Do you enjoy the five day work week? Living wages? Paid holidays and sick time? How about the idea of overtime? Would you like your children not being able to go to school because they have to work? All of these things were brought to us here in the United States by unions. And lately, the very people who claim to be more patriotic than thou are attacking the very fabric of the middle class.
In Wisconsin, the newly elected Governor Scott Walker has decided to wage war on public unions in his state. If you haven’t heard about what is happening… allow me to give a very brief overview.
In a bill introduced a few weeks ago, and hoping to be quickly passed without any debate, the Governor claimed that due to budget pressures public union members would have to put more money towards their insurance and pension funds. No problem… the unions agreed. But in addition to the money issue… he also wanted to dismantle all collective bargaining rights for public employees… essentially busting the unions.
In order to ensure this bill could not pass… the Democratic members of the state legislature left the state to prevent a quorum, and workers from all over the state of Wisconsin and elsewhere descended upon the capitol and began what has now become the largest protest movement in Wisconsin since the Vietnam war.
The key here is that unions gave the Governor the money he needed… why keep this up? The main reason is to destroy the Democratic Party’s main financial contributor.
Allow me to make one thing clear… this is where the ‘Grey’ in ‘Perspectives of Grey’ comes in… I do not believe all unions are created equal. Over the years many unions have pushed the boundaries of reasonable discourse and have actually hurt the very industries they work for. But to lay that on the feet of all public unions is ludicrous. Teachers have become the pinata for anti union forces… because you know how those fat cat public school teachers roll. It makes no sense.
So what is Governor Scott Walker doing now? He has blocked access to the Capitol Building (which is illegal), he has threatened layoffs, threatened to arrest the Democratic Senate members for leaving the state (and most recently the cops tackled a senator trying to get some clothes), he has been caught shooting the shit with a fake David Koch (the real Koch is an oil and chemical baron who earned his money the old fashioned way… he and his brother inherited it) which is odd considering a Governor in the midst of a crisis has 20 minutes to chat with a donor and in the course of said conversation was caught discussing planting troublemakers into the entirely peaceful protest outside. Why? Why is he doing this?
Fortunately, there is a recall movement in place as well as the majority of Americans who disagree with his tactics (~77% by one poll). In my opinion it is actions like this that should disavow anyone stating that there are no differences between our political parties. One party is in favor of money, big business and oil interests… the other is, at least nominally, in favor of the worker. Which one are you? And are you sure you are voting in your interests?
So I want to take this opportunity to commend the Democrats for standing firm (finally), I want to commend the protesters for remaining peaceful and reasonable and I want to commend what is still a strong American spirit supporting the worker and the middle class. We aren’t asking for a class or culture war… but if they want to keep bringing them on, so be it. I know my right from wrong… and in this fight… we are right!
Happy to have a weekend,
Cornelius J. Blahg