Recalloholics Anonymous: A 12-Step Guide to Recovering Our Achievements

My name is Wisconsin, and I am a Recalloholic.

It's been 3 days since I turned in my last 1.9 million petitions.

I am a Wisconsin recall volunteer.  I have been active in the movement to take back our state from the first days of the protests against Scott Walker's betrayal of the people and I gave all I could during the recall effort to help in my community.  It was exhausting.  And I knew I might have some withdrawals, but I didn't realize how soon it would set in. The first couple of days were a blur of euphoria and pride: WE DID IT!  WE RECALLED SCOTT WALKER AND REBECCA KLEEFISCH!  We have made history.  We were all a part of that!  I was a part of that.  My name is inked forever into that moment and my signature has joined over a million others that we turned into the GAB on Tuesday.  We did it! We really did it!  WE RECALLED SCOTT WALKER! And REBECCA KLEEFISCH! And SCOTT FITZGERALD! And VAN WANGGAARD! And TERRY MOULTON! And PAM GALLOWAY! WE DID IT!

So.  Now what?  My clipboard is already getting dusty. My lanyard looks so lonely. What do we do now?

There's a ton of work to be done. We know that. We have to select a candidate, register voters, educate people about the new Voter ID law, get seniors and disabled people to the DMV to get their anti-disenfranchisement cards, elect a new governor.  We have to pay attention to all the big-money legislation that is being crammed through right now in the Capitol before balance can be restored. We have to be ready to fight each of these things. But that work cannot be done in a day. We can only make plans, get started, remain vigilant and involved. 

But today I am taking a few minutes away from that work to count my blessings, and think of the things that we have achieved in the last eleven months to help me get over my recall addiction. 

Recalloholics Anonymous: 
12 Steps to Recovering By Realizing What We Have Achieved:
  1. We have shown the whole world now knows what democracy looks like (and sounds like).  We have given the rest of the country the proof they need to know that when the people stand together and fight back, they do have a chance against the corporate elite trying to buy our government. Democracy means our voices count - and our voices have been heard around the world.
  2. We have built solidarity friendships that will strengthen our communities for years to come.  For every grievance we share, we’ve found a reason to connect. And it’s a beautiful thing.
  3. Scott Walker’s resume now says “future former Governor of Wisconsin” (right above “Education: N/A”).
  4. We have learned how to organize, how to act fast, and how to get things done. Even bagpipes now set off our protest reflex.
  5. We've changed the discourse. Wisconsin is now a symbol of resistance and citizen action. Even my 5-year-old says “Look! Blue fist!” every time she sees anything in the shape of Wisconsin.
  6. We've changed the way we see our state, and our role in it. The people's house is OUR house, and people who had never before entered its doors now call it home. Added bonus: macaroni and cheese pizza is now an official part of every Capitol outing. Thanks, Ian’s!
  7. In our occupation of our own future, we sparked a national movement. And people now have irrefutable proof that every vote counts, every voice matters and everyone can make a difference. From Madison to Wall Street, grassroots action works.
  8. We finally know all the words to “Solidarity Forever.” [1]
  9. We woke up a generation. Kids across Wisconsin think Walker’s first name is “Recall.”
  10. We brought attention to the importance of staying alert and the need for citizen watchdogs. We will not make the same mistake again of sleeping through an election, or not paying attention to what's going on in the Capitol. We are awake, and we won't be sleeping again soon.
  11. We're braver now, and stronger.  We learned that we don't back down, and that knowledge will get us through the next hard phase of making this world a better place.
  12. We are changing the future. If 2011 was the year of the protester, 2012 will be the year of citizen action. We’ve got a lot of work to do, and we can’t wait to get started!  
Wisconsin, We Did It!  video by Nicole Desautels Schulte

[1] Debatable benefit.


  1. Let's just think of the 'Recall' as a dress rehearsal for the main event!

  2. I like to think we're just getting started. So far so good. But baby, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

  3. And more of us will be braver and finally decide it's time to run for office ourselves if we want to be the change we need

  4. Yes, Anonymous. I am beginning to think (seriously, not just to have crazy ideas) about running for office myself. It is exciting. I'm going to get involved in everything from a county supervisor race to the Walker recall election, and we'll see where that leads.

  5. The actual 12 step program is a difficult process of VERY honest self-examination. It involves a strenuous learning process about self, family and society. It's not a cheesey pep-talk designed to impress your Party friends.

  6. I almost put a disclaimer but figured I'd wait until someone spoiled the fun with a preachy comment...didn't take long. I think we've been through a strenuous enough learning process in the past year to earn a cheesy pep-talk. And I look forward to celebrating very soon with my Victory Party friends - I'm not a card-carrying member of any party, but the people on our teams are Dems, Republicans, independents, progressives and loads of people who don't even really care about politics but just want to see a fair and balanced system in place that benefits all of us, not just the top few. Anyone who doesn't see this yet might do well to enlist a more strenuous program of honest self-examination, so thank you for pointing this out.

  7. I cannot wait for ''THE MAIN EVENT''.

  8. hello thanks you for the helpful information