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Andy Kristensen

A Day in Ion Square

 A subtle blend of politics, sports, and music blended together and seen through the eyes of a young adult.

I Said What?! (Don't Worry, My Old Views Are Still Here Too)

             Tonight I decided to turn on the TV and watch the gubernatorial debate. Man, that was a horrible decision.

            I saw one thing, and one thing only: Walker refused to answer any questions asked of him this evening.

            Many of them were simple, such as: “Why are you so proud of gaining 23,000 jobs in the last year when that number is still the lowest in the entire Midwest?” or “Why do you have a legal defense fund set up for you if you claim you are under investigation?” I mean, those are pretty simple questions. At least give us somewhat of an answer, like most politicians. Instead, he refused to answer the questions and spun his responses onto totally different topics. When the moderator tried to get Walker back on track multiple times, he still refused.

            Governor Walker, answer the questions asked of you by the people you govern.

             Since the time of the Ancient Greeks, a democracy was defined as working only when the governing people listened to both the majority and the minority that they represented. “The tyranny of the majority” is a fundamental concept of government that many people should have learned in middle school civics classes, as I’m sure everyone has. If this lesson has been preached and true democracy means listening to everyone, why does Walker and his Tea Party zealots continue to marginalize and demonize their opponents? Why do they refuse to work with them in the state legislature, and why do they claim that all members of the minority are whiny complainers who want to do nothing but hold up governmental work?

            This concept was made clear in the debate tonight. Ever since he took office, Walker has attacked, attacked, and attacked again people that don’t agree with him. If anyone wants to refute this claim, go take a drive on highway I-94. For those who already have taken the journey from Madison to Milwaukee on this route, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about: the billboard that reads “Weapons of Mass Destruction? Crazy Liberals!” with the picture of a Looney Tune-like character looking like he’s on acid. This says one thing to me: people, probably Tea Party zealots, are so desperate into ramming through the idea that liberals are evil people that they have to put up a pathetic sign like that on a major highway. How childish is it to do something like that? And, may I point out, I don’t see any liberal billboards like that around anywhere in this state.

And that brings me to a conclusion I have made over the past few months: people on the left might not always be right, but they do not (in general- yes, people like Nancy Pelosi do this, but there are ten times as many people on the left who don’t) demonize people like conservatives do. Take this website for example. I have not met a conservative commenter who has not attacked liberals and called them uniformly “evil and the slime of the earth” (WFB is a prime example. Why do you refuse to call Democrats Democrats and instead only call them Dumocrats?). While there are liberal commenters who have also done the same thing and attacked conservative commenters and launched personal attacks, there are also a few who refuse to participate in petty name-calling. But, looking at the bigger picture, the Tea Party is the point that I am trying to get at here. I want to compare the Tea Party to another certain group that shared many of their same beliefs (hint for history buffs: I’m referring to a foreign state-run group that was active during the first time Czechoslovakia ceased to exist), but I don’t want to get that extreme. Tea Party members demonize everyone that is different from them, and if you don’t have the exact same views as them, you’re “American-hating socialists” or “don’t love the American flag and hate everything this country stands for!” If someone can find a Tea Party member that doesn’t fit this description, I would love to meet him or her. I want to respect Tea Party people and their views, but when all you do is preach hate and have no respect for people who don’t share your exact views, that irks me. It basically boils down to an issue of respect: you don’t respect me, don’t expect to get it back from me. Doesn’t that go along with what the Golden Rule says? The biggest fact that pisses me off with these people though is the fact that they call Obama and all other liberals Socialists, yet some of them survive only because of Socialist policies! What programs am I talking about you say? Social Security and Medicare. Those two policies are the epitome of socialist ideas, yet, if someone were to try to repeal the programs and get rid of them, all of America, including Tea Partiers, would cause riots and say the government was launching massive attacks on their rights. Sooooo many of these Tea Party people will need massive help with their health care bills later on life, and they will have no problem with paying for that through Medicare. So they can protest against Obama all they want, but if he were to truly take their advice, their medical bills would be getting a lot more expensive.

(I want to clarify something: I am not saying all Tea Party people are wrong in their view points or evil, as I even have some Tea Party-supporting friends who have some views that I can sympathize with (I know, right?!?!? Me, friends with a Tea Partier?!? You don’t say!). I also am not saying that all liberals are perfect and never demonize people who have different views from them. Nancy Pelosi is a perfect example of that—I can’t stand that woman and her personal, petty attacks on many people. But, when you boil it down, I truly do believe that, when you compare the Tea Party and their followers with left-leaning people, the Tea Party causes civil war to break out. When Jim Doyle was governor, you didn’t have neighbors all of a sudden hating each other because of their political views.)

