I’m happy to talk contemporary issues, but I avoid mentioning specific races for public office, apart from hilarious but ultimately inconsequential gaffes and candidates whose names also mean poop-lube. MA101 will always strive to be your non-partisan source for tasteless internet humor and the occasional piece of actual writing advice.
Today I am breaking all the self-imposed rules and telling each and every one of you that lives in Wisconsin to go vote, and specifically to go vote for Tom Barrett.
Don’t make excuses, don’t tell me you’re a moderate and above all this high political drama; don’t just get lazy and stay home jerking off instead. Go to the polling place and jerk off if you must, but jerk off after you cast your ballot, so that the public indecency arrest doesn’t interfere with your participation in the democratic process.
Recalling Scott Walker goes beyond partisan hackery. It’s not about that one white guy on the Democratic ticket versus that one white guy on the Republican ticket and who really cares about the guy so long as it’s our guy, although those are of course still our only choices for candidates (plus a third-party spoiler that no one cares about; also white; also male).
The pure level of outside spending, outright lies in both advertising and TV coverage (remember the palm trees, anyone?), and aggressive voter suppression on the Republican side has made this into a test of whether or not there are still enough educated voters in Wisconsin for democracy to work. Getting out to vote against Scott Walker is, if nothing else, one more vote that says “no, money on its own is still not quite enough to buy high office in America.”
It’s important to highlight how little of a policy argument — the nuts and bolts stuff of actual lawmaking; the work governors and state legislators do that affects us all but no one likes to read about — there is for Scott Walker or the Republican majorities he’s worked with since the 2010 elections. None of their major policy achievements (and there are surprisingly few of them) have helped the state in any meaningful way. The arguments for Scott Walker are talking points: a statistic out of context here, a cable-TV truism there; nothing you could get more than a paragraph out of even if you broke out the thesaurus.
Go vote that guy out of office.
It’s an embarrassment to the state of Wisconsin and the idea of American democracy that an election could be kept this close by massive spending on advertising. We’re not just voting to remove an eminently dislikeable governor; we’re voting to prove that people still pay attention to politics beyond the thirty-second spots on cable.
And if you live in Wisconsin and you haven’t been following anything but the cable ad spots, spend a couple hours reading about actual issues (in newspapers, please, not on candidate or party websites from either side, or shamelessly opinionated blogs like mine) and then go vote. Polls are open until 8 PM, and you can find your polling place by entering your address at the Voter Public Access website.
Don’t embarrass me.