“This Is What Happens When YOU DON’T VOTE,” Wisconsin
Scott Walker is what happens when YOU DON’T VOTE. You get what you didn’t vote for.
Wisconsinites largely sat out the 2010 elections, despite the fact that both Barack and Michelle Obama campaigned in the state.
They laid out what the stakes were.
I voted, even though I held my nose while pulling the lever, as it were, for Democrats. Many students did not vote. Many students who are teaching and research assistants did not vote, either out of disappointment with the president for his centrist, Clintonesque policies or not feeling the fire of ’08. Now they feel threatened by this so-called budget repair bill that will take away their bargaining rights and even lower their already small salaries. Some out on the streets–police, firemen, and even certain teachers–voted for Walker in the midterm fever of let’s throw the bums out. Wrong move. They now say, I voted for Walker, but I didn’t vote for this. Yeah, you hoped Walker’s elevation would hurt others, and thought his policies wouldn’t hurt you. Surprise. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, are looking into early retirement because they cannot take the risk of losing their pensions in the wake of Walker’s juggernaut.
Well, truth be told, Wisconsin, either voting or not voting, for whatever reason, you ushered Scott Walker into the governorship. The Tea Party cannot be blamed for everything. And now we have to wait a whole year before we can chuck this little tinpot Napoleon out of office. If we can, at all. People have proved to have short attention spans. Not me.
Iceberg Slim over at This Week With Barack Obama is hoping that this episode wakes up the entire nation. She wrote this on February 23.
Wisconsin is learning it the HARD WAY.
People in Wisconsin are now waking up to having their rights for collective bargaining, STRIPPED AWAY, for good. When we know that collective bargaining in this instance does not have anything to do with Wisconsin’s budget. NOTHING.
If anyone does not believe this is the whole intention of the GOP/Republicans, then think again. After listening to the prankster posing as billionaire David Koch, while speaking to Governor Walker of Wisconsin, all you needed to know was right there to hear.
America, it is past time that you WOKE UP.
I never understood Americans voting against their financial interests, by voting Republican. Never did. And now there is hope that many are waking up to the reality of what the Republicans in this country is trying to do.
The Republicans have been very successful in busting unions in the South; they have virtually SHUT THEM DOWN AND OUT. Now this same hardball task is being assaulted on the Midwest, but it won’t work.
I am from Illinois and know all these Midwestern states; many people have prospered to become middle class primarily because of the Unions and collective bargaining. This is how health care became available, pensions, college funds for your children. It is because of the UNIONS.
And I will go even further, back in “da day” when folks (even pre-teen children in the days before child labor was abolished) were KILLED by the robber barons because they demanded more in pay, weekends off, holidays off, etc., this happened on the backs of millions of Americans who came together to FIGHT for their rights from the greedy ass corporations in this country. That time is no different from now in the sense that many Americans feel a “sense of urgency now” by watching what is happening in Wisconsin and spreading over the Midwest.
If the people of Wisconsin lose this battle, this will open up a can of worms that will rapidly charge ahead across this country. And don’t be fooled on what the Republicans will attempt next, if successful, I see minimum wage war on their table. Don’t think the Republicans won’t try it; they have been haggling at the minimum wage for YEARS. While millions of Americans know it is very difficult to survive on $7.25/hour. But if the Republicans are allowed to continue in this fashion, who is to say that your employer can not come to you one day and say, “We have to reduce your salary/pay due to ‘whatever fucking excuse’” they are allowed to find. Think it won’t happen if Governor Walker in Wisconsin is successful, think again. Every government program available to help millions of Americans will be stripped for good, because it is all about the deficit, when we know this is a bald face lie. It can happen if this precedent is allowed to go forward.
The Republicans don’t give a damn about the American Public. They answer to the big corporations in this country, period. And now Wisconsin is experiencing the wrath of big corporate influence right now. The battle lines have been drawn and Wisconsin must win or we will start to see the rapid demise of unions in this country.
Lastly, Wisconsin this is what happens when you don’t vote and don’t know who you are voting for. Scott Walker’s bullshit has been out there for some time, but when you are asleep and don’t know what hit you when you woke up, it can truly be too late to do anything about it. Let us hope that this is a LASTING wake up call for everyone because if we can not wake up, it really will be too late for us all.
I want to add that it is no accident that the most powerful Republicans are from the white South. They, like corporations, hate unions, because it threatens the status quo (thus, corporations become the new plantations). They hate teachers and higher education, because an educated, thinking populace won’t vote against their own interests. And many still hate, envy and fear people of color and immigrants, particularly as whites become a minority in their own country. As Markos (Daily Kos) Moulitsas related in recently, the Republicans in the 2010 elections have completed their political takeover of the South, just as the Democratic Party became the party of unreconstructed Southerners shortly after the Civil War. And these Republicans–unreconstructed, anti-civil rights, anti-labor, anti-immigrant, pro-corporation–are holding on for the long count. All of this is why the white electorate down South are still among the lowest-paid and intellectually-challenged Americans in the country. And what is dismaying is that they are proud of it. Proud, as if Jeff Foxworthy was the tip of the iceberg.
This mindset is not limited to just Southerners, though. Some Wisconsinites have fallen prey to class jealousy, Faux Noise–what I call the Ministry of Propaganda these days–and flag waving, as if this makes them more American than others. And they vote. They vote against their own interests, thinking that the cuts won’t touch them, that they are deserved, and that they’re getting their own back, from collective bargaining to Badger Care. Eventually, just as the chronicler wrote in Exodus about the ten plagues of Egypt, there won’t be a Wisconsin family who will not be touched by what Walker will wreak. It doesn’t matter how self-reliant you are or what your beliefs are. No one is that separate from his or her neighbor, and like a boomerang, the hurt will be returned to the senders. In spades. Not for nothing do protesters say that Governor Walker’s policies will turn Wisconsin into Mississippi.
A new poll clearly shows that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett would have won the election if it had occurred now. Hindsight is always 20/20. Barrett is still in Milwaukee. Russ Feingold is still not a senator any more. And so it goes.