As we enter into the Democratic primary, let’s not get caught up in the Republican argument that a good life is built solely on money. They dangle $100 tax breaks in front of citizens in exchange for votes, while ignoring human and environmental values.

The more government is run by business executives, the more it becomes based on bottom lines. People begin to see each other as competitors, not as fellow citizens. Essentially, the goal of business is to make the most money by getting the most out of workers for the least compensation. It’s no surprise that serving the community often comes in a distant second, if at all.

Let's choose the candidate who is not a business-first person but rather a true public servant and, yes, a professional politician. Let's choose a leader who is willing to reclaim the true purpose of government -- giving all people a chance to succeed. Let's choose a leader who studies the issues, consults with experts, promotes education, cares for the environment and welcomes citizens' engagement.

When we lead from those values, a healthy business atmosphere follows. When we don’t, hope dies.

Guy Thorvaldsen, Madison