By Brittany M. Brooks
Social Services Professional
For the past year I was on the ground. I fought hard. I protested. I educated many on the importance of this election. Last night, that idiot still won. Last night was the second saddest night of my life.
I am not sure what direction my state or national politics will take, but I know it is scary. For me, this was not about the unions, although they are surely important. For me, the Wisconsin recall was about the effect that Scott Walker's wrongful policies have had on people who live in poverty and on women. All women, every benighted one of us.
Since Scott Walker has been in office, there are twice as many pregnant teens in Dane County. They are half my caseload. I am at the Sun Prairie high school every day meeting with them. Why are all these teens pregnant? Because in December of this year, Scott Walker passed legislation that abstinence only education must be taught at high schools. This limits what information teachers and guidance counselors can give to their students.
Forget abortion services because planned parenthood funding was cut. Now only two planned parenthood sites provide abortions services. Many of my clients have to find a way to Milwaukee if they want to terminate their unwanted or unhealthy pregnancies. Even the atmosphere around something as common as birth control has changed into some outlandish conservative v. liberal battle.
A doctor refused to prescribe birth control for one of the young girls I work with because he does not believe in it! This cowed little 16 year old ended up pregnant, scared and alone because her mom kicked her out. She couldn't get an abortion because planned parenthood was too backed up with other appointments and now she is too far along.
Scott sure does seem to love little babies -- until they are born. Then he tells their mothers that they can only get a welfare check for six weeks. Then they have to go back to work. This is really laughable because he cut daycare subsidies for poor families and now they struggle to find safe, affordable daycare.
But perhaps the worst of his crimes is his cuts to Badger Care. Badger Care is WIsconsin's state medical assistance program. With his cuts about half of my client families will have to pay a premium for their health care. I am talking about single moms who work at McDonald's or Taco Bell for minimum wage. Under Scotty's Badger Care, if you don't pay your obscenely inflated premium by the due date, they cut your children off for six months and any adult in the family for a year.
One of my clients said to me today that she voted for Scott Walker because she would rather not have insurance then have her partner out of a job. She had been told that voting for Tom Barrett would somehow create an atmosphere in which a carpenter who works for a private contractor could lose his job. This is just one turd of falsehood in the torrent of bullshit talking points the Citizens United billionaires dropped on Wisconsin to save their boy Scotty's political hide.
It is so pathetic that I live in such a rich country, yet the people who have to pay the deficit caused by greedy bankers and blundering politicians are the poorest and least fortunate among us. This is sick. This is criminal. This is insane.
Brittany M. Brooks, who was first on the barricades in Madison and last to leave, is my granddaughter. Her saddest day was the one on which her elder brother, Logan D. Brooks, historian, polemecist and friend to the oppressed, was killed in an auto accident while delivering food to the homeless. The torch has passed to a new generation. May it somehow succeed where ours has failed.