Well that was a downer. Money has truly taken over electoral politics in America, and elections with continue to be well and truly skewed in favor of those who have the money to buy elections until such time as Citizens United can be undone.
I fear for our country. The corporate Republican establishment will see Scott Walker’s recall victory as a license to keep forcing austerity measures, which have already driven Europe to the brink of implosion, on American citizens, and our economy will continue to be held back by these policies.
The one bright spot of the night for Wisconsin is that John Lehman appears to have defeated Van Wanggaard in Racine’s state Senate district. This takes away the Republican majority in the state Senate and gives it to the Democrats, 17-16. At the very least, this sets up a roadblock between the Republican-controlled Assembly and the Governor’s desk and will mean that a certain level of bipartisanship will need to be met to pass any bill for the rest of the year.
But as far as national implications go, I’m very worried.
My other big takeaway is that the Democratic Party is dead. People who have generally supported them should stop propping up its corpse and start something new.
Today, Wisconsin holds an election to recall its governor, Scott Walker, as well as Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and state senators in four districts. I can’t help but feel that this may be the most pivotal election of our time. Despite the attempts at dismissal from some national pundits, this election has implications far beyond Wisconsin. There is a feeling in the deepest reaches of my soul that this election will determine whether we become again a nation that prospers, that cares for its fellow man, with the freedom and support to do and create wonderful things, or we become a dystopian fascist nightmare land in the vision of the corporate oligarchs pulling the strings of the modern Republican party.
My innate eternal pessimist is surprisingly docile. I have somehow been able to be very optimistic that Scott Walker will lose to Tom Barrett, even though I can feel my pessimistic tendencies tingling through my nerves, trying to get out. There are so many people in Wisconsin, infused with such positive energy, that I can’t help but feel like we’re going to be ok.
I leave with this beautiful and inspiring quote from Some Personal Recollection of Governor Dewey by Victor Kutchin:
Badgers: among the marching days, in the conquest of earth and air, beyond mere nationality, the banner that reaches the highest pinnacle must forever have engraven upon its folds your word, “Forward.”
[quote found here]