Paid for by Westlake for Senate, Tim Beine, Watertown, WI, Treasurer