An open letter to Wisconsin Democrats

I know you are frustrated by the outcome of the state Supreme Court election. I am at wit’s end too. I want to spew expletives from the rooftops, but will try to speak my piece as gently and respectfully as I can.

Another election, another round of venting and fuming about stupid, unthinking people voting against their own interests. You ask for the umpteenth time how long will it take for them to wake up and see they are being sold down the river.

I have different questions on my mind: How many more elections will it take for you to figure out you cannot beat Wisconsin’s governor by hating him? And how many more seats will be filled on the state’s highest court before it becomes clear you cannot beat the governor’s favorite judges merely by tying them to him?

At some point, you are going to have to come to terms with the fact that you are defined by what or who you are against rather than what you are for. That’s on you. That’s how you’ve defined yourselves.

At some point, you need to drop the excuse that voters who don’t support your candidates are stupid and unthinking. They are not voting against their own interests. They are voting for their interests as they see their interests. Your job is to understand how they see their interests and make them a better offer.

That better offer can’t be a recitation of reasons why your opponents are despicable scoundrels. It has to be a vivid description of what you love and what you hope for and what you dream of.

In a Supreme Court race, that description can’t be a vague promise to be a fair, independent, nonpartisan judge when it is plainly obvious to just about everyone in our state that judicial elections have become intensely partisan and highly ideological and that seemingly every candidate nowadays has the backing of a major party and its constituent groups.

Another election, another attempt at beating opponents by hating them. Another election result, another round of venting and fuming. You do know what it’s called when you do the same thing over and over again but expect a different outcome, don’t you?

Mike McCabe