Welcome to Fitzwalkerstan: A Layperson’s Guide to Dismantling Democracy
Once upon a time long, long ago, in a country yet to be created, a bunch of rich white guys got together to complain about their unfair tax burden. No, we’re not talking about Republicans (they hadn’t been invented yet). Besides, most of these guys were wearing wigs, stockings, and heels, so today’s Republicans would call them unnatural abominations and pass laws to keep them from getting married. The rest of us think of them as the founding fathers.
The conversation went something like this:
Rich white guy #1: “Like who died and made this dude the king anyway? And why is he the boss of us?”
Rich white guy #2: “Yo, bro, we should have a revolution or something because I am sick and tired of paying these taxes to somebody I didn’t even get to vote for.”
Rich white guy #3: “I mean, aren’t rich white guys entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?”
Thomas Jefferson: “Yo dude, I was so about to say that!”
So anyway, then T.J. (seriously, that’s what his friends called him) wrote the Declaration of Independence and when he finished they said “Hasta la vista baby” to the dude king and a bunch of the rich white guys got together afterward at the local country club to write the Constitution.
But these guys were all up in it about preventing a monarchy because they didn’t want a king to tell them what to do, ever, so they went all radical liberal and created a democratic republic with three branches of government to act as checks and balances so none of them could become Supreme Ruler of the Universe and America was born. And that’s pretty much the way things worked for about the next 225 years. And then one night in 2011, we went to bed in Wisconsin but woke up the next morning in Fitzwalkerstan.
Many people don’t understand that something smells rotten in Denmark and it’s not the Limburger. (I like Limburger. On rye with raw onion. With a nice, crisp garlic dill on the side. Why anyone calls it smelly cheese I just don’t know. Wait a minute, why are you leaving?) And it’s not only Denmark, Wisconsin, which is a charming village despite the smell, offering many amenities including a sewer utility. The smell didn’t originate in Denmark; the smell comes from the stinky things that have been happening in the state capitol.
If, like most of us, you slept through your Civics, American Government and Constitutional Law classes, perhaps you watched the evening news and wondered why all those people were chanting and walking in circles around the capitol building. After all, weren’t the people inside doing what the majority of the people had asked them to do? And wasn’t Wisconsin now open for business?
Enter Mrs. Higgins, the civics teacher. She is not happy. She says we all flunked and now have to write a 2,000 word essay on elections and open government. And it’s due tomorrow.