Rob Wiederstein Hopes to Restore Civility to Political Disagreement
Democrat Rob Wiederstein, former Prosecutor and retired District Judge, has official submitted a “Letter of Intent” to run for the office of Representative for Kentucky’s State House District 11. This will allow him to begin raising and spending funds in order to “explore a run” for office prior to the official filing date of November 8th.
As to his motivation for entering the race, Wiederstein says, “I’m exploring a run because of the loss of civility in modern politics. In the more sensationalist news sources like 24 hour cable news, they are normalizing confrontation, extremism, violence, divisiveness and rudeness in favor of ratings.” Wiederstein is opposed to this mentality of politics being a competition of ego which only serves to widen the gap between sides while often leaving the needs of the people as secondary to defeating the opposition.
Concerning this historic level of polarization in political ideology and the resulting animosity, Wiederstein states that, “While our democracy is strong enough to withstand it, civility should remain at the forefront of our political dialog. Media coverage shouldn’t be dominated by the insult of the day, but by the instances of compromise and understanding of well intentioned people in both Parties.”
It’s possible that this ideal of “compromise” is the “Challenge to [his] supporters” which Wiederstein alludes to in the title of his blog post “Starting the Campaign Right: A Few Choice Words for a Republican and a Challenge to My Supporters“. In a time when most Democrats and Progressives self-identify as anti-Trump, anti-Republican, and especially the #Resist movement, with Nationwide marches and mass demonstrations, it could in fact be quite a “challenge” to actually work with Republicans instead of simply dismissing them as the enemy. But Wiederstein believes that, “Glory shouldn’t be bestowed on those who refuse to show up at the negotiating table, but on those who find compromise in the intricacies of a 400 page bill.”
“That’s why I’m exploring a run,” declares Wiederstein, “to prove that a campaign can be civil while disagreeing with your opponent. And the state representative’s job is–when done right–creative, meaningful and impactful.” The moment we give in to idea that all Republicans are inherently evil, becoming purely anti-Republican by deciding to stand against anything they might say, that is the moment we forfeit our identity. Because ultimately, Democrats cannot build an identity on a negative. It’s not about what we’re against, but what we are for. “Anti-bad” is necessary, but it must be balanced with “Pro-good”. And if we are incapable of even speaking to a Republican without foaming at the mouth, then who will appear as the crazy ones?
For further reading:
from Rob Wiedertsien’s blog: “Starting the Campaign Right: A Few Choice Words for a Republican and a Challenge to My Supporters“
from Surf KY News: Wiederstein Files Letter of Intent for District 11 Ky. Representative
RobWiederstien.org: Learn more about Rob Wiederstein from his blog and resources website.