Despite being an anthropomorphic ham sandwich, Scott Walker, was, in 2015, a rising star in Republican politics. The second-term Wisconsin governor’s signature triumph: stripping his state’s public employees of their right to collective bargaining. Having been both raised and educated by unionized public school teachers, it was galling to watch Walker dismantle what made my life possible while pretending to be an everyman fighting back against an elite coalition of [checks notes]… city residents and teachers.
It was bullshit, but it worked. Walker won three elections in four years, surviving a recall and remaking a formerly politically moderate state into a right-wing policy laboratory for ideologues and a playground for oligarchs.
And by 2015, Walker was a top-tier presidential candidate, ready to do the same thing for the rest of the country. As he touted this supposed warrior’s spirit, Walker in the run-up to his campaign would walk onstage to the Dropkick Murphys’ version of “Shipping Up to Boston,” an adrenaline-inducing punk song whose lyrics were written by working-class hero Woody Guthrie. The band caught wind of it, and tweeted: “please stop using our music in any way…we literally hate you !!! Love, Dropkick Murphys”
Walker’s presidential campaign was a series of gaffes and embarrassments, and he dropped out of the race before a vote was cast, stepping aside, he claimed, to make sure the nomination didn’t go to some guy named Donald Trump. In 2018, the good people of Wisconsin finally got around to dropkicking him out of office.
That’s something, but the damage was already done. Eight years of what Walker did deprives kids far brighter and kinder and deserving than I ever will be of the opportunities I continue to benefit from today. And for that, Scott Walker, I literally hate you !!! -Patrick Reis