Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Historical Moments in WI

If you don't know what's going on in WI right now, you are probably living under a rock (or you should be).

Right now historical things are happening in WI.  Hundreds of THOUSANDS of people are gathering in Madison, WI to rally against proposed changes to state employee benefits and restrictions to collective bargaining rights.  They have been mostly peaceful protests -- demonstrating how a true democracy actually works.  There are sneaky politics to be had on BOTH sides of the table -- Republicans rushing to get a vote off, Democrats fleeing the state...

No matter which side you are 'on' for this debate, there are a few things that are quite un-debatable: 
1) the proposed changes affect people's LIVES and their LIVELIHOODS;
2) the proposed changes will affect YOU -- even if you are not a state worker
3) life is not fair and you should not compare yourself to your neighbor to gauge the fairness of life;
4) our state (as most other states) is in a budget deficit (note I did not say crisis);
5) the moments that are happening now will define our future -- one way or the other

Honestly, I have mixed thoughts on the whole ordeal.  The whole thing is very confusing, very polarizing and very sad -- because ultimately -- it affects people's LIVES.  It's not just about raising taxes or finding ways to cover deficits in budgets.  It is about making changes to benefits and income and the future of those positions.  There are parts of what is going on that I agree with and parts I definitely disagree with.  I don't think this is a black and white issue for me -- but that is how it has been portrayed by most of the popular media.  I think much of what has happened, thus far, has been dirty politics at its best, for both sides.

Over the past week my Facebook feed has been punctuated with status updates, photos, videos and links to articles about the happenings in Madison.  I have many friends on both sides of the debate.  It has been interesting to watch things unfold and see what people have to say or share.

It has  been entertaining to see the various signs that have surfaced during the rallies.  Here are the 100 best protest signs.

These are historical moments that will shape our future; we are lucky to be protected to by the First Amendment to share our thoughts and speak our minds on issues we disagree with.  THIS, is what democracy IS all about.

What are your thoughts?


Laura said...

Good post!

mel said...

I think it's only a matter of time before these protests hit other states. Illinois needs a BIG shake up - the things happening here are very criminal.

oceansunfish said...

I think if there are that many people protesting from within and without Wisconsin for the people of Wisconsin then it is so very wrong for the Gov to say he will not budge. I don't care if the majority voted him in...obviously, a lot of people are upset right now and it's just not right to move forward without changing anything. To me, it's about a voice...trying to silence any voice is wrong. It's never about Option A or Option B...there is ALWAYS and Option C.