What Tom Barrett and the Democrats can learn from the Star Wars saga...

An ill-funded, ragtag group of underdogs who are trying to reclaim the galaxy from a power-hungry figure who believes in quelling the voice of the average person - sound familiar?


The  original Star Wars turned 35 last Friday (I'll be 36 next month) so it is safe to say that I have grown up with the story of an ill-funded, ragtag group of "losers" and underdogs who are trying to reclaim the galaxy from a power-hungry emperor who believes in ruling with an iron fist and quelling the voices of the average person in favor of the wealthy and powerful - Sound familiar?

My six year old son watched the entire original saga with me and was inspired enough to want to wear his light saber on a bike ride through Greendale and a trip to Ferch's (that is how we do "conceal-carry" in the Patzfahl family). He even forced me to have light saber fight on the jungle gym at the nearby playground (yeah, I brought my own light saber too).

While my son was inspired by the space ships, the non-stop action, the cool-looking aliens and of course the light saber fights - I was inspired by the "never say die" attitude of the rebels.

According to the polls, things may look bleak right now for Tom Barrett and the Democrats in Wisconsin, but things surely seemed hopeless for Luke Skywalker and his friends when he lost the use of his hand (sound familiar?) and his compadre, Han Solo (Russ Feingold) was frozen in carbonite by Darth Vader (Ron Johnson).

But Skywalker did not quit - he finished his training and was inspired by an old master, Yoda (Bill Clinton). Skywalker became the leader of a the rebel forces despite the unlikely odds of a victory because he knew, as Tom Barrett knows, that diminishing the rights of minorities, women, the elderly and the poor is pure evil...and evil will NEVER prevail.

The Darth Vader-like Scott Walker who is roaming Wisconsin (and dozens of other states to hold fundraisers) is funded by wealthy right-wing extremists who reside in a galaxy of the 1% - a galaxy in which you or I will never be allowed to exist in, but have the possibility teasingly dangled in front of our eyes just to entice us.

Scott Walker is merely doing the wishes of his rich and powerful string-pullers like the Koch Bros. and Wisconsin billionaire Diane Hendricks, much like Darth Vader did the bidding of his master, the emperor.

This ultra-conservative group of right wing extremists uses strong-arm tactics in a moderate state to rule us by intimidation and fear. What was it that Star Wars taught us about fear? Oh yeah: "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." ~ Master Yoda

And now because the fear of the GOP has led to hatred, their hatred has led to the suffering of:

  • Public education
  • The protection of natural resources
  • The protection of the rights of women
  • The right to vote


I don't want to live in fear, surrounded by misguided and brain-washed neighbors who think that the rise of women, the voice of minorities or the rights of homosexuals somehow threatens their livelihood. I want to live in a galaxy where all people are treated with respect and whose voices are listened to, even if they are young or poor or gay or non-Christian - or worse, educated.

It is time to elect a leader who will NOT pit neighbor against neighbor, family member against family member, employer against employee and co-worker against co-worker.

It is time to elect a leader who does not believe in a "divide and conquer" strategy to destroying the state.

It is time to elect a leader who puts public education and the needs of children over the needs of his wealthiest donors.

It is time to elect a leader who does not keep a baseball bat for union-bashing on his office door.

It is time to elect a leader who is not a puppet for the 1%.

It is time to elect a leader who is not under investigation by the FBI (we all know he is!)

It is time to elect a leader who believes that everyone has a voice that should be heard.

Tom Barrett and the Democrats may be out-spent 20-1 by the rich and powerful GOP machine, but they should keep one thing in mind going into next Tuesday's gubernatorial recall election:

 "There is no try - only do and do not." ~ Master Yoda

And if mothers care about their children's education - and grandmothers and grandfathers care about their grand children's education - and husbands care about the rights of their wives - and neighbors care about the rights of their fellow neighbors - Then, and only then will the Democrats will be able to snatch victory from the hands of the wealthy and powerful.

But only if we care about each other...

