Daily Bread for 7.18.22: Sure Enough, It’s National Issues that Grip Wisconsinites

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 88. Sunrise is 5:33 AM and sunset 8:28 PM for 14h 55m 21s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 71.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Library Board meets at 6:30 PM

On this day in 1968, Intel is founded in Mountain View, California.

The claim that national political controversies are merely an expression of resentment is false. It was false after 2016, it was false in 2020, and it’s false in 2022.

Our national political controversies are over competing ideas and philosophies. Reducing national conflict to feelings of insult is simple-minded. (For criticism of claims that national debates are stem from resentment, see Resentment’s a Nebulous National Explanation and Considering The Politics of Resentment, Concluding Thoughts. )

Sure enough, a recent survey of Wisconsinites’ political concerns shows that they are most concentrated with national politics and that those national concerns are about policies and programs, not hurt feelings. It’s policy not politesse that underlies national conflicts. 

Sophia Voight reports Wisconsinites are carrying the weight of the nation’s problems on their shoulders heading into the midterm election, survey finds

Wisconsinites have the weight of the nation’s problems on their minds heading into the 2022 midterm elections, a nod to a state whose voters might be pivotal to the balance of power in the U.S. Senate this fall.

That was a key finding of the La Follette Policy Poll, a written survey sent to 5,000 state residents last fall, which asked about the issues that matter to them most and the problems they most want solved. Nearly 1,600 responded.

“The main goal was taking a pulse on what are the policy topics Wisconsinites care about most with the hopes of steering our elected officials and candidates toward those topics,” said Susan Webb Yackee, a professor of public affairs and director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs at UW-Madison.

The poll asked how concerned people were with the economy, government regulation, infrastructure, income distribution, taxes, the federal budget deficit, climate change, race relations, education and health care in the country and in Wisconsin.

Results showed that people across all groups found these issues to be a greater problem on the national level than in the state. 

These are competing ideas about the “economy, government regulation, infrastructure, income distribution, taxes, the federal budget deficit, climate change, race relations, education and health care.” 

Concern over these national issues is justified: each one of these topics holds significance for Americans. 

While some local issues may be about resentment, that’s not a cause of America’s present divisions. People are disagreeing over ideologies not insults. 

(The intensity of national debate means that there is little or no margin when local government causes turmoil by failing to communicate, failing to justify thoroughly its decisions, or blaming residents for communication failures and division. Government is responsible for governmental actions, not residents, parents, families, students, or household pets.) 

Our continent-wide conflicts are over clashes of ideology. The La Follette survey reminds us that we should see the divisions for what they truly are, while recognizing that local government mistakes could not come at a worse time. 

 The Rio Tinto offers a “visit to Mars” to space and nature enthusiasts

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