Be Wary of Walker’s return

Jake Batterman

[media-credit id=128 align=”alignleft” width=”150″]Walker Dropout[/media-credit]

On Monday, the crowded field of Republican presidential candidates got a little smaller when Gov. Scott Walker announced he was putting an end to his short-lived presidential campaign due to a lack of funding. However, students shouldn’t let out a sigh of relief just yet. In a conference call with donors on Wednesday, Walker said he plans to finish out his term as governor and will consider running again in 2018. Walker’s failure at the national level can be blamed on some of his political decisions as well as the bizarre clown car of competing Republican candidates, most notably Donald Trump. Back in January, seven months before his official announcement, Walker was considered a frontrunner for the Republican nomination. His speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit hit a chord with prospective caucus-goers. Three months later it looked like he had gained favor with the billionaire Koch brothers, some of the nation’s most influential conservative campaign donors. His downfall seemed to begin after a February policy talk in London where Walker made it clear that international affairs wasn’t his strong suit. He dodged several questions relating to foreign policy and refused to confirm or deny his stance on evolution responding instead with an oafish allusion to American football. “I’m going to punt on that one,” Walker said. “I’m here to talk about trade, not to pontificate on other issues. I love the evolution of trade in Wisconsin.” Over the next few months, the door to the Oval Office slowly closed in Walker’s face, leaving him with only glimpse of the nation’s highest office. More and more candidates joined the race and it became increasingly difficult to hold traction as the party’s favorite. If airtime was a commodity before the rise of Trump, it was now a luxury, especially for a white bread phony like Walker. While students can take some comfort in Walker’s announcement, his pledge to return should frighten those who care about Wisconsin. He has already done a substantial amount of damage to the state and its long-standing institutions. His dissolution of unions in Wisconsin may have earned him praise among conservatives, but its consequences devastated public sector employees, especially those in education. Walker’s assault on education continued in his most recent budget which calls for a $300 million cut to the UW System. Meanwhile, he denied federal funding in a stubborn attempt to protest the Affordable Care Act and pledged public money to help fund a new basketball stadium for the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite his clear incompetency, Walker has successfully pandered to his unintelligible voter base twice. While students have little choice but to suffer through the final years of his reign, they do have a say in the 2018 gubernatorial elections. Wisconsin would do well to return to its progressive roots and correct the embarrassing legacy of presidential dropout Scott Walker.