In the Bluff-A Blog from Wisconsin’s West Coast

(the opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only, and do not represent the opinions of the company or its employees)

“…and to the Republic for which it stands…”

I just read the newest post by former senator Gary Hart on his “Matters of Principle” blog. In it, he reminds us that our Founders (whose words and works are so often misinterpreted and misused these days, especially by those who seek to divide rather than unite us) created our United States as a republic and not a democracy, enumerating not only rights but also entailing responsibilities of its citizens. It is a must-read.

Senator Hart was very much on my mind this weekend, as a new report issued by the American Security Project, of which he is the chair, hit the news recently. Its report “Pay Now, Pay Later” (available at explores the impact of climate change on the economies of each of the fifty states, and is essential reading for all citizens. It brings the issue of climate change to a local level and underscores the importance of facing this issue in the twenty-first century. I for one was very surprised by what is projected for Wisconsin, and how our economic foundation of agriculture and tourism may be altered.

I have worked with Senator Hart on three books, the latest his political memoir The Thunder and the Sunshine: Four Seasons in a Burnished Life. He is one of the most thoughtful and intelligent people I have had the pleasure of knowing, and a great contributor to the national dialogue. Reading the senator is like taking an upper level class in civics and history from your favorite professor. While I would encourage you to read all three of his Fulcrum books (God and Caesar in America; Under the Eagle’s Wing; and The Thunder and the Sunshine), I would recommend Thunder for the first-time reader. In it, the senator takes the reader through a four-decade review of his public career, in the process telling the greater story of America during this critical period. He also touches on the principles of the Founders and how they continue to shape our nation.