Madison, Wisconsin is known in some places as the most liberal of American Heartland colleges. And somehow, over the years, its reputation has gone from idealist to anti-American.
The University there is a State school, meaning that tuition for in-sate residents is very low. Additionally, it had been known as a high-quality school.
Yet scandals, such as the totally unrelated "Ashley Madison" dating site scam, where ladies' profiles were uploaded purported for the purpose of having an affair behind the backs of their husbands, tarnished the word "Madison" itslef.
As we are now in the midst of a decisive period in the 2020 election cycle, I might introduce an interesting political figure from the area: Mark Pocan. Feared by many, because of the regrets they have had for ever interacting with Mr. Pocan.
He made his name in the Democratic Party by joining Republican organizations, and then writing exposes on his experiences in these clubs which he fundamentally opposed.
I am speaking in particular about his membership in ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. Mr. Pocan joined the organization, which develops conservative-leaning legislative proposals. He then published his findings in a liberal Madison-base magazine, "The Progressive".
As a reward, the Democratic Party apparantly made him the heir to Tammy Baldwin, a well known name locally and nationally in liberal circles. So much so that Mr. Pocan ran a couple elections in his liberal district with no challenger. In essence, he is one of those politicians who has never earned a single vote on his own.
Recently, we see Mr. Pocan on the prowl again, but this time, his research might threaten liberal causes. He has written letters from his legislative office seek data on Covid19, both to Defense Secretary Mike Esper, and to the Centers for Disease Control itself, which stopped publishing such data on its website. Contemporaneously, Mr. Esper was just dismissed from hsi job as Defense Secretary by President Donald Trump.
Mr. Pocan, who is openly gay, perhaps believes he is doing his constituents a favor by investigating Covid19 patients. But it is always a dangerous game for one politically vulnerable group to hunt down another.
In the bellwether Sauk County, one of the districts where ever pundit is trying to read the tea leaves of the 2020 election, Mr. Pocan barely emerged victorious, at a similar tally to the Biden-Trump ticket (say 51-49). The issue for me is that Mr. Pocan once won the district with 80% of the vote, and this year's tally was basically even. So, the liberal Sauk County seems to have shifted 30% in favor of the Republicans.
Yet, the news media has preliminarily decalred Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden the winner of Wisconsin overall. Once again, I wonder, if the Republicans could essentiall break even in one of the most liberal districts of the state, how is it possible that the Democrats would have won the close election.
A few thoughts emerge in the interesting cas4 of Mark Pocan.
First, the idea of a politician who is not beholden to the electorate. This is a candidate given his office purely by the political party itself. We see int the instance of Mark Pocan, that such a candidate can be very useful as an operative using his position of power as a "hit man" for the party's agenda.
In this regard, I reflect also on Hillary Clinton.By all accounts, she was a young, brilliant lawyer, who gained the interest of the smooth talking future politician Bill Clinton at the University of Chicago Law School.
The setting was Vietnam era American in the 1960's. The Civil Rights Movement was the key issue domestically.
Ms. Clinton clearly had her heart in the right place, recognizing and working in her early career to address fundamental race-based miscarriages of justice in our legal system. Later, she was hired as a young lawyer on the more politicized team assigned to investigate the "Watergate Break-in", which led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon. Of course, the Democratic Party's feud with establishment politician Richard Nixon (Dwight Eisenhower's Vice President) began in 1960, during the Kennedy-Nixon Presidential election.
We can clearly see, between Nixon's connection to D-Day General Eisenhower, and the ongoing Vietnam War -- which, by the way, was approved by President Kennedy himself; some element of working class resentment that their men were being lost in an extended war effort.
Yet, with the reality of war, can we really justify a large-scale mutiny?
I do agree with Hillary, that we can reduce conflict in our multi-ethnic society by removing obvious injustices from our legal codes.
But how do we identify such injustice? I believe we have to go back to our Bill of Rights and Constitution, and determine if our laws are facially contrary to the obvious meaning of the words of these founding documents. If we have laws that are contrary to our founding documents, we have to eliminate them from our law books.
Another point about Hillary's participation in the Watergate Investigation: as a young anti-war lawyer, was she aware at the time that it was Democratic President Kennedy who first sent military advisors to Vietnam? We were told that the Democratic Party opposed the war, justifying President Kennedy's victory in 1960; yet, he ended up continuing the policies of the previous administration.
Getting back to Mark Pocan.
A politician with no real popular base, who is driven by certain assumptions regarding his issues, sits, in my opinion, in a very tenuous position.
Even if he truly believes in the righteousness of his cause, any inaccurate assumptions, or unknown relevant secrets, could cause him to do more harm than good in his political office, which he obtained without any discernable popular bcking.
As we continue our national legal processes and recounts, we must consider whether a political candidate has a personal following, apart from the party machine, and whether his overall policy proposals are, without casting judgement, within the acceptable realm of our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The author isthe curator of www.pistov.com . He recently published a hardcover book outlining the fundamental divide in contemporary religious struggles, "Between Zeus and Yahwah", which you can order from the website.
About the Creator
Samir Goradia grew up in Queens, New York, and attended The Bronx High School of Science/
He resides in Bakersfield, California, where he is involved in the transition to Commercial Space Travel; and also disaster relief with FEMA.