Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Lifestyle Guru or Representative?

"I think you have to lead by example," said Racine Mayor John Dickert as he urges citizens to recycle, to exercise and to use their cars less.

I quote Mayor Dickert above not to criticize but to pose a more general question about who we elect and for what purpose. Do we elect representatives to guide us towards the proper way to live our lives, as the above quote in part suggests? Or do we elect representatives to fulfill a far narrower, and less sexy, function of eficiently delivering government services? Or some combination of both?


BradK said...

I think we elect them to enact policy (responsibly) that aligns closely to our personal beliefs.

In order to do that, the also need to be human, because no single representative (with FEW exceptions in FEW occasions) can do that alone. The need to be able to rally others (legislatures, constituents) to their cause. This requires leadership skills. This means they need to demonstrate leadership skills to encourage us to elect them in good faith that they can gather consensus or commitment. "Example" is actually a pretty good way to begin doing that.

I think *how* you lead by example (in this case, recycle, exercise and drive less) *may* inspire people to see his leadership skills as demonstrated, and will be more apt to work with him.



Anonymous said...

I decree that this endeavor shall be named the "Corrine Owens Memorial Blog" but only after a few years when we see if it is a success.

Denis Navratil said...

I cringe at the thought of choosing politicians as our moral leaders. Sure, it is possible, but on what logical basis would we use to choose politicians for that role. I would rather choose a trial lawyer or a used car salesman as a role model. By the way, my thoughts on this apply to either liberal or conservative politicians. I don't like moralizing Republicans any better than I like moralizing Democrats. That said, I think we should try to elect moral individuals. If they want to try to lead a moral life as an example to others, fine. But if you declare to your constituents that you are taking on the public role of moral leader, well, that I find objectionable. I prefer to choose my own moral leaders.

Judge Mental said...

You missed the whole point of the article of the mayor wanting to get the city's greenhouse gas emissions to less than 1990 levels.
While it's nice to have a cleaner city, I would argue that with the city population down considerably from 1990, with businesses leaving the city (and state), with cleaner cars, and more energy efficient homes, I would guess that Racine is already down to 1990 emission levels. Also, where does the city have the data on what the cities greenhouse levels were in 1990 and today?