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ima Hippee June 03, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Lyle - "We on the left clearly pursue the moral high ground." Sure, as long as the end justifies the means.
Lyle Ruble June 03, 2012 at 03:50 PM
@Ima Hippee...It's conservatives who are known for the ends justify the means. Always have been and always will be.
Ima Hippee June 03, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Lyle - redux III...but you state ... "the right pursues "pocketbook morality". So, in your dimly lit world, Liberal = good / Conservative = bad?
Ima Hippee June 03, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Lyle redux..."we play by one set of rules and they play by another set that includes lying and misrepresentation in their pursuit of power and tyranny." Um, sure sounds like Obama to me.
Bob McBride June 03, 2012 at 04:01 PM
"Once they have complete power there will be no opposition to keep them honest." *********************** Really? How does that work, Lyle? Do they pass legislation putting themselves in office for life? We have a regularly scheduled election coming up in 2014 that not only makes your concerns unrealistic, but this whole recall we're going through now completely unnecessary.
Randy1949 June 03, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Two factors will skew the 2014 election -- Citizens United, which allows the Right to outspend the Left, especially if you take union money out of the equation as Scott Fitzgerald so eloquently admitted a year ago, and the Voter ID laws designed to discourage turnout among more traditionally left-leaning demographics. You can pretty much bet that if the big corporate money is backing a candidate, they're not in it for us.
Bob McBride June 03, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Same old arguments that hold no water, Randy. There's nothing in Citizen's United or the Voter ID laws that target one party or the other. And we can see evidence right here how successful attempts to take union money out of the equation have been. I guess that means you'll have to find someone else other than Obama or Romney to vote for in the presidential election, Randy. By your standard, neither of them are in it for us.
David Morris June 03, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Unfunded Liabilities are the reason many cities and countries go broke...Private Unions, Contractors pay for part of their workers retirement as they contribute to their own fund...Public Unions take money from the people who are broke so we will just have too print more money....liberals pay with a credit card to pay another...at minumum....they all flunked Math 101!
Ima Hippee June 03, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Lyle - you are very free to pay more taxes. No one is stopping you.
Keith Schmitz June 03, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Most experts, so we can leave you out of that bewitched, acknowledge the economy is slowing a bit but not in "big trouble." If you are worried, look at what austerity economics is doing to Europe, or Wisconsin if you want to look closer to home. Most of the problems we have now are because the GOP and the baggers in particular do not want to see the country under Obama succeed, so they have shot down every program that would work to stimulate the economy. Gotta love you guys. You're like the arsonists who attack the fire department for putting out the fire you set. Don't worry. We will remind voters about this -- a lot.
Keith Schmitz June 03, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I Ima Idiot, great idea, if it wasn't so immature.
jbw June 03, 2012 at 08:26 PM
The tired old "heroic narrative" of the Democratic party doesn't stand up to reason when you have the vote split so closely and even "record-high" turnouts that are still very low in absolute terms. Are we really to believe that everyone who votes Republican is a brainwashed fool whose ideas have no merit, and everyone who votes Democrat is a genius paragon of virtue? It's downright absurd to apply such sweeping generalities to such large segments of our population. And what is your narrative myth for the large number of people who exercise their right not to vote? They aren't discouraged by the empty rhetoric and corruption of both parties? Oh, they must be too afraid of the "evil" party to show up at the polls? Isn't it closer to the truth that there is substantial room for legimate disagreement in policies, a large gray area where neither party owns moral superiority? Maybe instead of repeating the same WWII-esque propaganda myths on every forum 24/7 in endless circular argument, you could admit both sides have their advantages and their faults and respect an individual's decision to vote his or her preference.
Jason Patzfahl June 04, 2012 at 03:48 AM
I was doing some work in my front yard Sunday afternoon when a van full of out-of-state, brain-washed, up-to-no-good, white-washed storm trooper clones (GOP stooges) hit my neighborhood in Greendale and selectively door hung a "how to vote on Tuesday" step-by-step for the narrow-minded bigots that reside in the "L" section. For some reason Ma, Pa and Billy Bob Kettle skipped my home... They have been all around Greendale since last Friday. They are from Florida and Ohio (I asked) - And Jeff Wagner on 620 WTMJ told me that the only out-of-state thugs were union people from the east coast...guess he was wrong. Don't these people have a klan rally or an anti-gay rights protest to attend instead of spreading their out-of-state propaganda in my suburb? If Walker wins it will be because out-of-state $ from rich donors has taken over the airwaves and bigots like these who shove their regressive social agenda down our throats.
James R Hoffa June 04, 2012 at 04:15 AM
