Daily Bread for 9.21.23: What’s Left of Old Whitewater’s Politicians Put Past Practice Ahead of Principle or Reason

 Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 77. Sunrise is 6:41 AM and sunset 6:53 PM for 12h 11m 37s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 36.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1780, Benedict Arnold gives the British the plans to West Point.

Consider a sign in front of a church, listing only three words: FAITH. REASON. TRADITION. (Another ordering of these words would alter the positions of the first two, as Martin Albl’s Reason, Faith, Tradition does. A secular equivalent for politics or business might simply be Principle, Reason, Past Practice.) 

These orderings share one characteristic: they place tradition or practice last. Other qualities come first: a set of beliefs or principles and the application of human reason to them.

That’s not how Old Whitewater’s remaining, aged politicians carry on. For that ilk, tradition — business as usual— always comes first.

There are likely two reasons that they prioritize tradition.

First, it suits their ability to control institutions when they insist that the future must look like their own (admitted failed) past practices. It is they who are most familiar with their own dull conduct, so it is they who are most likely to continue along those same lines. (Indeed, competitive and dynamic people would find nothing useful from the aged men on the Community Development Authority or from the man who now sits both on the CDA and as Common Council president.)

Old Whitewater’s excuse-making failures may delight in themselves, but sharp people have no interest in letting that skunk smell permeate their clothes.

This conveniently leaves Whitewater’s political institutions in the hands of incompetent, but self-satisfied, old men.

Second, tradition is the easiest to master within a trio of principle, reason, and tradition. It simply requires less work. To be candid, even an illiterate or semi-literate person could follow ‘business as usual’ without much effort. This shows in both the old men of the CDA and Common Council: even after decades with the city in their geriatric grip, they struggle to follow an agenda or comply with state statutes and local ordinances. They’re entitled, and their entitlement makes them, and keeps them, dull.

America, Wisconsin, and Whitewater are filled with creative, dynamic, hardworking people. Sadly, they’re not to be found among those who run Whitewater’s Common Council or its Community Development Authority. 

Streets turn into rivers as Typhoon Haikui inundates China’s Fujian:

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8 months ago

Powerful + funny because it’s true. These guys won’t share. It’s all their way or the highway. It really is march in *my* parade territory. Look around, guys, it hasn’t been working out for the town. Remind them please that they have *been here this whole time*.

Council has never been more of a joke than now by the way.

careful observer
8 months ago

why won’t they make room for others? can’t they see that we are short of everything here?

Leeroy Jenkins
Reply to  JOHN ADAMS
8 months ago

Close…. It’s hard to make room when they are on stakeholder payrolls.