November 4, 2014 By Ryan Wherley
With Election Day finally upon us and polls opening at 7 a.m. statewide, I can’t stop thinking about everything we’ve been through in the last four years in Wisconsin. And while my emotions are leaping about from one moment to the next, what I keep coming back to is that I just want my state back.
I want to return to the state I grew up in where we value public education, and the labor and tireless devotion of the teachers, social workers, custodians, nurses, lunch ladies, and aides who help nurture and develop the confidence, abilities and critical thinking of our children–our future.
I want to return to a state where we value the labor of all of our public sector unionists who devote their lives to working in the interests of the greater good for the entire population and value the right of all workers to have a democratic voice in the workplace through collective bargaining over compensation and the conditions they toil in.
I want to return to a state where we value clean and open government, without shady pay-to-play schemes, secrecy oaths, illegal campaign coordination or billions of dollars in corporate giveaways intended to benefit a handful of wealthy campaign donors at the expense of the general population in seemingly every piece of major legislation.
I want to return to a state where we value the environment and our beautiful, irreplaceable natural resources, and stop treating our air, land, and water as expendable commodities to be sold off to the most politically influential bidder.
I want to return to a state where we value and work to protect the right of ALL eligible citizens to vote, encourage civic participation, and abandon this slew of shameful, racist, and anti-democratic moves to suppress the votes of minorities, the elderly, students and the poor.
I want to return to a state where the right of the people, peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, through speech, sign, song, and silence, shall NEVER BE ABRIDGED.
I want to return to a state where women are treated as equals, and not subjected to a litany of misogynistic attacks on their reproductive rights, pay in the workplace, overall health care, voting rights, intelligence, and abilities to care for themselves and their families.
I want to return to a state where the poor, unemployed, elderly, and disabled are treated with compassion, care, empathy and a helping hand, and not subjected to unconscionable attacks on their health care, incomes, motivations and character.
I want to return to a state where the rights of our indigenous brothers and sisters to uphold the historical traditions of their forefathers and mothers are to protect our environment as stewards of the wilderness and wildlife are respected and honored.
I want to return to a state where speaking out against our government and singing truth to power doesn’t subject us to harassment, watch lists, illegal searches and seizures, slander, fines, workplace backlash, arrests, frivolous prosecution and imprisonment without charge.
I want to return to a state where honesty, integrity and dialogue are valued in our elected officials, not deception, corruption and demagoguery.
I want to return to a state that is the petri dish of citizen-controlled democracy, not the mad scientists’ laboratory of right-wing extemist, corporate-owned, plutocratic fascism.
I want to return to a state that I’m proud to call home, not one that I’m ashamed to say I’m from.
I want to return to a state where I don’t have to wake up every fucking morning dreading which progressive values I hold dear will be under attack by our legislature and GovernEr that given day.
I want to return to a state that views socio-economic progress as a benefit to all Wisconsin citizens for our future, and doesn’t try to turn back the clock decades at a time to the dark ages of a regressive past.
I want to return to Wisconsin and relegate the nightmare of Fitzwalkerstan to the dustbin of history.
Scott Walker says we’re driven by anger. When a ladder-climbing, power hungry, sociopathic GovernEr comes into office and sets course on a path to “divide and conquer” our state in his quest for personal gain at the expense of his constituents, you’re damn right I’m angry. I love Wisconsin and everything we can be, and, regardless of the outcome of today’s election, I know that we’ll be here ’til Wisconsin gets better. I just want the state I love back…
For our families. For our friends. For the Penokee Hills. For Fighting Bob La Follette. For our health. For our environment. For our rights. For our freedoms. For the voiceless. For the activists. For those who came before us. For those still to come. For our schools. For our Rotunda. For the Wisconsin Movement. For Lady Forward. For our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters. For our veterans. For labor. For our livelihoods. For you. For me. For us.
VOTE TODAY for Mary Burke for Governor and we can begin to rebuild the Wisconsin I’m proud to call home.
Peace, love, and Solidarity.
Forever FORWARD and On Wisconsin.