So, Walker won. And Republicans are all looking at each with the same "WTF???" expressions on their faces when O.J's defense team heard "Not guilty" from that brain-dead jury.
What happened? Simple. And, it will happen again in November, unless something changes in a big way.
First look at precisely what choices Wisconsin voters were faced with yesterday. Largely it was, same-old; same GOP polices or same-old, Democratic policies:
- Gut labor unions, or empower labor unions.
- More mindless cuts in government services, or more mindless government spending.
- Turn more public functions over to for-profit private companies, or continue with subpar government management.
- To throw retiring government employees into the same pit of economic uncertainty corporations have by strip-mining their retirement funds, or continue on with mathematically unsustainable public pension systems.
Gee, what enticing choices!
No wonder voters walked into voting booths more like zombies than soldiers of democracy. They voted because they were supposed to vote. But all they had to choose between was same-old, same-old. Democrats voted for Democrats, Republicans voted for Republicans and the growing number of independents resorted to a quick and dirty, "enny meeny, miny moe." And why the hell not?
So Walker was not recalled. After all, the other side didn't offer anything that even remotely looked like change, so why change? Walker was the devil they knew so they stuck with the devil they knew.
Come next November voters will be in the same frame of mind, unless one or both parties realize what voters already know; that America, and the rest of the developed world, stand at a historic pivot point.
Old, familiar paths followed since the end of WW II, have run out. Beyond are only sheer cliffs. New paths have to forged by those who want to lead. And that's what voters are waiting for, what voters are expecting, and have a right to expect.
Should the new path, or paths, be to the left, or should they head right? Should they tack centrist, or veer radical? Should they be pure free-market, socialist, a combination of the two, or something completely new, modern, daring, imagination- and innovation-proking?
I don't know. But then again, I am not putting myself up for leadership. But those who are asking for our votes should, No, not should, must.
And we must insist they do.
I want to hear candidates who, first and foremost, show they clearly understand that there is no "going back to" anything. We are not going to move forward by going backwards. Yet everywhere you look, Europe, Russia, China and the US, we see governments, like lemmings, poised to plunge over the edge of same-old, same-old, rather than do the hard and politically dangerous work of paradigm shifting.
In the US and Europe politicians of every stripe are working furiously trying to put their own shattered Humpty Dumptys back together again. Instead, they should bury the old egg and start the hard work of devising new, modern systems.
This is it, one of those moments in human evolution when we either step up to the plate or end up on it. We need new systems of finance, manufacturing and governance that reflect and address the realities of a technologically advanced planet, already overflowing seven billion consuming, polluting and reproducing organisms. A new world in which same-old, same-old can no longer provide.
But alas, I see none, not one candidate, not Republican, not Democrat, not Libertarian, who seems to have a clue. Not a clue about the cliff dead ahead, nor of the tar pits that lay behind.
Nevertheless they continue spending hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars, asking us to vote for them -- to vote for more of the same. More of the same from Democrats, more of the same from Republicans.