We know you have said repeatedly that you would not run for public office in 2012, and we have tried repeatedly to respect and honor that. But over and over again the idea comes sailing back, that the one person who would be best for Wisconsin in this exceptional historical moment, for so many reasons, is you.
Photo courtesy of the Run, RUSS, Run Facebook page.
Yesterday’s decisive millionfold denunciation of the Fitzwalker regime underscores what a historic moment this is, not only in Wisconsin history, but in U.S. history. Recall elections in themselves are quite rare, and this may very well be the most extraordinary of all. There’s no question but that this represents a singular opportunity for the people of Wisconsin. After having sustained so many wounds at the hands of the soon-to-be former regime, Wisconsin is in need of healing. There are a multitude of reasons why so many of us find ourselves looking to you, not to save us, but to lead us as we seek to clear up the rubble and reassert the values we hold most dear.
We know you and we trust you. As our senator, you listened to us. You respected us. And you proved yourself to be an effective advocate for us. What we said and needed mattered to you. This is in stark contrast to the Fitzwalkers’ refusal to listen to or care about the concerns of the people of Wisconsin.
You have a proven record of bipartisan cooperation, as evidenced in the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform of 2002. The Fitzwalkers have been nothing if not divisive. But here in Wisconsin we have a tradition of listening to each other and working together, regardless of ideology and party affiliation, and we desperately need to return to that tradition of mutual respect and cooperation.
It’s truly a wonder that any sane, decent person would want to run for office in this country’s current political climate, which resembles nothing so much as Hurricane Katrina in more ways than one. So really, we can understand why you’d want to be shut of it. But alas, your reticence to run is evidence of your sanity and decency and is, in fact, one of the best reasons why you are our first choice.
Scott Walker is bad for Wisconsin in large part because of his overreaching power grabs. He is more of a despot than a governor. He listens only to the 1 percent (as evidenced by his scandalous public conversation with pseudo-Koch), and he treats the rest of us with utter disdain and contempt. And here you are, resisting the pursuit of political power. Nothing convinces us more thoroughly that you are the man of the moment.
Those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who … have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well. —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
We know there are other good candidates that could run against Walker. But none of them would inspire us and energize us as much as you would. None would have our confidence or enthusiasm as much as you would. There’s no one we would fight harder for or be prouder of.
Maybe if this were an ordinary election in a less turbulent time, we would be satisfied with a good candidate and celebrate your new role as our fellow activist. But this is no ordinary time, and we need more than an ordinary candidate to run against Walker.
Many of the other possibilities would be good. But you would be great. And that’s what the people of Wisconsin long for and need in this critical moment. Please, please, let us sweep you into office and lead us as we begin a new era in Wisconsin history. Listen to us as you once did.
Run, Russ! Run!