Friday, February 18, 2011

Wisconsin Rises

First, this is about the saddest must-read that I ever read. Thanks to my friend Michael for having brought it to my attention. Things have to change. We hear the voices of those clamoring for democracy on the streets of the Mideast and we admire their courage. We overlook the real imperative that we should be out on the streets ourselves, with peaceful demands to save the tatters of our own democracy.

Is it not ironic that--at least until the past couple of days--those who have been getting noisy on the streets, believing that they are clamoring for the restoration of the American middle and working classes, have become instead unwitting tools in the hands of profiteering interests who cynically promote their exploitation? Is it not ironic that those who loudly claim, in Congress, to speak in the name of "the people" are acting, instead, for the benefit of those same profiteers? What in the name of sanity has happened to our sense of the common good? What, in this "Christian" country, has happened to those supposedly Christian values of mercy, love of one's neighbor, compassion...?

But now there's Wisconsin. I have been watching news reports from that state, where those whose pocketbooks have been targeted to ante up for the deficit, state workers, are finally in full revolt. Their new Republican governor, having doled out huge tax benefits to business, is now trying to essentially dun the middle class to pay for his munificence. The handful of remaining Democrats in the Wisconsin government have fled to other states, to deprive their Republican opponents of the quorum they need for passage of the proposed union-busting measure to deprive state workers of bargaining rights. And those affected have been out on the streets in masses for the past three days, in a peaceful protest that emulates the events in Egypt and elsewhere in the Mideast. Amazing that we are now beginning to take lessons from countries long dominated by autocracy, in a fledgling attempt to undermine the oligarchy at home.

I have no idea who or where "Mark" is--the writer of the letter to which I link, above. It may be that, as he suggests, he is no longer with us. His cri de coeur should, by rights, be required daily reading for every Congressman and Senator, as well as for every American voter; it should also be a spark equivalent to the one that set the unemployed Tunisian Mohammed Bouazizi on fire in an act of self-immolation, and led to the turmoil we see today throughout the Mideast as the underprivileged rise to demand their rights and dignity as human beings.

If we want to see democracy take root throughout the world, we should first see to it that it works "for the people" here at home. Complacency ill becomes us.


mandt said...

How absolutely heartbreaking and infuriating. Sadly, we have been predicting this very story on a large scale in the coming years as Federalcrats abandonment the American majority.

khengsiong said...

All I know is Wisconsin's Governor rejected the high speed rail fund by Obama.

layne34 said...

Wisconsin is only one of many states working to obliterate the power of unions, and in as much the voice of the workingclass American. Times are tough and we all must compromise and give a little. However it is the haves asking the havenots to bear the brunt of belt tightening.

CHI SPHERE said...

My boys and I just returned from feeding the homeless in Santa Monica at the public shelter. I opened your blog, read Mark's letter and wept.

Mandt said it all perfectly and so did Mark. I have only one thing to add. If your reading this send Marks letter to your congress person now. Then go to their office and see them personally with a copy.

Federalcrats is a new definition of leaderless despots!

CHI SPHERE said...

Now the Christian Federalcrats are feeding the citizens to their lions in the Flavian Amphitheater of congressional greed. Enter the new Roman era of denial and deception at the expense of 95% of the people.