Scott Walker and the truth


The Wall Street Journal's John Fund is a walking political encyclopedia. I was fascinated by his recall of regional election statistics a few weeks ago when he spoke at the Pennsylvania Breakfast at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He grabbed my attention again on Saturday in his latest column, where he presented a correlation between embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's passion for speaking the truth and his electability . . . even against great odds.

Prior to winning the governor's race in 2010, Walker served two-and-a-half terms as county executive in heavily Democratic Milwaukee County (he won a special election in 2002, followed by general election victories in 2004 and 2008)-the first Republican elected to a countywide position. In '08, John McCain garnered just 31 percent of the vote in Milwaukee County (to Obama's 59 percent) while Walker hauled in a remarkable 59 percent. Four years before that he received 57 percent of the vote.

How does Walker explain those numbers?

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"I would go on reality tours [to discuss Milwaukee County's problems]," he told Fund. 'Critics would call them 'gloom-and-doom' tours, but in the end people came to agree with me on what needed to be done. I won because people will ultimately respond to the truth. There is an unseen reservoir of support out there for leaders who will do the right thing."

This wasn't the first time Walker spoke about truth to the media. In the spring of 2009, this son of a Baptist minister told radio host Glen Meakem, "Truth, passion, and most importantly, the right message can go a long way and it can transcend any sort of political punditry or consultant's demographic sheet. In the end, people are drawn to truth and drawn to genuine candidates who really believe in something and stand for something-and even more so if you not only say it, but then go out and do it. I believe that candidates can go out and get elected and get reelected anywhere in this country because people are craving for it."

Walker's career demonstrates that truth-telling is a winning strategy. Once again he is relying on it in his current battle with Democrats and public sector unions. People are craving for it-that's the truth.

Lee Wishing
Lee Wishing

Lee is the administrative director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.


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