Monday, September 20, 2010

Healthy Politics: Walking The Walk

I heard from a long-time Milwaukee-area planner friend the other day - - he was helping me understand the relationship between highway expansion, diverted water and the continuing loss of hiking land and sight-lines in the Kettle Moraine - - and he observed that the more he thought about things, the more realized that walking was the key to everything, or words to that effect.

There's a lot of science behind that idea, as scholars and commentators have found that the national expansion of our waistline is linked with suburban sprawl, and the 'get-in-the-car' necessity.

You can read to your heart's content about that, here.

In fact, you can measure your neighborhood's walking score, a new tool that points home buyers towards purchases where they can use their cars less, save money on fuel and literally live in a healthier setting.

So with a nod to that discussion and all those "Tips For Good Living" that you find in the Journal Sentinel's Sunday supplement magazine, or at Yahoo 'News' everyday, here's my List for Healthy Living In a Political Environment:

1. Turn off right-wing talk radio and Fox News (sic). No one needs the uptick in blood pressure these shows are intended to produce.

2. But stay involved in politics, and the debate. Active body, active mind. It's all good = = if you are selective.

3. Of course, avoid campaigns motivated by anger. Who needs rallies where people carry their firearms, or hurriedly scrawl out protest signs with two miny speling misteaks, "morans?"

4. Get into a positive campaign where you've got a candidate of substance for whom you can walk door-to-door.

It occurred to me last month as I finished a successful hike up a rocky trail to an altitude of 11,100 feet - - no mean feat for a guy my age with a herniated lower back disk for which surgery is ruled out - - that all the lit drops and canvassing I have done for campaigns around here since I left the Journal Sentinel in 1996 probably did more for my back and my head than the miles I rack up at the Downtown Y.

5. Bottom line: I'll schedule myself to do some doors for Russ Feingold. I got an email about it the other day from an organizing friend who's married to a doctor. They are about my age and hike a lot more than I do.

It's a campaign worth getting exercised about.

See how it all fits together?

1 comment:

enoughalready said...

I agree that the Feingold campaign is worth getting involved in. Ron Johnson bothers me -- a lot. This "self-made business man" stuff is pure myth. And he is already more of a poltician -- in the negative sense -- than Russ Feingold will ever be.