I was intensely interested in the Wisconsin recall race this past week, so as soon as the polls closed, I settled down in front of the TV to watch the results begin to come in — first the exit polls showing that it was close, then the actuals, showing an early blowout, a 20 point advantage for Governor Walker, until they began to settle down into the 7 to 10 point range. Within the forts hour, before 10, Fox News, NBC and CNN all called the race for Walker. Then, at 10:00, I decided to switch channels from Fox News and visit the parallel universe that is MSNBC. And a parallel universe it is. After Ed Schultz bid an almost tearful goodnight just before 10, on comes Lawrence O'Donnell with this opening for his 10:00 show: "Tonight, the really big winner in the Wisconsin recall election is …President Obama."
That's right — not the Walker versus Barrett race, nothing about the fact that his own network had already called the race for Walker, but that somehow Obama was the big winner.
Hopefully, listeners to American Radio Journal live in a different world — one that celebrates Governor Walker's win and understands its national significance.
Walker received support from all across the country, which is a good thing, not something that taints the victory: Here's what Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said: "Scott Walker won his recall election….by a larger margin than his [original] election itself two-years ago! He won because he has made the tough choices to make Wisconsin stronger and more competitive today and tomorrow. He governed with the next generation in mind, not just the next election.
"His proactive reforms are a breath of fresh air in this country. He closed a $3.6 billion shortfall without raising taxes; cut property taxes; reformed state government; and created a climate where 20,000 jobs could be created last year alone….after three years of job losses. … Voters rewarded his courage and vision. The message was clear: it's time leaders got serious about spending and job creation in this country. Scott has. Wisconsin is better for it.
"The voters of Wisconsin have shown that Americans are ready to make the hard choices and tough decisions necessary to get our fiscal house in order and our people back to work."
Governor McDonnell has the right analysis, and I certainly hope that is true for the nation as a whole, not just the voters of Wisconsin. Just as Fox News and MSNBC are parallel universes that never meet, so the visions and values of today's conservatives and so-called progressives are parallel universes that do not meet. One values individual initiative, individual liberties and individual responsibility, while the other promotes collectivism, governmentally imposed redistribution in the name of fairness and the abdication of individual responsibility to the state. That's the same stark contrast that is taking shape on the national scene. It's a choice between the vision of the founders of our nation and the framers of our constitution versus the Orwellian new speakers of forced utopianism. May the voters of our nation in November speak as clearly as the voters of Wisconsin in June.