Tuesday in Whitewater will see morning rain with a high of 69. Sunrise is 6:39 AM and sunset 6:57 PM for 12h 17m 24s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 18% of its visible disk illuminated.
The Whitewater Common Council meets at 6:30 PM.
On this day in 1982, Scott Fahlman posts the first documented emoticons 🙂 and 🙁 on the Carnegie Mellon University bulletin board system.
It shouldn’t be hard — because it’s not hard — for a person of normal ability to write what he or she believes about politics, and of a platform for his or her town’s betterment. See A Sketch on Libertarianism, Libertarians, Bleeding-Heart Libertarians, and All that Lies Beyond, What Ails, What Heals, and Heals & Ails, General & Particular, Public & Private.
And so, and so, if it’s not hard, why doesn’t it happen more in local government? There are three principal reasons elected leaders don’t establish a clear platform: inability, entitlement, or concealed purpose.
Inability, however, rare among ordinary people, sometimes afflicts a political leader who’s not up to leadership. One occasionally finds an inarticulate person in a position of leadership on city councils or school boards. Instead of a plain description, an inarticulate man or woman will substitute a vacuous phrase. If a student at Whitewater High School needs to write a term paper in descriptive English, it’s not too much to ask the same of those on the Whitewater Common Council.
Entitlement is a second reason that politicians don’t state their views and goals plainly. They don’t do so because they don’t feel they need to do so. See Whitewater Needs Neither a King Nor a Mind Reader. This entitlement leads to laziness, where the politicians so afflicted don’t read agendas, don’t follow established deadlines, and look for ways to make it easier only on themselves. See Scenes from a Council Meeting (Responsibility).
Concealed purpose is a third reason that elected leaders don’t announce a platform of their views. Those in this third category are sycophants of special interests, and (needless to say) they are not about to declare a platform that would prevent them from shifting quickly in support of those special interests’ changing needs. Why have your own views when, in the end, those views might conflict with the interests that tell you what to think and say? (Worse, of course: why think for yourself when you act as though the only thoughts worth having come from those special interests?) See Who Holds the Leash?
A politician can carry on this way, but cannot while doing so effectively represent the interests of many thousands.