07 June 2012

For the Record... Following Yesterday's Post.

For the record, I do not think rural people are all idiots. My prior post was written with a touch of anger and despair in light of the recent democratic ass-whuppin' here in Wisconsin. All people are idiots sometimes.

Even "over-educated liberal elitists" like myself are idiots sometimes. I could write about that, too, but, frankly, that would be a whole different blog. It'd be called "All the Ways I've Screwed Up, Over and Over and Over Again... Just Ask My Parents or My Wife." I'm a recovering cynic and an active skeptic. Forgive me. I slip. Sometimes I fall.

We are all subject to media influence and the trap of seeking out information to confirm our foregone conclusions. This is normative behavior, motivated reasoning. And it is part of life in modern society, for better and for worse.

Truth is, the ideals of a deliberative democracy are only approached through a pluralistic and open set of discourses on the potential direction of any group. Large or small, state or nation, we all need to work towards a common goal of more-or-less centrist progress. Some of my recent comments were reactionary and un-centered in ways that have caused a little turmoil. For that, I apologize.

On the upside, however, it has afforded a direct and vigorous dialogue among my lefty and righty friends. As much as I normally eschew controversy and conflict, it has been a good lesson in putting oneself out there and needing to take the heat of reprisal. Keep up the dialogue friends. It's the only way Forward.

06 June 2012

Response to a family member regarding the recent Wisconsin election

I received the following email this morning from a family member in nearby Minnesota. This is in light of the historic Wisconsin recall effort of yesterday:

Well I see I was correct and Walker got reelected. Now just think if Wis would have waited for his term to end then try and get him out the $$$ it would have saved the state.
One reason for his reelection, to save $$$ for the working class????!!!!

Just  had to pimp you a little on this. 
have a good day................!!

Just for kicks, I am posting my response (replied to via email) below:


You'll notice that the two largest economic engines in the state, the centers of population and education (with both UW and Marquette universities, among others) voted overwhelmingly to recall. And much of the rest of the state was not strongly "red" nor "blue" but more of a well-mixed "purple."  It was in the strongly rural, central part of the state that the millions in outside corporate money was largely spent to influence voters in favor of Walker.  I want to have faith in people to make up their own minds but, sadly, it keeps turning out that most people are just fucking idiots.

It is a blow to lower income people, a blow for minority populations, a blow to women, a blow to public education. You may not be a strong supporter of progressive education but policies here over the past year have cut public schools off at the knee and effectively started bleeding them dry. We are also dead last in job growth for the entire nation.  A future of private schools (for those who can afford it) and shit-for-brains (for those who can't) is what Wisconsin is facing.

It's the best government that rich white men can buy, no doubt. You can pretend that society deals everyone an even hand and provides equal opportunity for all if they only "get off their asses" and "work hard." But it's not true. Hard work matters, yes, but current "leadership" that continues to privilege the upper class, corporate sponsored oligarchy does all that it can to disenfranchise those who don't have the social or financial capital to "make it." 

In a crowded landscape of opinions can you expect your voice to be heard, even if you and hundreds of thousands of your like-minded peers are yelling, if the opposition has a 500 watt amplification system set up and is drowning out the voices of reason with its extremist propaganda?  This is a metaphor I hope you can consider, if not actually accept.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thank god the senate has at least turned to a Dem. majority in order to provide some balance to the extremist right-wing agenda being set forth by the Koch brothers and their puppet boy, Walker.

There was a lot to fix with the unions. There was nothing much to be excited about with Barrett. But I'm tired of extremism. Just try to find some non-partisan news on TV or radio any more. It is rare. I may be pretty liberal in a lot of ways but I'm also tired of the far left just as I am sick of the far right. Elected officials need to remember that they are ostensibly elected to represent ALL the people of their region, not just the monied interests that bought them into power. Walker is an ideological extremist.  He benefits his people and only his people. Not THE people.

What this election comes down to in a lot of ways is the "Citizens United" decision that allows unlimited campaign donations. It's incredibly bad for democracy and for America as it simply acts as a catalyst to further divide both the growing gaps in power and knowledge among the electorate. Until it is repealed, the voices of the people, the actual people, the concerned people, will be flooded out and washed downstream on a wave of billionaire attack-ads and ALEC-sponsored legislation. People who are not outraged by this, as cliche as it may be, are simply not paying attention.

I'll be somewhat surprised, frankly, if you're still reading this email. But, if you are, thanks.  I think its probably best if we just don't talk about politics any more.  The Brewers also got their asses kicked last night. We can talk about that.