So, you're angry because conservatives have finally started to match your ground game efforts, using the same tactics that your side has been utilizing ever since you guys started this so-called civil war. Any comment about how the DOJ is sending in poll watchers to make sure Milwaukee and Madison don't try and cheat/steal this election? 7 teams in Milwaukee, 2 teams in Madison, and 1 team in the other liberal hotbeds throughout the state. The only conservative hotbed that was assigned a team was Waukesha. Sure doesn't speak very well as to the reputation of the integrity of the vote in the liberal hotbeds throughout the state, does it? Be honest!!! I'm sorry that you guys aren't getting the support from the Democratic billionaires, Hollywood millionaires, Soros, and DNC that you were counting on, but just because you guys picked a crap candidate to run against Walker that no one wants to waste their money on doesn't make it his fault, does it? Honestly, blaming Walker for the Dems picking Barrett - just when does it end with you guys? You liberals really aren't responsible for anything that you do, are you?
Brash Brazen June 04, 2012 at 04:52 AM
Scott Walker is about to be indicted on Federal corruption charges & Wisconsin lost more public & private jobs than any other state between March 2011 & March 2012 !!! Keep lying about the fine work your doing,we'll see how many gullible people you've duped when they count the votes next Tuesday !!! Now we know why you're the only Governor in need of a legal defense fund !!! Where can we donate to the prosecution ?
James R Hoffa June 04, 2012 at 05:16 AM
Are you Pauly D or, what they call in your neck of the woods, a Snooki?
James R Hoffa June 04, 2012 at 05:37 AM
Final PPP (Daily Kos) poll shows: Walker - 50% Barrett - 47%
Bob McBride June 04, 2012 at 11:01 AM
GTL, Guido.
Bob McBride June 04, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Remember folks, while this might appear on the surface to be an adult baby having a meltdown, it's not. It's satire.
Bewildered June 04, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Ya know Jason, based on your track record,, no one believes a word you say ( or blog)
Alfred June 04, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Pantywaist Patzfahl, why didn't you confront these folks instead of hiding behind your wife's skirt?
Nuitari (Grand Master Editor) June 04, 2012 at 09:41 PM
I love this part in Star Wars......Admiral Barrett...... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TjTb5bPZc0
GearHead June 04, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Jason, your analogy is comically faulty. The rich evil empire has proven to be union leadership. Not the working guy, but leadership... the goons that get all of the dues money, and decide how to spend it. Thanks to the governor they have been de-fanged. AFSME membership in WI has been cut in half, and the teachers are leaving their unions in droves. Amazing what a little freedom of choice does for you. You reject the whole concept of forced dues collection.
James R Hoffa June 04, 2012 at 10:03 PM
In all fairness, Mr. Patzfahl has been an extremely good sport throughout this entire process, taking the very best pot shots from our side, and never once trying to make it personal. That doesn't mean that he's arguing the right side, only that he appears to be a fairly decent, creative, and overall good guy at heart, and has earned the respect of Hoffa. I just wanted to recognize that and to wish Mr. Patzfahl the very best tomorrow - may the best side win!
Tim June 04, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Wow, you mean the Eric Holder Justice Department will be investigating Walker? The same Eric Holder Justice department that is responsible for the death of a US Border Patrol agent through it's gun-running program? The same Eric Holder Justice department that declined to prosecute the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation during the 2008 election? THAT Justice Dept? Yea, I take the charges against Scott Walker quite seriously, lmao. I LOVE how this man has gotten under the skin of you liberals. Keep it up Mr. Walker!! By the way, I haven't heard a peep out of Obama in support of Barrett. The silence is deafening. Perhaps maybe because Obama has enough to worry about just to win WI for himself in November.
$$andSense June 05, 2012 at 03:05 AM
"...may the best side win!" What a dumb comment. Which is the best side? Dumb versus dumber? Corrupt versus more corrupt? More versus a lesser version of socialism? Wake up. You have no clue.
James R Hoffa June 05, 2012 at 04:35 AM
@$$ - If you hate this topic so much, why do you even bother commenting? Instead of just ripping on others for actually believing in something and having the courage to voice their support, stand, and actually vote for something, why don't you try actually advocating for something yourself? Ooops - I forgot, because then you would actually have to think! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to ask you to do that. I mean, what was I thinking??? There's that word again - thinking. If you believe in the crap that you've been spewing around here, then why aren't you pushing for Trivedi in this election? I think that Saul had you pegged pretty well from the get go my friend!
Jason Patzfahl June 05, 2012 at 11:45 AM
I appreciate that comment...thank you. Do I smell a return to civility? - No, my wife just burnt some toast...
CowDung June 05, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Jason: Once again, I believe that you are a bit off with your version of things. I believe that the correct Yoda quote is "Do. Or do not. There is no try" rather than "There is no try - only do and do not.".
skinnyDUDE June 05, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I THINK my analogy is more in line with FANTASY ISLAND. A public employee visits the island on the tax payers time and his fantasy is that the he can maintain his public Cadillac Benefits and at the same time allowing the WEAC insurance scam.. He also wants higher taxes ,fees and of course fewer jobs. His fantasy wont be complete until he further rapes all his fellow taxpayers out of every last penny.. For the fantasy to be a complete success he ask Mr Rorke to allow rapid fraud to try to win an election . Wonder how this one ends? Could it be a Loser with a Walker Win or a Barrett Win followed by another Recall election in 1 year? STAY TUNED!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »