Where are we? It is June, 2011. What kind of country are we? What kind of people are we?
We know a few things…things that everyone can see without being clairvoyant. We are all overweight. We watch too much television. Television has too many commercials. Too many people are poor;too many are dangerously close to economic disaster; too many are afraid of losing their jobs; too many have lost the security that being a civil servant or a public servant…fireman, cop, teacher…used to insure.
Those things are just the beginning of what is wrong. We have been fooled into allowing a bunch of radical Right Wing politicians to take over governments at many levels and use those governments against the People under the pretense of trying to save us from economic disaster. It is the big lie, all over again.
We have elected people, specifically like Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Ric Scott of Florida, who obviously do not care at all for the people that they are supposed to serve. Walker has clearly–clearly–used a phony budget crisis to take down the opposition of the Republican Party….the unions. And why the unions? Because the public sector unions are the ones that had the most power. They were the only ones left. Now they are in serious trouble.
Here is the important part about that. Unions are not corporations. They are not foreign countries. They are not groups of thugs or mafioso. They are you. The people you see in unions are elected officials of groups of individuals. It’s pretty simple. Do you want to go in and negotiate (with all your wonderful public speaking skills and your vast knowledge of labor law) with an employer or do you want to sit in a meeting, discuss what you want from management and then have someone with those skills, someone you elect, go in and negotiate on your behalf?
Scott Walker doesn’t want that. Not at all. He disbanded the public unions. Whether you know it or not, here’s what really happened. Scott Walker came into your house. He stole a lot of what belongs to you. He walked out to the curb and when you and your neighbors said that he couldn’t do such a thing, he not only laughed in your face…he spit in your face. That’s how bad this is.
Walker was elected with money from the Chamber of Commerce, the big Right Wing pacs, the new corporate funds now allowed by the Supreme Court, and some other long-standing Right Wing groups that have history going all the way back to the John Birch Society and before that to relationships with–real Nazis, not metaphorical Nazis, but German Nazis. Their boogeyman is no longer the Communists (although Michelle Bachmann is so dumb that she thinks it is) but the faceless, nameless “terrorist” groups that have us so scared that we force a 95-year-old leukemia patient to remove her adult diaper before getting on a plane! This is how far we have come as a society! Ain’t freedom grand!
But Walker is not fighting terrorists. He is fighting to cut taxes for business executives, which he did, and cut benefits for unionized public workers, which he did, in order to please his Neocon bosses out of New York and Washington D.C. He not only railroaded through some legislation that would cut pensions and cut health care benefits that HE thinks are too much, but he also did away with the unions themselves. That way, the public employees, the last ones with unions who had real negotiating power, cannot bargain any longer for better wages, working conditions or retirement.
So how did Walker get such power? Was it a military coup? Did he actually buy up Wisconsin? Does it belong to him? We all thought Wisconsin was a moderate state, fairly advanced, with its fine university and its history of Populism and a couple of really good Liberal Senators, including Russ Feingold (a Jew elected more than once in a state with a lot of German-Americans, many of whose parents were Bund members.)
So…what happened? Hate happened. Divisiveness happened. Bigotry happened. Right Wing talk show hosts on every radio station in Wisconsin, spewing hatred and ridicule towards the President, towards Liberals, towards rational Republicans and ridiculing and lying about unions. Fooling the people into thinking that the unions are not them and that they are not the unions. But they are. Now they know. Now that it is too late. Now that they have found a large number of their neighbors that they were set against by the radio station of the Milwaukee Journal, WTMJ, and other Right Wing stations in Wisconsin.
Just to be clear, WTMJ is, in fact, a Right Wing media…not news…not unbiased opinion. They list among their many contributors, Michael Savage, a commentator so reviled that he is not even allowed to travel to Britain for fear that he will set off some kind of riot among the large and integral Indian and Arab populations. The British simply forestall this kind of nonsense by banning people like Savage. Another commentator is Laura Ingraham. Anyone who has heard her daily rants against the President from the first day of his taking office knows what we mean. She is a paid hack for the Republican Party.
At any time of day in Milwaukee one can turn on to AM 620 and hear some lie or some exaggeration about a political problem, or praise for Governor Scott Walker or for Supreme Court Judge Prosser, elected by a mysterious 7,000 votes that appeared magically after he had lost. This is the same Supreme Court judge who throttled a female judge..grabbed her aound the neck. He should himself be in jail, not on the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.
So here is an example of WTMJ, just so you know what kind of station we are talking about. Senator Johnson of Wisconsin, recently elected by spending, it is said, $8 million of his own money and by lying to the people of Wisconsin about his intentions, recently stood up in the Senate and said that unless he gets his way, he will block all activity. Does this sound familiar? A member of a Party that has had 240 filibusters of legislation for the people, including legislation that would have created hundreds of thousands, even perhaps millions of jobs?
Suddenly, this preposterous fool, this rookie Senator, who threatens to shut down the Senate..which he knows he cannot do…neglects to tell people that he has voted with Republicans on all the non-revenue generating proposals, against tax increases for the rich, in favor of more wars, more military spending, in favor of cutting Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and against ending tax breaks for multi-billion-dollar profitable corporations.
This bumble head, this man whose own constituents are developing a bumper sticker that says, “Ron Johnson is a Buffoon!” has been backed up by WTMJ. In a morning drive-time segment the foppish announcer drooled all over himself in saying that Johnson has done more with this one speech (actually he gave another speech in which he was ridiculed for getting just about every word on health care reform wrong) than Russ Feingold did in 18 years in the Senate.
There was a reason why Russ Feingold was in the Senate for 18 years and why Johnson should not even be allowed to finish out his term. In a state that produced William Proxmire, Russ Feingold and Robert LaFollette, Johnson is a pathetic cardboard cutout of a Senator. His idea that he can hold up the Senate over the President’s budget that he doesn’t happen to like is preposterous.
He has a company that is called PACUR. He has said, until recently, that he founded the company. PACUR is actually an abbreviation of Pat Curler, the true founder, and Johnson’s brother-in-law. The company was founded by Curler, hence the name, in 1977. Johnson, the 24-year-old brother-in-law was given a job in 1979. The company was founded basically to provide plastics to Bemis Corporation, whose Chairman was Pat Curler’s father.
So, while we don’t know all the relationships, it is becoming clearer and clearer that this nincompoop who wants to hold up the Senate (and the Republicans won’t let it happen, and he knows it, so he is only grandstanding) and who calls himself an “entrepreneur” has probably not used $8 million of his own money to get himself elected. It is more likely that he got a lot of money, just as Scott Walker did, from big corporate interests, the Chamber of Commerce, the Koch Family and who knows who else.
And what is the point of all this? It is very simple really. The People of Wisconsin have long had the reputation as a Populist state. Walker is no populist nor is Johnson. But the People of Wisconsin voted him in and now they are suffering the consequences. It is a morality tale for any one in any state. If you wish to remain in a society that cares for its fellow citizens, you must vote Democratic. And then you must hold those representatives to what they promise.
Most of all, we must all fight back against the kind of misinformation that calls Ron Johnson a hero for merely acting like a misbehaving juvenile instead of an honest politician. We must fight against misinformation all the time, especially between elections If we don’t there will be many more states like Wisconsin, like Ohio, Florida, New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan and others that the Right Wing has succeeded in turning into small totalitarian states–at least for the time being.