In a new twist, supporters of Gov. Scott Walker have been encouraging voters to write in Walker as a candidate in the Democratic primary for the recall election.
This builds on the saga Walker supporters have created by doing things like running “fake Democratic” Republicans in Democratic primaries. It seems the reality that Walker might actually lose in a recall is dawning on them.
As Wisconsin Democratic Party Spokesman Graeme Zielinski put it for the Menomonee Falls Patch, “Republicans seem frightened by democracy and the will of the people and, given what Scott Walker has done to ruin Wisconsin, they should be.”
I agree with Zielinski, who feels this new tactic has no chance of succeeding, just as the “fake Democrats” ploy failed. But it certainly speaks to the sad reality of modern politics.
Some will hear this and be quick to label Wisconsin Republicans as corrupt and disrespectful of the democratic process. But the reality is the people doing this are only a small faction in the party. Yet, through their misguided behavior, they give all Wisconsin Republicans a bad rap. One can easily compare this subterfuge to the hecklers at Walker’s recent State of the State address. These folks acted on their own immature impulses and in doing so made all Wisconsin Democrats look like disrespectful idiots.
These are the kinds of actions that make bipartisanship impossible in today’s political climate. A few lone rogues paint their own party as crazy because they can see Russia from their house. The only reason any Walker supporter would try such an extreme measure is because they’re afraid he would actually lose. They’re afraid people don’t want him in office, and they’re willing to compromise the democratic process.
It’s unlikely that voters will turn up for the recall and have to choose between Walker and Walker, but the whole issue still conjures up an image of an Orwellian dictatorship. All in all, Walker ought to distance himself from the people organizing his write-ins on the Democratic primary. In fact, he should outright discourage it and pressure organizers not to continue. Otherwise, he’ll appear to agree with what they’re doing. And with the ongoing John Doe investigations, that’s the last thing he needs.
The worst part of the whole debacle of course is that, as mentioned, it only contributes to the schism between Democrats and Republicans. When we are constantly bombarded with prime examples of the ignoble behavior of a group, those notable examples become the most readily available schemas.
So go ahead and keep it up, those of you who want to take away Wisconsinites’ ability to vote. But you are only painting your party as radical, close-minded buffoons. This is just as disheartening as hearing the hecklers during Walker’s State of the State. It further justified the Republican belief that those protesters marching outside the Capitol weren’t ordinary citizens but hysterical, uncivil hippies.
I often find myself reading similar news items and immediately think, “See! That party IS crazy!” But then that lovely critical thinking this university is supposed to imbue in us sets in, and I realize it’s just a misrepresentation. Not all Wisconsin Republicans are democracy-depriving radicals; not all Democrats are peace-loving hippies.
I urge you all to keep this in mind. We are not waging a war against some despotic opponent. We are supposed to be having civil discourse. One of Madison’s most glaring flaws is its lack of conservative thought. Try sitting down sometime with someone from an opposite party and you’ll find those liberal ideas that were “obviously right” become a personal preference.
Reginald Young (ryoung@badgerherald) is a junior majoring in legal studies and Scandinavian studies.