Never have I been so proud as I was last night when, watching the election results for Wisconsin’s US Senate race, Tammy Baldwin beat out former Gov. Tommy Thompson. Never have I been so proud, aside from Wisconsin’s 2011 popular revolt, to be from the State of Wisconsin. I love that state and its citizens showed the nation, the world, that it is not dominated by fear and hatred.
Yes, Tammy Baldwin’s Senate victory was a blow to America’s bigots.
I had the pleasure of calling Senator-elect Baldwin my representative during my five years at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a famously progressive place, where what one does in the bedroom is of no concern to those in the community (unless you’re an undergrad and indulging and disorienting the senses). Anyone who had Ms. Baldwin as a representative would recall a smart, nice, compassionate and strong representative and woman. It is those qualities that make Baldwin exceptional and an asset now to not only Wisconsin but the nation. It was those qualities that got her elected.
But Baldwin proved that the fear and hatred of fundamentalist religious conservatives (and even moderate conservatives with residual bigotry), while it may never go away, can and will be ultimately beaten. She ran on her legislative merits; but in being a brave, openly gay politician, she showed the State of Wisconsin that bigotry in all its various forms is a relic of a time when religious fascism imposed conformity on people through fear, hatred and the projection of those sentiments on to the other—the person that wasn’t a puritanical Christian. These people, as Christopher Hitchens so often said, hate sex and really despise human existence on this beautiful planet, longing instead for deliverance to a promised land where eternal supplication awaits.
So you readers who are savoring Obama’s victory over plutocracy, also savor Baldwin’s glorious defeat of hateful bigots. It was historical. And it was beautiful.