I'm afraid you haven't heard the bad news, or perhaps it just hasn't fully sunk in yet: Scott Walker is still our governor. And that stinks. To put how much this stinks into perspective, think of it this way: Scott Walker still being our governor stinks as much to me as my exercising my right to free speech stinks to you. Really. That much. So we may have something in common after all: mutual agony and frustration.
Anyway, Scott Walker still being our governor actually means we won't be going away. It does not mean, as some of you seem to have hoped, that we will now stop caring about the abuses of power and threats to our livelihood and our future that this administration has made inevitable. In fact, we will probably be speaking out much more than if Scott Walker was no longer our governor, on account of the dramatically increased need for citizen vigilance and people to stand up for our schools, kids, needy, unemployed, underemployed, homeless, working poor, working not-poor, public sector workers, private sector workers, small business owners, teachers, librarians, women, people with disabilities, people without insurance, people who can't afford the insurance they do have, people who wish they could get their share of the federal foreclosure money they should rightfully receive that was siphoned off by the governor, people who can't afford the new college tuition increases, people who care about the environment, people who care about the deficit we're kicking down the road, people who care about a return to civility, people struggling to make ends meet, and so on.
Let me give you an example of why I'm so sure we're not going away: the kinder, gentler Scott Walker just said that public union benefits are a "virus." That's right. One day after he hosted his Bipartisan Beers & Brats Lovefest of Lies & Deceit, he took yet another stab at the compensation public workers have paid into with their education, experience and negotiations over many, many years, in an effort to further the absurd lie that public employees are a blight - and a contagious one at that! - on society.
Not exactly the sort of healing talk we were looking for, or the sort of fence-mending we were promised on election night.
So, sorry. But I'm pretty sure we're not going anywhere for a while. I propose we make the most of it by working together to move forward: let's all pay attention to what's really going on. Let's talk about it. Let's do something about it. Despite what our governor says, there is more to every issue than just "my way or the highway." There's middle ground to be found. Scott Walker might not be interested in finding it, but that doesn't mean the rest of us have also to pretend to be myopic bullies. We can work things out, you know. That's what dialogue is for.
One of Many Concerned Wisconsin Citizens
P.S. Some of you, I know, are well aware that Scott Walker is still our governor. I know this because you keep saying "You lost! Get over it!" To you, I just have to say this: I can accept that we lost. But I will not accept being silenced. Nor will I accept the assault on my children's education that continues to be waged as we speak, or the disgraceful attacks on their teachers that continue to come from the highest office in the state. These are things I cannot get over. But I might suggest that if you are so concerned about getting over things, you accept that you have won, and consider paying less attention to those who ideas you find so useless. Or, you accept that we might actually have some room for dialogue after all, and approach our differences with respect. That's all we ever really wanted in the first place.