Saturday, November 6, 2010

Blue In A Red State

The polls are closed and the tally is in. Wisconsin State Journal/Wikipedia
After taking one step forward (by electing Obama as President) we've now managed to take two steps back.
Halloween came two days late this year, as the most frightening thing happened on Nov 2. I got a dose of the same dreadful feeling I got when watching the Bush Vs. Gore voting results come in.
I am fearful for Wisconsin's future. I am upset and frustrated. I am disappointed in Wisconsin voters. There are times I wish that Madison and Milwaukee could be somehow shielded & protected from the contrast of Republican/conservative votes of greater Wisconsin. Although to be fair, I have the feeling that a larger than usual number of conservative votes came from within the bubble this time around.
I do not like or trust Scott Walker. I'm tempted to egg the Capitol the day he takes office.

I agree with someone from the State Journal who said the close race is indicative of voters who voted Republican not really voting for the candidate, but voting for whom represented the most change, and republicans have piggybacked off of Obama's campaign for change (albeit change from Obama and Democratic rule) across the board during the 2010 midterm elections.

Almost everything I voted for got shot down.
Voting Scott Walker into office is bad for women's rights, stem cell research, state funded health care programs for those who need it, individual freedoms, and the Madison-Milwaukee high-speed rail project.

Although, thankfully, the funds for the Madison-Milwaukee passenger rail seem to have been committed just a few days prior to the election, so Walker's plan to derail the rail may have been made that much more difficult, and will hopefully be out of his destructive hands altogether.
Talk and plans for the Madison-Milwaukee high-speed rail have been ongoing for a good decade or more, and here we finally get the federal funding to make it a reality, and the guy who vows to stop it if he's elected into office is the guy who takes the seat?
I still can't believe Walker still vows to stop the Madison-Milwaukee rail because we'd have to cover what equals 1% of the federal grant money per year to keep the wheels greased. He's concerned about wasteful government spending when he should be concerned about progressing (not just maintaining) the State he's elected governor in. If he rejects the grant money it isn't going to go back to Washington anyhow, it'll just go to another State. The State of New York has already expressed interest in the money if we don't want it. It's every State for themselves! Rejecting the rail would be the most moronic move ever, and doing so may leave our state (and possibly taxpayers) with a tab for the remaining cost.

Now the current governor, Jim Doyle, has temporarily halted the project in anticipation of a new governor with a different set of views taking office, and to study the real life consequences of stopping the project dead in its tracks.

I voted for passenger rail from Sun Prairie to Middleton in exchange for a half cent tax increase. This was on the ballot for 45 suburban and rural communities in Dane County, and almost every last one of them failed.
Voters failed to realize the value in passenger rail and a chance to really connect Dane County in a unique way. Extending the rail out to business heavy Middleton, also home to Madison/Middleton's dubbed "Silicon Prairie", is a no brainer.
I realize that citizens are concerned about anything and everything that would increase their taxes in this post-recession recession, but other forms of connectivity/travel are desperately needed in Dane County. I feel it would be advantageous to plant the seed in varying communities now rather than later, and as we've seen, later means never. Unless you live on the Isthmus itself, Dane County is live & die by car. Madison is very much isolated from it's surrounding communities and vice versa which are generally only connected to the city by one, maybe two stretches of highway.

So suburban families will vote for a tax increase if it's for a new public pool or a new school for their kids etc., but not when it comes to something as important as transportation? It is selfish. It forces everyone to own their own vehicle and pay for upkeep, and not everyone who lives in these communities can afford it and it'd be beneficial to have an alternative.

I voted against the 133 million dollar referendum to pay for upgrades at Madison College, which increases taxes, but somehow that referendum passed.
So Dane County residents will vote against rail which includes a tax increase, but will accept a tax increase on the behalf of the growth of a bloated community college?
Why did I vote against it? Madison College (formerly known as Madison Area Technical College) is already a large enough institution for higher learning. Now that the economy is less than it could be, everyone seems to be flooding in towards Madison College in hopes of landing a job with their new set of knowledge, and pay the institution a good sum of money in return. Higher education is big business.
I feel like Madison is a city which offers too much higher education and too little in the way of job prospects, and having a city full of over-educated advanced-degree holding individuals competing for entry-level/mid-level jobs against those without degrees is dysfunctional to say the least.
As a matter of fact, dare I say that I'd like to see colleges (in the area and across the nation) decrease in size and function, and force the hand of local companies & businesses to provide more (paid) on the job training. And where are they all going to land jobs afterwards? Not all here that's for sure!

I voted to allow medicinal marijuana in the state of Wisconsin, and amazingly, this seems to have passed. Yes, I believe it's entirely possible that it's a guise in taking a step towards the legalization of marijuana altogether as one State Journal writer warns, and I have no problem with that. I may not use marijuana myself, recreationally or for medicinal purposes, but I think that legalization should at least be tried at this point, even if it's with baby steps.
But apparently, even voters in California were too afraid to take that step and failed to set the precedent and have the opportunity to lead the nation by example.
I think it's far time our government graduates it's citizens to adulthood, giving individuals more personal freedoms as opposed to less. It's time the fact that it is no more and no less harmful and addictive as alcohol is widely accepted as fact.

I've never strictly aligned myself along party lines, even though I've voted Democrat since I cast my first ballot as an adult in the Clinton election back in 1993. I've tried to keep an open mind and feel that if I like a particular candidate and their views, I would vote for them regardless of their party. Say perhaps if a likable Republican were socially liberal but fiscally conservative, or a Green party or Independent party candidate who I thought had a shot at winning and not simply taking votes away from the Democratic party candidate (i.e. Ralph Nader costing Gore the vote over Bush in the 2000 election).
But fearful of Republican control, this is the first time I've felt thoroughly secure in my decision to connect that line to Democrat voting Democrat straight down the line, and two months away from 2011 I'm that much farther away from the possibility of even ever considering voting for a Republican. The Republican party has become that much more scary over the two years since Obama has been in office, and the radical & conservative Tea Party certainly hasn't helped my view of the Republican party.

I'm sick & tired of citizens expressing their disappointment over Obama. If anything, Obama's shortcomings proves that you just can't fix 8 years of FUBAR in 2 short years.

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