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Voters march to own beat

Randy Crump is CEO of Prism Technical Management & Marketing Services LLC, Milwaukee

Wisconsin — having recently selected President Barack Obama and Gov. Scott Walker — is an interesting study in contrasts.

This is a state filled with independent thinkers who won’t hesitate to take a stand on either side of the political aisle.

I believe our governor is a decent family man, very bright, and an observant and methodical leader with very strong beliefs. I don’t agree with him on several issues, but I respect him for having beliefs that can be debated.

Walker, once just one of 99 state representatives, rose to power during a time of distrust surrounding the Milwaukee County pension controversy. Several political careers abruptly ended during this dark period, and Walker rode into town on a horse named fiscal accountability and a mandate to fix county government.

During this time, Walker branded himself an anti-tax crusader.

The electorate couldn’t get enough.

I believe our president is a decent family man, very bright, and an observant and methodical leader with very strong beliefs. I don’t agree with him on several issues, but I respect him for having beliefs that can be debated.

In 2008, Obama rode into his first term as president on a wave of hope and change after delivering a speech four years before that gave a handful of dreamers the idea that the impossible was in fact possible.

Few blacks thought Obama could be elected president of the United States. Somehow, he convinced enough people of all races to believe he could.

Changing political direction in a state or country is like trying to turn a cruise ship. Still, the forces behind the swings in Wisconsin’s political landscape were amazing.

A state that twice overwhelmingly elected a business-friendly governor also selected the labor-leaning Obama-Joe Biden ticket by more than 205,000 votes, or 52.8 percent to 46.1 percent. The margin of the Democratic victory in Wisconsin was even more surprising, especially considering the current levels of unemployment.

The people of Wisconsin have shown in these past elections that, in this state, we often pay less attention to where a candidate stands on the political spectrum than what that candidate stands for. We won’t always agree with them, but we’ll respect, and even vote for, leaders who have the courage of their convictions.

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