Thursday, May 26, 2011

Guns and fossil fuels - Wisconsin takes a few more steps backwards

What a sad front page. These two headlines: Guns in the Capitol? and, Advocates say wind projects in jeopardy.

One can get depressed reading the paper these days. Thanks to the 'rugged individual' element of the Wisconsin culture, fed and manipulated by the corporate interests that own the Repub Party right now, combined with low voter turnout - lots of folks who just don't care - we watch as step after step our state moves backwards into the 19th century.

Robber barons buying politicians and paying for legislation, gunslingers ready for the shootout at the O.K. Corral, dirty fuels fouling our air and our water - which means also our lungs, our bodies, increasing our contribution to the greenhouse gases that are heating up the atmosphere and causing climate change.

Add the N.R.A. to the list of groups running our state government right now, sitting at the table with Koch Industries, Club for Growth, Rove's billionaire-funded Crossroads GPS - oh, and Scott Walker and the Fitzgerald brothers.

Guns in the Capitol? People unlicensed, unregistered, and untrained? Can you imagine - in this contentious political climate?

Guns and fossil fuel dependence - looking backward for our future. The rightist wave against the tide of necessary change, against the tide of 'real' world realities (if you will), puts Wisconsin on a track that will lead to more decline in our quality of life, a bit more tragedy (the fantasy of pulling out a gun to save the day against the bad guys comes up against the reality that most deaths and injuries from these guns happen to families, loved ones, accidents in the home, etc.), and a lot more political and cultural animosity.

Well, friends, it will take a lot more creativity, passion, and commitment to light the fires under the depressed, demoralized, resigned, or disinterested citizens among us. And it will take years to turn this rightist, anti-democratic, rugged individual, gun-slinging culture back around to something more humane, compassionate, just, forward thinking, innovative, and inclusive.

"Forward" is our state motto. Maybe the Fitzgerald/Walker regime should try to change that, too.

As Sen. Miller said at the rally that welcomed back the Wisconsin 14, the battle for Wisconsin has been engaged. Yes. And more of us best get engaged before this becomes a permanent trajectory. The longer this goes on, the harder it will be to turn it back around.

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