There’s a storm coming in.

It’s literal and it’s figurative. There’s a storm brewing in my state.

Skies are clouding over and the temperature is dropping. The radar shows lots of green (rain) with patches of yellow and red representing the stronger storms within. The forecast predicts thunderstorms overnight and through tomorrow.

That’s the literal storm.

On the figurative side we have a storm of ideology, a flood of hard feelings, and the thundering sound of voters wanting their voices heard. There’s a yard sign here and a bumper sticker there, with patches of letters to the editor representing the strong emotions within. This forecast predicts a large turnout for a special election – 30% to 35% expected – and close races in every primary.

I prepared for the literal storm with a fire in the fireplace and my tiny seedlings under cover in the mini-greenhouse. We’ll unplug the computers if necessary to prevent trouble in the event of power surges. After the storm passes, we’ll plug everything back in, reboot the electronics and reset the clocks.

Preparation for the election storm isn’t quite so easy. We can unplug the landline the day before the election to avoid the thundering sound of the Get Out the Vote phone calls. I’ll be  on edge all day Tuesday, awaiting results that carry more meaning than any primary election should.

After this storm passes, the winds of change will pick up. The perfect storm of anger, disillusionment, and disbelief fighting with self-righteousness and misinformation threatens to blow up into a cyclone of another kind. The resulting funnel cloud will touch down on the second Tuesday in June, and its aftermath will be —

I don’t really want to think about the results of the June election. If the vote tallies are higher on the wrong side, we’re in for a dark and stormy period in WIsconsin history. This kind of storm is hard to predict, and even harder on those of us in its path.

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