Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
COMMENTARY

Lee Rasch: Expect elected leaders to collaborate

  • 0
Lee_Rasch mug

Lee Rasch, executive director of LeaderEthics-Wisconsin

Is Wisconsin broken politically?

Some people are asking. In the case of several recent high-priority, high-profile issues, it seems elected leaders have retreated into their respective political camps rather than attempt to address the collective needs of the state.

The April primary election and the Supreme Court ruling on the safer-at-home declaration are two examples. Our nation might never have gotten off the ground if our Founders used a similar approach to problem resolution.

Of course, Wisconsin is not unique to divisive politics. Nationally, the divide between the two major political parties has grown dramatically in the last 15 years.

Graphic 1

Pew Research has been tracking partisan beliefs for the past 25 years. Pew asked people who are declared Republicans and Democrats to respond to common core questions.

In 1994 and 2004, the median beliefs on core issues were actually fairly close, unlike where they are today.

In a related study, Pew Research determined that the overwhelming factor in the growing political divide is not race, education-level, religious attendance, age or gender. Rather it is political party loyalty.

Graphic 2

As an elected official, an ethical leader should work to represent the needs of their entire constituency, not just those who belong to the same political party.

Unfortunately, the actions in Wisconsin during the pandemic are following this divisive political pattern.

The COVID-19 pandemic is caused by a virus that does not determine those infected based upon their political party affiliation. It should be viewed as a common enemy, with a threat to both the health of our population and to our economic well-being.

Elected officials should focus on the needs of the people of Wisconsin and commit every effort to address both of these threats, not pick sides.

As citizens, we should be looking for the elected officials from both parties to stand up to their own party leaders and promote common-sense, collaborative actions to meet the pandemic threat head on.

It is our best way through this. And it might open the door to a better, healthier political process in our state.

Lee Rasch is executive director of LeaderEthics-Wisconsin.

0 Comments
4
1
0
0
0

Catch the latest in Opinion

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Elbridge Gerry was a Founding Father: signer of the Declaration of Independence, reluctant framer of the Constitution, congressman, diplomat, …

Michael Paul Williams — a columnist with the Richmond Times-Dispatch — won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Commentary "for penetrating and historically insightful columns that guided Richmond, a former capital of the Confederacy, through the painful and complicated process of dismantling the city's monuments to white supremacy."

Since 1984, the nationwide legal drinking age has been 21 for good reasons. Young people’s brains are still developing, which affects their judgment and cognitive abilities. That, along with raging hormones, boosts the chances of impulsive decision-making. It’s a dumb idea to add alcohol to an already unstable mix. It makes even less sense to add firearms to that unstable mix. Perhaps it’s ...

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News