How would Kathleen go about healing the deep divisions in Wisconsin?
First, I will encourage everyone to stop calling each other names. Second, I will bring people together and ask them to check their egos and their hats at the door and come in and focus on solutions. I will listen to all sides and encourage people to talk with one another, not at each other. People of all persuasions need to be heard. The wisdom for solving our state’s problems is among the people of the state. But we can only realize that wisdom when we stop yelling and start listening.
Third, I will continue to respect our traditional democratic processes. Democracy is slow and deliberative for a reason. People need the opportunity to know what is happening in Madison in enough time to respond if they so choose. Legislation is like fish. We need to open up the package and set it on the table in the sun. Then we can see if it smells.
Healing will begin when our leaders set a respectful tone; when the hurt of the people is heard and respected; when diverse voices come together and those with ideas for solutions are given encouragement and support. Politics is the art of creative compromise not war. We are all in this together. We all need the best efforts of everyone to make our communities great places to live, work and raise our children. None of us will succeed unless we move forward together.