So with yesterday's election the Republican party took back the House of Representatives and unseated my favorite Senator, Russ Feingold. There were more losses than that, and I'm not going to go through the whole god forsaken mess, but most of all right now I just find myself sitting here, mildly crushed. I knew it could happen, and it's not like I was naive enough to think that we were going to hold onto both houses of Congress. But still I can't help but feel a little heartsick about the whole thing.
I think what makes it worse is that I currently live in such a politically red state right now. I know that back in Wisconsin the Democrats are organizing, and coming up with a solid plan for 2012. It's a borderline state, and making a stand there is something where even after a loss, there's still a hope for winning next time. In Indiana though, I just can't help but look at the political attitudes and see nothing but hopelessness.
I mean, seriously -- do these people not like funding schools, police and fixing roads? It seems like they don't. The roads alone are just god-awful, and the infrastructure is fairly terrible.
But god forbid we be able to raise property taxes, because that would be just another example of "big government." My state income taxes are about ten bucks less per paycheck here, but the sales tax is a whopping 7%. Apparently though, no one has explained to working class Indiana that high sales taxes and low income taxes and property taxes place the burden on the middle and lower class, and relieve the burden of the upper class. That's right, it's a poor tax.
While I don't expect the average person on the street to understand the economic implications of their tax structure, the anti-intellectual attitudes that are permeating our culture penalizes those who try to explain it. They're seen as "too brainy" (as if intelligence should be considered a bad quality) and snobby. In the end I just end up beating my head into the wall, wishing there were some way I could help fix this.
And of course there are ways I can help fix this, but I can't help but feel swallowed up in this whole mess. What I need is a game plan, and I need to grow the thicker skin required to survive constant loss. Wisconsin was a place where we had a strong, fighting chance - Indiana needs to change quite a bit before we can really see a victory here.
I tried my darndest to keep Russ! At least we kept Kind, though. At the quick gander I managed, it looks like almost all my candidates lost (minus Kind). I am very sad about this.
And while Barrett wasn't an optimal choice, and many of his and Walker's stuff seemed similar- the small differences were what really did it for me. ("NO TO ABORTION! Even if it'll kill you or you were raped!" oy.) So I'm sad about that too (although VERY happy to see Doyle leave, and in fact, I'm guessing his crappiness is what lost it for a lot of people....)
Buh. I miss your "Let's get go 'em!" attitude. Please come back.
There are lightyears in difference between Walker and Barrett. Walker of course screwed Milwaukee County financially, and we'll get to watch him do the same to the state of Wisconsin... and then he'll promptly get defeated in four years.
But seriously I do hope the democrats ARE actually getting a plan together. I still remember hearing the chair of the DNC tossing out his "Don't give them the keys back" strategy on the Daily Show like it was the best plan ever. The response was like the sound of thousands of faces suddenly being palmed at once with mine echoing somewhere in the back.
I'm also not pleased with how much extorti...I mean donating was done to the mid-level managers at my place of work for the Republican campaigns. You shouldn't have to worry about losing your job / bonus for not ponying up $1000 to their campaign funds but that's just my ethics-ometer exploding is all.
When I lived in Indiana...I learned quickly in High School not to talk about my political views with my fellow students. I know in history class, there were several individuals that believed Ronald Reagan was a God. And I was once labeled a communist there. After I moved away and my friends backed Obama and donned bummer stickers on their cars. They would find their cars or stickers vandalized. Or people would come up to them and feel the need to tell them that they are wrong, just for having a bummer sticker with Obama's name on it.
Last night I watched the news, seeing Oberstar in the lead, and went to bed thinking he won..only to learn he lost by 1% the next day...lossing by 4,407 votes...knowing full well 3 of my co-workers didn't vote and don't care. Too many people were "depressed" and didn't feel the need to go and vote, and all the angry people in the country got up and out...and now these idiots will show us why, voting with anger doesn't work.