Daily Bread for 3.14.22: Energy and Exhaustion

Good morning.

Monday is Pi Day, and in Whitewater it will be mostly cloudy with a high of 56.  Sunrise is 7:06 AM and sunset 7:00 PM for 11h 54m 06s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 85.2% its visible disk illuminated.

 Whitewater’s Plan and Architectural Review Commission meets at 6 PM.

On this day in 1942, Anne Miller becomes the first American patient to be treated with penicillin, under the care of Orvan Hess and John Bumstead.

 In three weeks, Wisconsin communities will elect candidates for municipal, county, school board, and judicial posts. While the date of the election is the same for all, the composition and character of the electorate varies by community.

Although candidates and their ardent backers in communities may be excited equally, their constituents are not. Some communities, like Mequon-Thiensville, have seen (Fall 2021) and still see (Spring 2022) energized electorates (posts on this topic: 1, 2, 3). (In M-T, the tensions has been between kinds of Republicans, but in other places red or blue majorities are motivated simply as their predominant  factions.)

To look at Whitewater, having come through a long series of afflictions, and see (or expect) widespread political enthusiasm is simply mistaken. Whitewater has passed the point at which local government can remedy what ails the city.  It is certainly true that local politics can make conditions in the city worse, but there is little chance whatever that Whitewater’s city council or school board can make conditions much better.

(Preventing even worse candidates from taking office is, however singular a motivation, still important.) 

There are some fine people in government, but far too few.  See Administration, Council, and the ‘Tenth Man Rule’ and Whitewater’s Major Public Institutions Produce a Net Loss (And Why It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way)

What matters most?  See An Oasis Strategy and Waiting for Whitewater’s Dorothy Day.

Some years ago, a libertarian critique of local politics, as at FREE WHITEWATER, would have held open, implicitly, the prospect that local officials  might alter their course and become part of meaningful improvement for the community.  And so, and so, a critique of local politics a decade ago understandably sought to counsel a better course through restrained and responsible government.

That’s simply not possible now: there are some, but too few, sensible local officials; some challengers are, candidly, both ignorant and comically spiteful.

Under the circumstances, one shouldn’t wonder that many residents have greater concerns than politics. They’ve been disappointed, and too many of those now entering politics are disappointing.

A serious critique reminds that a political course will not be the source of the city’s betterment.

It is valuable to write of our present politics and politicians (including also the proposals and conduct of full-time city and district leaders) as a first-impression history of these leaders’ actions. I’ve neither interest nor confidence that anything written here will be seen as advice for government. This libertarian never has, and never will, represent government and its officials.

So many who’ve come along over the years since 2007 (when posting at FREE WHITEWATER first began) have desperately wanted a place in government, a seat at a political table, to be in the center of political affairs. Nad yet, and yet… government has never been the highest place, and to sit at government’s rickety table is to be poorly seated.

Residency – mere residency – is the highest status, all else being subordinate and instrumental. What a shame it is that so many striving men and women in this town haven’t grasped this simple truth.  They’ve misspent years on a lesser pursuit.  A shame and sadness, truly.

The energy of a few (notably reactionary) candidates reflects neither the energy nor priorities of many residents.

There’s more to write about Whitewater’s political condition this spring, but always with the understanding that politics hasn’t, and won’t, meaningfully improve conditions.  For the city, it’s enough (and necessary) simply to avoid a worse politics that slithers through the community.

See also the series WHITEWATER’S LOCAL POLITICS 2021.

Tomorrow: Conservatism v. Conservatism.

A new tool to decipher ancient texts:

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1 year ago

[…] Daily Bread for 3.14.22: Energy and Exhaustion […]

11 months ago

[…] Misunderstanding Whitewater. Local conservative populists misread a single election year (2021) into a supposed multi-year trend. They likely spent too much time talking to each other and not enough time thinking about community sentiment. Whitewater simply doesn’t have the same energy and enthusiasm for politics as the populists do. See Energy and Exhaustion. […]

11 months ago

[…] community opposition but rather a broad desire to avoid the tension and turmoil they bring. See Energy and Exhaustion and 4 Points On Whitewater’s Spring ’22 Election. […]