Tuesday, June 5, 2012

holding our (collective) breath

It's a big defining moment today in Wisconsin.  The cows still need to get milked, the Brewers still need to beat the Cubs, the hay needs mowing and anyone sitting outside at night still needs to spray down to keep the mosquitoes at bay.  While we cheeseheads collectively go about our everyday business, the polls are open.

I'll cast the same ballot I cast last November.  Nothing our current governor did since he was elected surprised me in the least--but I'm a voter who pays attention to the debates and looks at the big picture.  In November the final tally was close and I was disappointed, but that's the price of living in with majority rule.  Sometimes you cast your ballot on the losing side and you roll with it, hoping people wise up the next time around.

I guess a lot of people were surprised by the guy they elected so they rallied enough support for a recall.  A do-over.  A "wait!  I wasn't paying attention and I want to change my vote now that I understand this better."

Since November I've perceived one major change in my fair state:  it's divided and angry.  My neighbors put out campaign signs and I silently judge them by their political alliance.  People post their opinions on Facebook and I block their updates so I don't have to know what they think.  I'm really no better than "them," the only difference is that I keep most of my politics to myself.  Cowardly or courteous?  I don't know.  By disengaging from the political discourse I'm trying to keep peace, but by not discussing opposing politics I fear I get further entrenched in one camp, guilty of the political divide I accuse others of forming.  What I do know is I'm weary of it all--and I really don't know which outcome today will heal.  Neither, I think. 

My biggest wish for today is for healing to start.  I want us to start working together for the collective good.  I predict that's not going to happen no matter which way the people vote, however, because there's too much money and too much outside influence involved now.  If one guy wins, the money flows to keep him in office and squelch any opposition.  If the other guy wins, the money flows in to undermine his every move until the next election.  Meanwhile, the rhetoric will remain loaded, aimed at distracting people from the big picture and the common good with slivers and splinters like "Voter Rights" and "Bargaining Rights" and "Reproductive Rights" and "Rights to Bear Arms." 

What about our Right to Eat Dinner Without Political Robo-Calls?  Our Right to Watch TV Without Mud-Slinging Commercial Interruptions?  Our Right to Leadership Intent on the Voters' Best Interests?  Our Right to Leaders With Wisconsin, NOT Party Affiliation At Heart?  Our Right to Truth and Justice? 

My heart is heavy today because I think no matter who wins, we all lose.

16 comments:

  1. It is too true that politics has become a game of money and hate, rather than the discourse and compromise it needs to be. And taking money out of the equation would be such a good thing.

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  2. I totally get where you're coming from, but I have hope for change today and hope that the change will bring good to our lovely state. If it helps make your day any better, I've seen canvassers as young as 18 and as old as in their 80s (with fanny packs and straw hats, to boot). There is a real grassroots effort out there. With a great leader, I think there is reason to believe that there could be healing and movement toward caring for the many, rather than the few (out-of-state businessmen).

    Either way, I'm heading to the polls as soon as the girls wake up, and I'll do so proudly. Then, come evening news time, I'll turn my focus to bedtime stories, tending the garden and Columbo on Netflix, and I'll hope I wake up to good news.

    Solidarity, my friend. Solidarity!

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  3. I keep my politics to myself as well, for the most part. I hope your state has the healing you are hoping for too.

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  4. I too have seen the political climate dividing more and more with each sides opinion leaning toward "me, me, me" instead of "let's get together for the good of all".
    there is too much greed and power flowing through politics now.
    Hope things work out for the good of you state.

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  5. Bottom line is that anymore it is all about money. You are so right in what you say here. If Walker is voted out, then will the next candidate simply be stonewalled with money from the Walker camp? More than likely. I have little hope for a government of the people any longer. Our government is being bought up by a very few old billionaires who buy what they want. However, the grass roots movement in Wisconsin is certainly encouraging. Long may they live.

    Also, I think it is necessary for reasonable people to state their positions but not necessary to plaster it everywhere.

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  6. We spent last weekend in Madison...talk about some passionate people! I was amazed at the age range of the protesters, of course there was our age group, but the little old grandmas dressed in colonial style singing to the tune The Grand Old Flag about paying attention when you vote or you get what you deserve!

    Personally, I think that we have become so enslaved by "Our Rights" that we can't take the focus off ourselves and onto the greater good...no one wants to lose what they "deserve", so no one wins by letting everyone win. Truthfully, I have no faith in the government, no matter where they place their party line...both will screw us just from a different angle. (and I am SO sick of the constant facebook onslaught of political garbage...I'm done)

    Lots of love today from your sister below the cheddar curtain (in a state who knows how to pick Great governors..just saying, lol)

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  7. I've watched a bit on CNN about the state of affairs there and the bitter and ugly things that people are saying to one another. I'd try my best to stay out of it too and let the polls decide the outcome. So sorry you all are going through this. :-((

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  8. Well put. But I'm sorry for your heavy heart. What you wrote rings true for me in overall politics. What about leaders who want to do the right thing? What about leaders who TRULY have the people's needs at heart? What about working together instead of fighting each other?

    The current behaviors are exhausting and they're getting us nowhere.

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  9. thought of you this morning when I heard a story about the vote on NPR..... i'm hoping for healing as well.

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  10. Excellent post. I hope tomorrow things look less bitter.

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  11. If what I hear on Facebook is right it looks like not the outcome that many of us that don't live in Wisconsin were hoping for--I certainly know my FIL, who is visiting from North Dakota--was watching the race all day.

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  12. As long as you vote I get annoyed when people bitch about who got elected when they didn't bother to vote...........

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  13. I watched CNN about this over the last couple of days and thought about you. Your electoral system down there seems to be filled with such vitriol, I wouldn't be able to stand it. I hope at least now you'll get some relief from the incessant campaigning - at least until November draws closer.

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Spill it, reader.