Now we know. Money was more than enough.
When I heard the results last night, I was disappointed but not surprised. The polls were discouraging, and they were right. People power was not sufficient to overcome the enormous advantage that Walker had as a result of the millions of dollars that poured in from out-of-state people. Walker had become the poster boy for the hard-right, having stripped collective bargaining rights from working people and demonized their unions.
What hope is there for the future? Plenty. We know from history that bad ideas may prevail for a time, but with enough work, even the worst of autocracies and regimes die. Bad things don’t last forever. They don’t die by themselves; they don’t collapse. They die because of determined, relentless opposition from those who understand what is at stake for their children and their society and who are willing to take personal risks to stand up for what is right. Fools, liars, miscreants, authoritarians, and evil-doers are eventually exposed (this list of adjectives describes many of those now in power, here and elsewhere–it is not a personal reference to Walker).
There will be another election, and next time those who seek a better society for their children and everyone else’s must do more to win popular support.
Walker’s victory was a tremendous loss for our nation. It will embolden the hard right to renew their mean-spirited attacks on those who do the daily work of serving the public. It will embolden those members of the 1% to keep pouring millions into the coffers of those who protect their privilege.
The work of educating the public now begins again. The change will happen. It is up to each of us to do what we can, when we can, where we can, how we can, to make it happen.
P.S. There is a light in the midst of the darkness. The Democrats seem to have captured control of the Wisconsin Senate by one vote. They won’t be able to roll back any of Walker’s destructive legislation, but they can stop further damage to education, children, and the environment.