Walker's Wisarkansas

How the recall election divided and conquered

One statement in a Bill Lueder’s editorial in the Journal Sentinel, triggered one of those recurring sensory or emotional experiences that happen independently of the initial experience or event. The flashback was the morning of June 6, 2012 when on waking I realized that Scott Walker would remain the Governor of Wisconsin and I rolled over and breathed deeply before putting my feet to the floor. Of course, I already knew the the facts that I was reading. The epiphany that arose in that moment was a break through of some deep denial – not only had the recall election been lost, it bolstered and aided Walker by lifting him to new heights by the media as a “survivor” and opened the eyes of even more wealthy contributors across the country.

Between Feb. 12, 2011 — the day after Walker’s announcement — and June 6, 2012 — the day after the recall election — his campaign took in $35.9 million. Of this amount, $21 million, or 59%, came from outside Wisconsin. Lueder’s editorial

Then followed the shadow image like a flaming match reconstituting its glow across the months of collecting signatures in that cold winter, with the confidence and hope of an athlete in training…then as I read further, came the statement of Warren Stephens, chairman and CEO of an investment banking firm in Little Rock, Ark., who gave Walker a $10,000 contribution on June 24 (19 days after the recall election):

“Well, it’s pretty simple,” Stephens says. “He (Walker) seems to be doing things that governments need to be doing. Frankly, I think he’s kind of on the front lines of that as it relates to other states.”

Stephens says he does not normally give money to candidates in other states, adding that his company does not do business in Wisconsin. He finds it fascinating to watch Walker “take on the challenges that he has and, you know, survive.”


A reactionary message will lose in 2014

Making the same mistake and repeating it?

Nearly every word spoken, chant sung, mile driven, banner painted, petition signed, and fist raised have all been in reaction to the injustice of the Walker administration, and rightly so, except that it is not working. Worse yet, the overall message is being heard by the Warren Stephan’s of the world as a pitch to pour more funds into the coffers of their ideological hero. Does the phrase “divide and conquer” strike a familiar ring? The voice of opposition to the Walker Administration has come to resemble that of the tea party caucus in the House, not in political stance, but a self-defeating dance. Those who oppose Walker have been effectively divided into the movement of “No”, and seem on the road to be conquered in the 2014 election as they were on June 5, 2012.

The duty of comedy is to correct men by amusing them. Moliere

The reactionary message of “No” is not amusing and has become a din of complaint to the ears of many voters who will be going to the polls in November 2014. The basic, golden rule of improvisation that works and succeeds is “Yes…and”; or agreeing fully with the present moment and adding a new relative piece in the moment. Thus far the opposition has drifted into one emotionally charged field of complaint followed by another, and another, all under the slogan of “No…but”, “No Mine”, No arrests, No, No, No, – and, predictably, it is not working.

Swallowing “NO” to develop a strategy

Who will be the next Governor?

Walker has powerful name recognition statewide and nationally that already has garnered him thirty-some million dollars in support. Democrats and progressives are already far behind in the task of uniting behind a candidate who can come up to manifesting a personality who holds policies that can defeat Walker. If a traditional path is followed through a primary season before an opposing candidate is crowned, or repeating the same practice and expecting different results, the morning after June 5, 2012 is likely to visit again on a cold November morning as the rude awakening of that insanity.

If the all encompassing goal it to defeat Walker with a new Governor and majority in at least one part of the legislature, then it may be time for an epiphany away from “no” and a sharp turn to create and unify behind a strategy of “Yes…and here is what we offer.”

Please visit my other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, live and work of Moliere!


Please visit my “other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, life, and work of Moliere!

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