O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us
(O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us)
Robert Burns, Poem "To a Louse" - verse 8
We in Wisconsin have always been modestly pleased with our state and, while remaining humble, have been proud of the accomplishments of our state and the people who live here and came from here. The accomplishments of our universities, our industries, our sports teams and our people have all made Wisconsin a very special place. The community owned Green Bay Packers are the most obvious example of the sense of community that has been the result of our progressive traditions. The University of Wisconsin, which was again ranked among the top twenty research universities in the world has been a source of intellectual capital for the development of our state.
Enter Scott Walker. He has turned the 100 year progressive traditions of the state around in one year with fifty million dollars and a few dozen of ALEC prepared bills.
This begs the question; How do people view Wisconsin now? Or, "Why is Wisconsin so (fill in the attribute here)?"
In a recent google research project by blogger Rene DiResta the predominate perceptions of each state were filled out by a non-scientific sample to determine perceptions of google users relative to each of the fifty states. Participants were asked to fill in the following question 'Why is (fill in the state here) so (fill in the attribute here)?
The results for our neighboring states were predictable.
Why is Minnesota so liberal?
Why is Michigan so poor?
Why is Indiana so conservative?
Why is Illinois so corrupt?
Why is Iowa so liberal?
What about Wisconsin? Remember the old days when the question might have been;
Why is Wisconsin so liberal?, or
Why is Wisconsin so progressive?
Those days are over. Now that Scott Walker and his ALEC stooges have divided and, for the time being, conquered the state, I would expect maybe something like;
Why is Wisconsin so divided?
So, how do folks view Scott Walker's Wisconsin? This is the most common response;