Yvette Carnell: How Gov. Scott Walker Won and Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count
by Yvette Carnell
If you’re surprised that Gov. Scott Walker survived his recall election, then you’re living in a parallel universe. No really, you need to have an in depth conversation with physicist Brian Greene about your innate ability to hop-scotch the multiverse, because you’re bonkers.
Those of you who still sincerely believe that your vote is enough to combat an electoral system awash in corporate cash really need your heads checked, because you’re trapped in some sort of time warp, a wormhole perhaps, that has you stuck roundabout 1965. But if you can read me, I’d like to introduce you to the American 21st century, and its political infrastructure.
Here in modern America, there are people who should be run out of town, so to speak. But you can’t very well vote them out because a handful of them are key players are on the Supreme Court, and most of the others, the puppeteers so to speak, are on corporate boards, far out of the everyday voter’s reach. So there is no one to vote out. The only question is whether or not you can outspend them, and if Walker’s election tells us anything, it’s that you can’t. Walker’s team outspent Democrats 7:1 in Wisconsin, and we just don’t have that kind of cash on hand.
With the unleashing of money into the political system by the Supreme Court, Walker can tell a lie, such as the one about how gutting the unions was all about trimming the budget, and folks will believe the lie since the truth, that this was an opportunity for private enterprise to seize government and its accompanying tax dollars, isn’t financed. Even the truth needs wheels, and wheels cost money.
The truth is that Wisconsin’s budget shortfalls weren’t the fault of hardworking union employees, but of the global crisis engineered by Wall Street, but who cares about the truth? Certainly not the 36% of union members who voted for Walker in yesterday’s recall.
The truth is, your vote doesn’t count unless you’ve got a few million in the bank to back it up. So unless you want to discuss building sustainable communities or an amending the Constitution to take money out of politics (which should be the central theme of anyone’s long game), I ain’t listening. This get out the vote madness is over. You’ve just got to be honest enough with yourself to realize when the game has been won, and by whom.
Am I suggesting that black people throw in the towel? Not at all. In fact, it’s time that we roll up our sleeves and turn our energy and effort inward. We must pivot, and work toward building self-sustainable communities, toward crowdsourcing our money to fund black businesses, toward acquiring useful market skills via free online education, because that’s what’s required of people who are entering a truly Libertarian era, devoid of all safety nets. In this new era that’s upon us, the government does not offer a helping hand in the way of Social Security pension benefits or affirmative action protections, but is instead, openly hostile to our plight.
This means that it’s time to push the prosperity pimps out of the pulpits, and reaffix black churches to their mission, which isn’t to do battle with gays and lesbians, but to truly do the work of Jesus. It also means that it’s time for fresh gardens, for good health, and for sharing one another’s talents for the benefit of the whole.
Thanks to JFK, MLK and many others who fought and died for our cause, African Americans got a window of opportunity where government and corporations weren’t colluding to undermine us. We got affirmative action, G.I. bill, and strong anti-discrimination laws. But that window is closing. Now black people need each other, and we’re better off learning that sooner rather than later.
But if you’d prefer chasing your tail, then stick a “Forward” bumper sticker on your car and call it a day. I won’t stop you. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill and campaign staffer turned writer. She is currently an editor and contributor to Yourblackworld.
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