About This Blog
We are caught up in the moment. Today’s headline. Today’s tweet. Today’s action. Today’s crisis. Today’s victory. Today’s provocation. Today’s inspiration. Yesterday is past. Today is tomorrow’s yesterday, already forgotten.
“View from a Distance” steps back and tries to connect the transitory surface agitation to the deeper currents of human nature and political, economic and cultural changes. The title is a double metaphor. The author also lives in rural Wisconsin far from the center of political activity. The distance in time and space hopefully contributes to the variety of thoughts for consideration.
At one level, politics is not rocket science. If you have the votes, you win, you govern, you can change the world for better or worse. At another, it’s complicated; filled with uncertainty, conflict, irreconcilable demands, unintended consequences, competing values and impossible choices. Although absolutely necessary for democracy and building community, the role of politician is often scorned and shunned.
“View from a Distance” explores the contradictions and tries to make sense of what we do in our politics in a way that makes participating more intentional – even while recognizing the complexities.
About Douglas Kane
I write from the perspective that “politician” is not a dirty word. I have been one most of my adult life, elected to local office and the state legislature in Illinois and also holding appointed positions. In the years since we moved to Wisconsin to start a dairy farm, I have served on the school board and the county board and was immersed in state politics as political spouse during Kathleen’s 12 years as Wisconsin State Senator.
I write from the perspective of one who grew up in a tradition of Right and Wrong, where Truth came with a capital T, but has come to believe that the answers to the important political questions are “sometimes”, “perhaps”, and “it all depends”. Ideological prescriptions and the human condition don’t sleep well together in the same bed.
I write from the perspective of being a member of the Democratic Party. It has never been, “My party, right or wrong.” Rather, I am attuned to the Democratic Party’s aspirations for human rights, social wellbeing, community building, economic opportunity and the environment.
I write from the perspective that political success in a democracy rests on organizing, building coalitions, and recognizing that power resides in the vote each one of us has.
Douglas Kane is author of Our Politics: Reflections on Political Life, published 2019 by Southern Illinois University Press
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