On Wisconsin/On Wisconsin! 

I came home to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this week, in order to help get out the vote ahead of the election to recall Gov Scott Walker. According to the official vote tally, we lost. I’ve heard media voices from around the state, country, and even on the BBC declaring the “meaning” of this election. And I’d like to offer my perspective, as a person with roots here and in NYC, and a multi-cultural perspective.

To begin with, I’m still proud of Wisconsin. I still love and respect my friends and family members who see these issues differently. I think progressives in Wisconsin can be proud of what they’ve accomplished considering the odds stacked against them. But…

What does Walker's victory mean?

1) Money matter's.

Let's be real. If Barret had raised 3, 8, or 10 times more than Walker. The result easily could have been a big victory for Barret. I’m not being inconsistent. I think raising more money helped Obama beat Mc Cain. And I’m not saying only certain other people are influenced by how money becomes speech and power. We’re all influenced by this. I might have been more enthusiastic, if it hadn’t been for the power of negative media spin to make me feel discouraged.

2) You can't fight the Right from the Center

Basic progressive ideas are what sparked this movement: Wokers rights are human rights. 99% of us are working class (whether or not we can find work at the moment). We deserved a candidate who would stand on these issues. Tom Barret did not.

3) Progressive leaders need to follow the grass roots, not the other way around.

4) Right wing forces can still win in Wisconsin by divide and conquer politics. But this victory is one of the last for a dying regime based on a 20th century paradigm, continuing to follow this paradigm will only lead to further decline in the 21st century.

Scott Walker's backward 20th century paradigm: Blame workers with decent pay and benefits, blame Unions that represent them, blame the Cities, blame the public schools, colleges, and universities, blame the youth, and implicitly blame the parts of Wisconsin that are racially and culturally diverse. Then while folks are distracted by the blame game, enact policies that make his 1% masters richer and more powerful.

However, If Wisconsin's future is to be a bright one for the 99%, all workers deserve decent pay and benefits and many will need Unions to win better pay and benefits. If Wisconsin's economy is going to turn around, the Cities must be the primary economic engine (the ex-urban model of lend and sprawl is broken, and it's not coming back). Accessible and excellent public schools, colleges, and Universities shall be the most important institutions for building Wisconsin's future. If Wisconsin wants to be relevant as these United States becomes a majority of color nation in the 21st century, Wisconsin must embrace diversity. And of course, the youth are our future, and they are worthy of praise.

On Wisconsin!

Let me know what you think about these issues.

Thanks for listening,

Marcos de Jesus Wille


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