While scanning the news coverage of the Wisconsin protests I caught glimpse of a sign that said “Thanks for the civics lesson, Governor Walker.” Yes, indeed Governor Walker I for one appreciate what you have done for the worker’s movement.
I have been heartened by the crowds of people drawn to Madison, Wisconsin in defense of workers. Interviews with the crowd have indicated the presence of many young people in attendance with their parents and grandparents. Many of them standing up in support of their teachers and proud to do so.
I have long been concerned for the future of the middle class and workers in the United States. For too long support for causes important to the financial security of the overwhelming majority of Americans has been severely lacking.
I was starting to wonder if American’s would ever get off the couch, walk out their front door and say “no more.” While watching MSNBC is certainly a worthy use of our time, more is required of us than simply rolling our eyes while watching footage of the most recent Tea Party demonstrations.
They are not messing around and nor should we. It is long past time for us to put down the bag of Dorito’s, pull out our Sharpie’s and poster board, and let our governments leaders know what it is that we stand for and more specifically in this case, what we will not stand for.
Perhaps we do not have those really cool Revolutionary War Replica uniforms to wear, but some of us do have police officer uniforms, fire fighter gear, hospital scrubs or union T-shirts emblazoned with their specific local number. It does not really matter what we wear. Some might just show up with old t-shirts which are dotted with holes from welding splatter. The point is that we work for a living.
We are not going to carry guns to our protests either or Louisville Slugger’s with our names on them. We do come armed with our voice. Our determination, our will, and our unity sends a much more important message in a much more civil way than a loaded weapon.
Like you though, we also carry signs. Our’s tend to be without spelling errors, which is a refreshing difference and is further indication that our teachers and parents are doing their job.
Yes, Governor Walker thanks for waking a sleeping giant. We needed to see vividly the proper demarcation of that proverbial line. We needed to be reminded that Republican’s will stop at nothing to give more to corporations and take whatever is necessary from the middle class to make that possible. We needed to be reminded that elections do have consequences and that our inaction and complacency can contribute greatly to those election results.
I trust, Governor Walker that your actions will have special consequences as well. There is an almost visible wince when many of your fellow Republican Governors are asked about your hardline, non-compromising, non-apologetic methods.
It has truly been a lesson in union busting, but there have been other lessons that we have learned. We have learned that there is a line that if you cross, a long abused and too often maligned work force will go to great effort to protect the hopes and dreams of their future. We have learned that the American workers can be infinitely better informed and just as passionate as their conservative counterparts.
Many politicians and political analysts have taken to referring to the Wisconsin Democratic State Senators as cowards who are shirking their responsibility and not doing their job.
I respectfully disagree.
Quorum busting should be and has been used in only the rarest circumstances. Some of us can remember 1988 when Republican Senator Robert Packwood was carried into the United States Senate Chamber feet first to attend a quorum call. That battle was over campaign finance reform.
The State Senators from the great state of Wisconsin are in fact doing their job. They used the only means they had at their disposal to stop a vote which would hurt workers and their families. In the end their single greatest contribution was that they bought a little time. They bought enough time for working people in Wisconsin and across America to wake up from their slumber. Upon waking and after the morning fog had dissipated we opened our eyes and realized that we are making the same amount of money that we were thirty years ago and that there are those amongst of us that would like to keep it that way.
It is bad enough that you proposed to cut taxes for corporations and pay for it with a portion of the paychecks of your state’s teachers and public workers, but then you went after their future, our future. It is bleak enough going forward, but to do so without the ability to not only request, but expect a fair living wage certainly does not suggest that things will get much better and for quite some time.
The corporations should fare very well and the Republican politicians they support perhaps much better. The rest of us will survive. That is what we have learned to do while in the midst of this economic downturn.
It comes down to this; we are tired of those who are most well off amongst us receiving every possible advantage at our expense. Please cut us a little slack. We have been beat black and blue by this economy. We have grown more than a little weary from the struggle. It is time for you to start expecting more from the wealthy and less from us.
Just to be clear, we have been and are willing to do our share as long as everyone else does as well.
Governor Walker, the public union workers have agreed to let you have a part of their paycheck today; perhaps you might be so generous to allow them to keep their future.