Moral Cowardice: Madison, WI City Council

By | October 9, 2018

[October 9, 2018]  It’s tough being a leader and it’s even harder being a great leader.  What separates the great from the mediocre is moral courage.  Today, I’ll discuss this very issue.  The Madison, Wisconsin City Council recently voted to remove a grave marker of Confederate prisoners of war and in doing so showed their moral cowardice.

The political movement in the United States to tear down Confederate statues has been expanding.  It’s difficult to get a firm answer on the ideas behind it because the actors have largely remained anonymous.  But from what can be gleaned from media reporting, perpetrators have taken their violent civil disobedience ideas that stem from the rejection of Americans past as a racist/sexist/homophobe/etc. country.

The movement’s growth has now come out of the shadows and is now reflected in decisions being made in open political circles.  Politicians have one fear; to be targeted in social media as a racist/sexist/homophobe/etc. and losing their elected positions.  Fear drives many of our decisions and that is not noteworthy.  Yet when we hold positions of responsibility, it is expected that a leader would resist playing to a mob mentality.

“You don’t have discussion in a cemetery. You have reflection, and you have memories, and this brings up memories that are not so pleasant in our history,” said Council Vice President Sheri Carter1

 Madison, Wisconsin’s City Council, however, decided it would just be easier to give in to this political movement and order the removal of a Confederate cemetery grave marker.  Council members even lied to the public and argued the POW grave marker was really a “monument;” somehow we are to believe this justifies their decision.

The city council also went against their own Landmark’s Commission recommendation to keep the cemetery grave maker.  This is a political scandal of great moral cowardice and shows that even our popularly elected politicians who are smart and successful are not immune to cowardice and ignorance.

The best disinfectant to bad leadership is the sunshine of exposure.  There is an unmistakable leadership lesson here; there is and never will be an excuse for moral cowardice.  For if you do, you will be forever associated with the depravity of your behavior.


Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

44 thoughts on “Moral Cowardice: Madison, WI City Council

  1. Terri Issa

    And when the nimrods go after confederate markers on battlefiields such as Gettysburg, what will happen? I just saw a photo of the Madison marker…it definitely is not a monument, but a simple headstone with the names of the deceased. So sad!

  2. Shawn C. Stolarz

    To the people of Madison … keep drinking your Starbucks coffee, walking your toy dog, whining about a lack of fairness, keeping a blind eye to what is really good about America, acting like a twit, and being intolerant leftist pinko and I will keep watching from the outside as you descend into the deepest pit of depravity ever by mankind. My mother always said there is a time to stop digging a hole when you’re wrong. Now is the time for you.

    1. Ed Berkmeister

      I loved the comment about their coffee and little dogs.

  3. Greg Heyman

    This is, in my opinion, a revision of the old socialism we know that generated Communism and Fascism. The new and evolved form is constantly changing and has adopted the words of “fairness,” “goodness,” and claim moral superiority. That is what gets me so much that they think they are superior to everyone else, that they know better than everyone else and they will cram it down our throats.

    1. Dennis Mathes

      Moral cowardice is in full bloom in Madison!
      Pass the popcorn. I am sitting back to watch their own self-destruction. What’s so interesting is that their citizens are like lemmings running off the cliff, following their leader.

  4. Martin Shiell

    Good leaders make you feel good about yourself and your community (or group or nation) but these slimeballs make me sick to my stomach. They might as well move to Venezuela where they belong among like-minded socialists and history revisionists. They remind me of someone who is oblivious to reality and to the truth.

  5. Mr. T.J. Asper

    How unfortunate that so-called ‘leaders’ of a city can make such stupid decisions. Anyone with a dose of common sense can see that they are wrong. There is no slicing or dicing of the decision and no explanation that is worth it. They are wrong, period. Even a five-year-old knows it.

  6. Wesley Brown

    My mother was born, raised and still lives in Madison Wisconsin. You are only reading about a fraction of what is going on with the nut cases that run the city. True that the city was once great but crime is slowly rising, taxes are way up, intolerance of any viewpoint outside socialism, and a decline in the economics of the city. The longer these folks keep doing stupid stuff the quicker Madison will continue to go down a path that leads them to the destruction of a once great city.

  7. Watson Bell

    Too bad no one living there has the guts to have a recall election.

    1. Tomas C. Clooney

      A recall would not do any good. They would likely elect someone more extreme.

  8. Albert Ayer

    Thanks all for some great comments. I would like to add that I once lived in Madison Wisconsin and loved it there. Really good people but they have morphed over time into something that is entirely unrecognizable. You have to be part of the “clan” to be accepted and they are about as intolerant a lot as I’ve seen elsewhere. I’m glad I moved out.

