The “sleeping giant” awoke last February in Wisconsin when Walker threatened to take away most worker’s collective bargaining rights.
People from across the state stood united with the workers unions in a public outcry to call Walker’s power grab wrong. The air resonated with horns, chants, drums, speeches in the beautiful, unified, and vibrant chorus of “this is what democracy looks like”. And the energy rang out across the country as middle class workers, families, students, and seniors saw Wisconsin as a hopeful leader in calling out the injustice of a class war pitting corporate wealth against the struggling middle class and working families. And it was an inspirational journey of solidarity with music, videos, and pictures flooding the social media networks of face book, twitter, and blogs all over the internet. The original threat to collective bargaining was delayed by the heroic Wisconsin 14 Democratic Senators who followed the lead of Abraham Lincoln and jumped out of the proverbial window to deny a senate quorum. And the people cheered and cheered. Finally, the Walker lie was exposed. The collective bargaining language was removed from the fiscal or budget related bill and rewritten so a quorum would not be necessary to pass it. And a committee met with little notification of the public in the dark of night and passed the new bill. Ironically, it will go down in history has the bill that broke the law. It was ultimately declared unconstitutional.
But, all this was made manifest by the unity of the proud people of Wisconsin.
They saw collective bargaining of workers as an inherent right! People demonstrated, chanted, and spoke of collective bargaining as a vital part of democracy comparing it to the right to vote! And the people believed their right to vote was fair and secure.
And this is where the truth hits the heart. It is not. No.The vote is not fair and secure.
And it is hard for us to bring that to heart. It stings and threatens the very foundation of the castle Democracy. The personal admission that our vote is not secure forces us to admit a weakness in ourselves that we have been asleep. How could this most basic trust and sacred freedom been eroded without our notice? And we do not want to believe it like an alcoholic who does not want to believe he drinks too much or child hiding beneath the covers in hope the monster will just go away. And the rot in the foundation is left for next Spring, and the sight of carpenter ants is dismissed with the simple thought, “they will go away” and the neighbor comes over and points out how the wall is leaning and we say, “Mind your own business” and we just never find reason to go to that part of the house anymore and close off the back room and shut the door against the nauseating smell of damp mildew and remain sure it will pass, it is ok, the neighbor is wrong and the new slanting lean of the floor boards was always there and we continue on with gathering wood and carrying water because “Lord knows I have enough to do without worrying about that closed off room”…
So this post is that neighbor. The vote is rotted through and through.
We have denied it long enough and the house is leaning to the point of shifting off the foundation. If we defend the right to collective bargaining “heart and soul” why are we letting the reliability of our vote crumble beneath our feet? Why has the dry rot at our foundation over the last decade gone without worthy attention – by the press, by elected officials, by US as in U.S.?
Do you see how the power of singular unity and solidarity can be rekindled as we unite around the integrity of the vote as a central issue of our fight to FREE WISCONSIN?