Candidates and Candidacies

The Scene from Whitewater, Wisconsin Small towns have reputations for being plain-speaking places, but the less so, in fact, than reputation suggests. One will hear much about who’s running, who’s in, who’s out, but not as much – if anything – about what candidates believe.

Longtime readers know that I comment on politics, but know also that I’m opposed to mixing a publisher’s and a candidate’s roles in a small town. Indeed, one may say that completely opposed fits my view accurately. They’re separate roles to my mind, each valuable, each belonging within a larger civic life of which they are parts. (In any event, this bleeding-heart libertarian blogger does not, and would not, represent government; officials are more than capable of speaking for themselves.)

But that’s a critical role for a candidate, isn’t, it? Good candidates with worthy candidacies say what they believe, what they’d like to see, what they hope to accomplish. They stand for something, and say so.

(This is another reason that key meetings should be recorded for public viewing. The December 11th Whitewater Unified Schools meeting that heard prospective appointees answer questions – in full – would have been valuable to this community. It has been our past practice to record these meetings, and it should be our continuing practice. I posted a bit on this general topic in December, and will have more to write after finishing a longer series. From December, see Twilight, Midnight, and Daylight. No one should settle for less; it’s a challenge to a better practice to expect that anyone would.)

If one had any advice for a candidate, it would be this: tell people what you believe, and what you hope to do. Say so plainly and clearly, so that all the community might know your views.