As I put marker to ballot this November, the choices I make will be based on a multitude of core and, I suppose, peripheral values, memories and hopes jumbled with an effort to avoid anger, fear and bluster.
To me and many others, the choice for Wisconsin’s Senate seat is clear, so I write this not for myself or others who have set their minds on a candidate. I write to offer some perhaps simple thoughts for the one or two undecided voters left in Wisconsin.
I am two years older than Ron Johnson; we are both old, grayed white men whose youth and best times have passed. We are nearer the end of our time than the beginning, or even the middle.
In this shortened life where the past is more with me than any visionary future “I,” I see Sen. Johnson draw more and more upon that past for guidance – a past that clearly and heedlessly created a world that no one now seems to want to live in.
A world view propped up by heedlessness for others and nature is clearly outdated and useless for the future. More of the same, or doubling down on that reckless vision is most certainly not the remedy. More of Sen. Johnson’s mediocre, skimpy record is not the future.
Younger visions – perhaps flawed with unsculpted passion and experience, but certainly infused with energy – are now required to create, or at least struggle toward, a future of possibility, equity and fairness. Equity and fairness: what great concepts. So difficult to achieve, but certainly worth the effort.
So, when I stand in the ballot box now, I do not vote for myself anymore. I vote for those who will be here when I am gone. I will mark my ballot for the future, and that’s a vote for Mandela Barnes.
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin