Warning: Wisconsin taxpayers are smarter than a brainwashed third grader

Dear Scott Walker,

I'm really enjoying watching your live humiliation in Washington as you attempt to brag about your attempts to destroy the Wisconsin education system and middle class so that Wisconsin is "open for business" to you and your out-of-state funders.  I'm not a drinker, but I see how people could make a pretty fun game out of your empty use of the phrases "tools" and "open for business."  Once you get in front of an educated crowd, it's not as easy to get away with sounding like a broken record, is it? You sure do know how to put the tool in in "tools." Must be terribly embarrassing for you - your internal and external squirming is palpable; very awkward. You should come to MATC sometime and take the class you apparently missed in your short stint at college on Oral and Interpersonal Communications - I could give you some great tips for that. But I'm sure by now your staff has assured you that you were brilliant and you're all geared up to make another public appearance spewing the same ridiculous lies and misinformation very soon...so I'm not going to waste any time feeling sorry for you, sorry as you are.

Anyway, your trip to Washington, your trip to Florida, your many trips outside of the state are really getting on my nerves. Why are you out on a fundraising and misinformation campaign instead of addressing the mess you made at home? You hypocritically raise money to fight recalls of Republican Senators even as you talk about how the "only" people against your bill are "out of state" protesters, union leaders and idiots....but don't fool yourself into thinking anyone's buying it. You're just like George W. Bush, declaring "Mission Accomplished" and accepting congratulatory hand-outs and pats on the back when all you've done is make a giant failure of a mess that you have no desire or intention to do anything about cleaning up.

But don't you feel even a tiny bit bad about going around the country insulting the people of your state?  Seriously! I am so fed up with you dismissing us as "out of state protesters" or "union bosses" and contrasting us with "the taxpayers" - it's so insulting that it makes communication practically impossible.  I think Ted Rulseh is right - you are intentionally trying to polarize our state to distract people from what you're really doing to our economy, education system, and basic rights.  It's disgusting.  Public vs private workers. Republicans vs Democrats. Union vs union. Taxpayer vs. taxpayer. All so that the haves can stomp on the have-nots without their noticing so much.

And nothing makes this intentionally divisive behavior more crystal clear to me than the letter you recently posted on your facebook page that you allegedly received from an almost-9-year-old child:
Here's that letter the way you published it:
Dear Governor Scott Walker,
My name is XXXXX XXXX and I am almost 9 years old. My parents were talking about what is going on in Madison and I asked a few questions about the government. If I’m 9 years old and I can understand what you’re trying to do with the bill, maybe you should try spreading your story the way I would understand it.   Here’s what I understand about the bill: The money that goes into teachers’ retirement and health care funds comes out of tax-payer’s pockets. We’ve promised something that is unsustainable (unsustainable means can’t go on forever). It’s either change the way benefits are paid for, or some teachers and public workers lose their jobs. The other big part of the bill is about workers’ “rights”—the rules that the employers have to follow so they don’t hurt the workers. Your Bill makes it so that workers can join the union if they want to, if not they can talk to their boss to work out rules.   What the workers don’t understand is that they think they have no rights. But they still will have rights just like every American. They think you believe that they don’t do a good job so they get paid less. But that is not true. We don’t have enough money to pay them as much. Like if something did not buy one of my dad’s trees because they can’t afford it, that doesn’t mean they don’t like trees. The workers think you don’t care about education. But that is not true. I believe in you. I always wish I could shout: “GO SCOTT WALKER!!!” But I don’t because teachers might be mad at me.   Hope my suggestions help!!   XXXXX X. XXXX

Now, I won't get into whether or not the letter really came from a kid, though as a parent and writing teacher, it's pretty obvious to me that if a child wrote that letter, it was with at least a little "guidance." But what's really offensive here is in the content of the letter (oversimplification and lies), and your nerve in insinuating, by praising this letter, that not only is anyone who is opposed to you stupider than a child, but that anyone who is opposed to you has no valid reason for dissent. Even more offensive is the closing line of the letter, which takes a shameless stab at teachers as if they are stupider than their students and refuse to see the "truth" about your bill.  The sophomoric illogic with which this alleged child "reasons" your budget is insulting and demeaning to anyone who has read the budget bill, and also to your supporters, who deserve an honest picture of what that bill actually contains. Ironically, this almost insults your own supporters as much or more than those who oppose you - do you really think they're so stupid that you can just tell them "See! A child thinks my bill is great! It must be great!"  Why don't you let your supporters read the letter my friend's 6-year-old son wrote to you? It was much smarter, more succinct, and very much opposed to your policies. Better yet, why don't you stop playing PR games and start reading the letters you're actually receiving from concerned and enraged taxpayers? Why don't you publish some of these letters - the ones with facts, footnotes and evidence?  An "almost-nine-year-old" kid warrants a spot on your facebook page but you can't even have one of your staff send a note to the thousands of people writing you every day acknowledging receipt of (forget about showing respect for!) their time-consuming and valid concerns about your shameful and ignorant behavior as governor of this state?! Disgusting.

The fact that you show a child who agrees with you the respect that you refuse to show the hard-working, dedicated taxpayers and other citizens of this state speaks volumes of your arrogance and total disregard for the people of Wisconsin.  For over 100 days now, hundreds of thousands of educators, nurses, librarians, police officers, fire fighters, sanitation and transportation workers, and concerned citizens from all classes, spheres and political perspectives have been - quite literally - shouting out all the many, many valid reasons for objecting to your agenda, and the many, many ways that your agenda will hurt our state. And you insult us, ignore us, and disregard us at every opportunity.  And now you add insult to injury by telling us that not only do you not care about what we have to say, but you assume that what we have to say is so irrelevant, so petty, so terribly uniformed, that an "almost-9-year-old" is more deserving of your time, respect and attention.

Your "base" may enjoy the petty you're-not-smarter-than-a-third-grader jab you offered them on your facebook page, but I have news for you. I'm way smarter than a third grader. Read my letters. Read the letters of informed and concerned adults with serious concerns and valid complaints and stop trivializing our dissent.


Heather DuBois Bourenane
Almost-39-year-old Wisconsin taxpayer who has read, understood and objects to the entire budget bill

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