            To further the case that the far right and Scott Walker’s camp also love to launch petty personal attacks beyond normal personal attacks, just look at the new ad he’s running that basically says “Tom Barrett condones baby beating because he let “his” police force misreport all kinds of violent crimes, such as people who beat and kill babies.” How can you justify running an ad like that? It’s like Willie Horton version 2012. It’s a simple, petty, outrageous, and frankly disgusting parallel to draw, and if anyone wants to disagree with me on that, fine, your choice. I question your morals though if you do. Tom Barrett does not condone baby beating and murder and all that. No one who is legally sane would condone that, yet Walker is trying to say Barrett does. Come on people, how is that even allowed to fly in today’s society? How is Walker able to make that claim without massive backlash from the general public?

            I’d also like to ask Walker supporters to justify this: why does Scott Walker claim he is not under criminal investigation, yet he has a criminal defense fund set up for him (likely by the Koch brothers)? Why else does anyone need a criminal defense fund if they aren’t under investigation? I can understand businesses having this in order to fully combat phony lawsuits and all that, but the governor of Wisconsin does not need a defense fund unless he is being investigated. It’s common sense. Anyone want to explain to me why Walker is still trying to get people to believe this? (Mark my words: he’ll end up having to resign like Tricky Dick Nixon did.)

            Switching to another angle, I wish this recall had never happened. I wish Scott Walker had not gotten recalled, and I wish he would have been able to serve until 2014 without facing another election (I think he should be able to serve out his whole term, and then we can fully gauge how much he has damaged this state that I have grown to call home). I am so adamant in this view that I didn’t even sign the recall petition because I think this is a waste of time and a way to further fuel the Civil War that is engulfing Wisconsin right now.

Yes, you just read that right: I do not support the recall effort against Walker with my whole heart, and I’ll tell you why. Point blank, Walker will win the recall election next Tuesday. However, he won’t win for the reasons that he’ll claim he won. Walker will claim that his win is a mandate from the people, that Wisconsin has spoken and loves him and trusts him to keep running the state. That is all bullcrap-- he’ll win because he has created such a cult of followers around him that they will come out in flocks to vote for him when compared to his opponent’s supporters. Democrats aren’t fired up enough by Tom Barrett, and he will lose because of this. It’s that simple—Walker will win only because his supporters are much more pumped up and excited about keeping him in office when compared to Barrett’s supporters. And this is why I’m pissed off that the recall happened: Walker will basically claim that this is a sign from God about how he is the anointed one to lead Wisconsin out of the Dark Times. And that is dead wrong. The people of Wisconsin that don’t support him simply won’t come out and vote against him because a lot of them are “meh” with who is running against him (still confused why Feingold didn’t run), and that is the only reason he will win next Tuesday. The win will then give he and Tea Party fanatics across the country momentum that I’d rather them not have, and it could hurt come November. On top of that, I’m just kind of pissed off enough to the point that I think people that have “voter’s remorse” because they voted for him and then got screwed over by his policies should have to deal with their choice. You voted for Walker and then got screwed over?! Well that sucks—deal with it! I know that’s a very pessimistic and pissy attitude, but they made their choice and they should have to deal with it for the next 2.5 years. Launching a recall is a petty way to get what they want—deal with your choices and embrace them. Don’t complain that you’re mad because you got blindsided—you’re problem, and yours alone.

            I think I’ve said enough for this blog post. I’ve said the majority of what I wanted, and I’m sure certain commenters will have a heyday with this post. But that’s fine with me. At least it’s initiating conversation. And with that, I have simple requests with comments made here: don’t launch personal attacks against other people, don’t call other people stupid or “dumocrats” or whatever, and stay on the topic of this post. With that, thanks for reading and respecting my views, even if we happen to disagree.

P.S. Don't call me a liberal, because I am not a liberal. I am a person with both left and right-wing views and policies, but I tend to agree more with left-wing views and policies. And yes, that position can exist. If anyone wants to discuss with me my personal views, left or right, let me know and I can either publish a separate blog post detailing my views on many of today's issues or e-mail me directly.

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