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Letter to the editor

Government elections are not a Packer’s game

March 10, 2011

No matter how the troubles in Madison eventually play out, Governor Walker’s divisive policies will likely create crises far outlasting the current recession.

At a time when all ideas need to be brought to the table, Governor Walker’s imperious refusal to talk with those citizens and groups he has defined as his enemies is ruinous for our state.  In his failure to run an inclusive administration respectful of the minority, the Governor has only himself to blame for the massive pushback mobilized against him not only in Madison but around the state and in other parts of the country.

The Governor and the Republican majority in the legislature are evidently more interested in exerting their consolidated power to punish, and humiliate their Democratic opponents than in working in good faith with them to solve the state’s problems.

The Governor seems oblivious of the fact that the essence of democratic rule is compromise, give and take, bargaining with one’s political opponents.  There is no place in a democracy for No negotiation.

Everything must be subject to negotiation in the democratic process.

Once a candidate is elected, he or she becomes a representative not only of those who supported them but of all constituents.  Thomas Jefferson said that if democracy ended with an election, we would still have a king.

The Governor mistakenly thinks the elections handed him a mandate to push through a radical right wing agenda.  As a continuation of the democratic process, the many demonstrations going on around the state indicate otherwise.

I sometimes wonder if the Republicans have come to mistake politics for sporting events in which the winner takes all.  Contrary to what Governor Walker may believe, an election is not a Packers game.

Thomas R. Smith