Dear Editor: Now that Paul Soglin has entered the contest for governor it is a good time to ask why he is running, and, for that matter, why anyone else is running. Politicians tend to run for themselves, thinking their "selfness" is a good enough reason to elect them to office.
It is all pretty fake. Republicans run as conservatives, but in reality they are opportunists and crony capitalists. Democrats run as, hmm, not Republicans, but in reality they are triangulating opportunists. They stand for little more than getting out the vote.
By now the people of Wisconsin are likely tired of Scott Walker, so a Democrat who is just running for governor has some advantage. Still, merely running for office will not be enough against Walker, who can fake standing for “conservatism.”
So the question for those of us who would like to see our civilization advanced is who in this field of candidates to support. Two criteria have emerged for me: leadership and the ability to stand for something. So far two candidates stand out: Tony Evers and Kathleen Vinehout. Momentum and public exposure seem to favor Evers, but I still remember Kathleen Vinehout as the most likely to have defeated Walker in the recall of 2012. For some strange reason Tom Barrett entered the race as an afterthought, and for an equally strange reason the Democratic establishment backed him. He ran a nothing campaign, and promptly lost. According to legend, big labor money was saved for Obama’s re-election.
Maybe Democrats will try to win this time. I believe Vinehout can defeat Walker, and as in 2012, is the candidate most likely to beat him. Or, maybe they will regurgitate Tom Barrett to run yet another nothing campaign. Or Mary Burke. When you haven’t formed the intention to win, any candidate will do.
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