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.