A recent conversation with Democratic leaders from rural Wisconsin confirm the effectiveness of Scott Walker’s “shock and awe” budget process. In brief; the people sense of a lack of direction and disengagement at high levels from groups that need to be engaging at this pivotal moment in Wisconsin political history. People are looking for and need inspiration after a “blitzkrieg – like” (to quote Naomi Klein) onslaught of legislation aimed at reversing nearly a century of progressive policies. In this period of a “vacuum” – they are waiting for a leader in the movement to emerge, capable of bringing home a coordinated takeover of the Senate, followed by the recall and defeat of Scott Walker.
Recent polls show not only are Republican Senators highly vulnerable, so is Scott Walker. This fact confirms word from rural Wisconsin (and beyond) that people are engaged in the recalls, and interest is high. If there is a leader that emerges, there are many avenues in rural areas to solidify a true grass-roots movement. Town hall-style meetings, listening sessions at schools, county fairs, etc. The primary questions – who will lead and bridge the gap between local and state party communication? Who will inform beyond the electronic and alternative media available in more densely populated areas? Who will re-energize the unions in rural areas – the perception is they have “disengaged,” and are “kind of dead” in rural Wisconsin.
Rural Democrats suggest this leadership is needed soon, to bring all the groups together (Unions, Democratic Party, Activists) to create goals and a cohesive, simple message. A message simple enough to be communicated and coordinated at the local level by the people who KNOW the area, and the means to spread the message. A message supported by statewide resources addressing the ideas people are passionate about – Education, Voter Suppression, Budget realities, with factual rebuttals to common GOP mis-information readily available. The people are craving a cohesive message they can communicate to their neighbors, to win this struggle.
Fortunately, there is reason to be optimistic – if we act now. The poll numbers demonstrate the public’s growing dissatisfaction with Scott Walker’s policies and ideology. The structure already exists for a successful, grassroots organization with a winning record – the Obama Campaign, as reported in this article by Robert Routledge. Here is the blueprint for a successful organization, and it is similar to the concepts discussed by rural Wisconsin leaders. A strong, simple message, time to communicate it, clear goals (signatures in this case, translating to votes), and resources empowering local leaders to utilize their local passion and expertise. The structure is there, ready to be adapted.
There is reason to be optimistic, but we have little time to waste. Very soon the hounds of hell, in the form of massive GOP corporate money, will be unleashed on the Wisconsin electorate. The Senate recall elections are mere weeks away. Now is the time for a leader to engage, inspire, collaborate, and cooperate to bring all the interests together – getting people all over Wisconsin personally engaged BEFORE the corporatist onslaught.
Badger Democracy calls on the Wisconsin Democratic Party leadership, Union Leadership, and Recall Committees to hold a “Leadership Summit”, scheduled within five days of this writing. Many of the basic tenets for a successful recall movement are referenced above, and the people have the will. Wisconsin is looking for inspiration and optimism, along with a unified plan to carry this effort forward. Five days – waste no more time, we all have to be “all in” on this recall revolution, for the sake of generations to come.
Five days…The people of Wisconsin are waiting – will you bring them forward out of the Walker Corporatist State?