George Graham

Why did they Vote Republican? I Just Don’t Get it.

Sitting at my computer, in semi-darkness, watching roly poly raindrops meander down the window pane, my mind as murky as the sky, I am trying with all my might to grasp what went on in Wisconsin yesterday…

And I just don’t get it.

Both the Democrats who launched recall elections against six Republican senators and the Republicans who fought off four of the six recalls have declared victory.

But I don’t see any winners. I see only losers – the people of America.

If you don’t know by now that Republicans won control of the Wisconsin state legislature in the 2010 elections and that they immediately set out to emasculate the unions representing teachers, firemen, law enforcement officers and other public workers,and if you haven’t been following the protests that ensued, you probably won’t find this blog interesting.

But just in case you want to catch up on the background, click here.

I’m assuming that if you’re still with me, you are familiar with the situation. So tell me, what the hell went on?

On the face of it, a lot of people who live in Wisconsin, mostly rural residents apparently, decided that they like the union busting, education slashing assault on the state’s middle class that provoked the recall movement.

I don’t care how you “spin” last night’s results, the bottom line is that Republicans retained four of the six senate seats that the Democrats challenged.  To me, that means the Democrats were beaten 4-2.

What I can’t figure out is why?

Yes, I know that out-of-state money poured in to Wisconsin to support the Republicans, and that the airwaves were deluged with the usual conservative claptrap.  And I realize organized labor couldn’t match the deep pockets of people like the Koch brothers.  But, surely, the voters of Wisconsin are smart enough to see through the propaganda and make up their own minds?

Surely, there must be more logical reasons for the heavy Republican turn-out.

Voters must believe in their hearts that after all is said and done, there is merit to busting unions, laying off teachers, law officers and firefighters, and slashing education budgets.  They must believe – against all the available evidence – that tax breaks for the rich are good for the economy, that further enriching the already rich will somehow create employment for the underclasses.

And those family farmers fighting for survival in a world dominated by giant agricultural complexes must have been persuaded that their interests are best served by electing politicians who are bought and paid for by their corporate competitors.

I don’t believe I can dismiss the Republican voters as brainwashed imbeciles. There’s more to it than that, I’m sure.

But what?

About the author

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com