“This is what democracy looks like,” a man down the street shouted at me as I walked my two golden retrievers past the six Walker signs in his yard the morning after the election. I wanted to shout back “No, this is what oligarchy looks like.”
Certainly, we are now a Republican State. Fifty-three to forty-six percent is a clear victory. But another number tells a more important story: $30.5 million to Walker vs. $3.9 million to Barrett. 2/3rds of Walker’s money came from out of state corporate providers, while 26 percent of Barrett’s money came from outside. So, who won the election? The corporate elite.
What we witnessed in Wisconsin these past few months was politics of the spectacle, an ugly dog-fight for the entertainment of the media and the commoners. Behind the scene, however, the politics of organization ground on, big money shaping corporate-friendly policy and law, reducing regulations, and granting tax breaks to corporations.
If we were true Wisconsin patriots, republicans and democrats would now join hands and work to eliminate corporate money from campaigns. Breaking Wisconsin’s oligarchy might give us a chance for real democracy.