July 9, 2006

"I particularly picked Socialism, because of several things in its philosophy."

"One was the brotherhood of people all over the world. Another was its struggle for peace. Another was the equal distribution of economic goods. Another was the idea of cooperation. A fifth was the idea of democratic planning in order to achieve your goals. Those were pretty good ideas."

Let's not cavil today. Let's say goodbye to a Frank Zeidler, the last Socialist mayor of a large American city.
Milwaukee has had non-partisan elections since 1912, but Socialism had developed a strong foothold in the largely German and working-class Milwaukee of the turn of the century, said Milwaukee historian John Gurda.

"They were creative; they were incorruptible; they were absolutely incorruptible; they were frugal," Gurda said of the Socialists.
Zeidler served as mayor of Milwaukee from 1948 to 1960, and died at the age of 93.
"Historians described him in the tradition of Milwaukee's sewer socialists," said Zeidler's youngest daughter, Jeanne, who followed her father into politics and is mayor of Williamsburg, Va.

"They were community leaders, mayors of Milwaukee who thought everyone should have access to plumbing in their homes," she said. "But he also had a bigger vision than that. He really was an activist of world peace, of tolerance, of people working together."

His three terms as mayor were marked by large-scale construction of public housing, creation of the first educational television station in Wisconsin and city beautification programs.

13 comments:

JohnF said...

Another lesson that integrity and common sense trump ideology in public servants.

Richard said...

"Equal distribution of economic goods" was a "pretty good idea?" Must we really say nice things about Mr. Zeidler today? Good riddance to the man.

Troy said...

Obviously he had enough Madisonians to agree with enough of his platform to get reelected. He seems to have had a feel for common folks, however misguided his politics. Don't speak ill of the man, but hope socialism follows him to the grave.

Wade_Garrett said...

Wayne Campbell: So, do you come to Milwaukee often?
Alice Cooper: Well, I'm a regular visitor here, but Milwaukee has certainly had its share of visitors. The French missionaries and explorers began visiting here in the late 16th century.
Pete: Hey, isn't "Milwaukee" an Indian name?
Alice: Yes, Pete, it is. In fact , it's pronounced "mill-e-wah-que" which is Algonquin for "the good land."
Wayne: I was not aware of that.
Alice: Actually, what I find most interesting about Milwaukee is that it is the only major American city to elect three socialist mayors.
Wayne: Does this guy know how to party, or what?

Carl from Chicago said...

That public housing "plan" in Milwaukee worked out about as well for you as it did for us in Chicago. One of Daley's biggest achievements is the demolition of some of the most blighted ones. Maybe someone in Milwaukee will wake up and do the same.

Mary said...

Except Troy,
Madisonians don't generally vote in Milwaukee.

Troy said...

oops...

Milwaukeeans? Whatever... :-)

Boghie said...

Cavil...
... Cavil...

Well, at least me can get a bit more edumakated at this blog...

Uuuuuggggghhhhhhh...

M-W is a good thing...

"Orange Mike" Lowrey said...

Richard, I'm sorry your moral growth and empathy are so stunted.

I consider myself blessed by God to have had Frank as a friend, a comrade, and a brother in Christ. Frank always said that he was a Socialist because he was a Christian; that democratic socialism was the only practical way of putting Christian ethics into practice in politics.

And Carl from Chicago is obviously too young to remember what the housing situation was like in the bad old days after World War 2. Just because Chicago couldn't get it right, doesn't mean it couldn't be done by a more honest administrator such as Frank.

Mark said...

"Frank always said that he was a Socialist because he was a Christian; that democratic socialism was the only practical way of putting Christian ethics into practice in politics."

Well, then I guess theft and aggression are Christian policies.

Seven Machos said...

Ah, socialists. Perpetually saying that just because it has always gone horrifically wrong in practice, that only means that the leaders of the past and the people of the past just weren't up to the task.

One day, our people and our leaders will be good enough for socialism. Right, Orange Mike?

pst314 said...

"Just because Chicago couldn't get it right, doesn't mean it couldn't be done by a more honest administrator such as Frank."

It didn't work out very well elsewhere either. The root cause of their failure was not how honest or dishonest the administrators were, but rather the inherent problems of socialism. Not that anyone should have to point that out today, after all the books and studies documenting that failure.

pst314 said...

"And Carl from Chicago is obviously too young to remember what the housing situation was like in the bad old days after World War 2."

Orange mike lowrey is also too young to remember.