I announced my candidacy to run for Wisconsin State Senate on 28 October, 2009. Since that time, I have had many people ask me why I would want to jump into the “lion’s den” and become a politician. I always answer that question the same way. I tell them I don’t. I don’t want to be a politician; I want to be a statesman. Generally, people know in their "heart of hearts" that a statesman stands above a politician. Their response is that they generally start shaking their heads up and down and saying “yes.”
So, the fact that I use the term “statesman” versus politician really resonates with people and here is why I believe that it does:
1. A statesman represents the voice of the people, and a politician represents their own voice.
2. A statesman promotes legislation that serves people, a politician promotes their own person.
3. A statesman is a servant, a politician believes others serve them.
4. A statesman does the work of the people for a time, a politician works to build a career.
5. A statesman is promoted by the people, a politician promotes their own agenda.
6. A statesman builds legislation for the good of the people, a politician plays politics.
7. A statesman thinks of a country’s interests, while a “politician” thinks of his/her own interest.
8. A statesman operates from principles and values, a politician operates from selfishness and greed.
So, a statesman stands in stark contrast to a politician. I aspire to be a great statesman who can wisely and expertly manage the political process and role, but remain true to the values and principles of character that made this country the great and powerful nation that it is today. Contrast is the key between the statesman and the politician.