  9. The Kid 1945

    The citizens of Madison, WI are more interested in drinking their Starbucks coffee than in doing what is right for themselves and for America.

  10. Bryan Lee

    What in the heck is wrong in Madison, Wisconsin? What were the people thinking when they pulled the lever to vote for such morally depraved souls? I am so glad I don’t live there!

  11. Delf A. "Jelly"

    I too see a decline in America and the violence we are seeing is only a symptom of failed leadership. That is why sites like this one where we can read and relax while thinking about the subject are so important. It is also incumbent upon us all to be continually improving upon ourselves and making sure everyone is motivated to be a better person.

    1. Douglas R. Satterfield Post author

      Thanks Jelly for helping make my point. Yes, the decline of leadership (at least in the classic sense) continues. We are each responsible to help coach, teach, and mentor younger leaders on the pathway to moral leadership.

    2. Scotty Bush

      We are seeing the decline of America right before our eyes? Maybe or maybe not. We need to ensure this craziness is seen for what it is so that it can be excised out of us and never repeated. I’m optimistic that we will eventually see the light and do something about it.

  12. Yusaf from Texas

    We will continue to see this more as long a people seek to have the government provide them with everything. They know not what it takes to be free and independent. I was pleased to have my local Congressman from Lubbock Texas tell a group of us that we actually had to work hard and obey the law in order to be successful in life. How refreshing.

  13. Gil Johnson

    Army Vet has it right about Senator Blumenthal (aka “Da Nang Dick”) but it extends to a greater extent to nearly every politician we have. Term limits should again be debated and passed. As good citizens we should insist upon it.

    1. Nick Lighthouse

      Term limits help remove the political trash and we should all support it. It may create more chaos but that is preferable to what we now have.

    2. Dale Paul Fox

      Term limits have a downside too. They allow us to keep the “deep state” who is really a major part of the problem. Until those who make a living off the elected officals the same problem will continue.

    3. Billy Kenningston

      Even with the problems with term limits, they should be considered. However, I doubt they will be implemented anytime soon. Too much craziness among our demented political leaders.

    4. Terri Issa

      Congress will never vote for term limits. That issue will have to be enforced by voters…who actually vote to get rid of incumbents in both parties.

  14. Big Al

    Wow, some really good comments today and thanks everyone for writing. I too believe that the USA is in a decline and that there are only a few good political leaders remaining. The rejection of tradition (and that is what’s happening here) comes with unpredictable results. Those results are violence and the rejection of Christianity and decency.

  15. Mark Evans

    Spot on comments today that express our disgust at the “politicians” of Madison WI. I’m glad I don’t live there and nowhere close to idiots like them. Their moral depravity extends, I’m sure, much deeper than we are seeing.

  16. José Luis Rodriguez

    I’m not surprised this happened in Madison, Wisconsin. Its the home of some real whackos anyway. I say, let them do whatever they want but never help them out when their house of cards eventually fails.

    1. Anita

      I second that. Like when California cities explode upon their fiscal disaster waiting to happen, the federal government should not bail them out.

  17. Bill Sanders, Jr.

    The city council should be ashamed of themselves for what they have done. But, the will think exactly the opposite. Wild to believe such a disgraceful act occured in disturbing a cemetary for political reasons.

  18. Danny Burkholder

    I’m certainly not surprised its come to this. I am surprised by the level of violence that is allowed to fester. The stupidity of politicians is a given but when law enforcement allows violence to occur, even when it is a mild form, the inevitable decline begins.

  19. Kenny Foster

    Anyone who sees this happening should not be surprised. When a country portrays a traitor like Jane Fonda as a hero and to be “worshipped” then you have a general moral decline and lack of good judgment. This decline began in the 1960s when Communism took hold and used people like Fonda as “useful idiots.” Today, to be an idiot is the pinnacle of humanness (or so we are told).

    1. Tracey Brockman

      So very true. Thanks Kenny for writing what I was thinking.

  20. Jerome Smith

    I’m more and more disgusted with America’s politicians every day as I see their lack of a spine on display. Their moral depravity is astounding and lack of responsibility for anything that matters continues to shock even the mildest person.

  21. Janna Faulkner

    Great example. I read it at PowerLineBlog and noted their disgust also.

    1. Eric Coda

      Yes, I found several good articles on it and was dismayed when I read how lacking in character these city council members were. I also read that their cities’ credit rating was downgraded. You would think the Madison WI city council would be working on important things that directly affect their citizens.

  22. Army Captain

    Shocking to those of us in the military who fear that our graves might be dug up and chucked in the trash one day because we will be judged by unknown future (and rotating) values.

    1. Anita

      As usual, straight as an arrow, Army Captain. Thanks for your service.

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