Monday, February 11, 2013

This anniversary will one day be celebrated

The fight goes on against a governor who has radically changed Wisconsin

Two years ago, we learned of a proposal by Gov. Scott Walker to dismiss five decades of precedence, of recognizing workers’ rights in the state of Wisconsin.

We’ve seen a lot more from our governor since then -- unconstitutional changes to our voting rights; shorting our state’s public schools by over a billion dollars; planned cuts to Senior Care and environmentally unsound mining legislation (both of which, fortuitously, failed to come about); and an unsuccessful bid to unseat Walker himself from office.

The divisive governor, who pretends to be nonpartisan but in practice acts in in a highly partisan manner, talks himself up every opportunity he gets. On jobs he claims his reforms have made Wisconsin better; yet Wisconsin’s numbers rank among the worst in the nation, among the slowest states in growth, and in the top ten states people are fleeing.

When confronted with these facts, Gov. Walker blames the measures, not his own performance and policies, eager to use whatever scapegoat possible in order to preserve his image.

His own political office prior to becoming governor remains under investigation for illegal campaign activities being conducted during county time. A handful of his appointees from that time have been convicted; and while Walker still holds onto the claim that he’s in no way involved, he remains the only governor in the country with a criminal defense fund.

It’s been a long, long two years, and we haven’t forgotten.

While conservatives across the state continue to support Walker, we the people of Wisconsin remember the mismanagement of funds, the exaggeration of claims, the cronyism and questionable government appointments, and the joke this governor has sadly turned our state into.

This is indeed a sad anniversary, a remembrance of the beginning of the dismantling of what our state once stood for. But it’s also an anniversary I take pride in being a part of.

The background of this blog is a picture I personally took during the Wisconsin uprising. It has remained on this blog since then, in spite of the challenges and setbacks we have faced, as a reminder of why we continue to fight on for Wisconsin.

We look back at this anniversary as a sad day; but I promise you, Badgers, if we keep moving forward, if we continue to oppose Gov. Scott Walker and his Republican allies, we will one day CELEBRATE this anniversary in years to come.

We will commemorate this day as the beginning of our own movement, of the day we stood up against a governor and legislature hellbent on destroying the middle class in favor of reforms meant to benefit the wealthy.

We will recognize this week as the week we said, “No more,” took back the people’s house with our own huddled masses, and declared the injustices lawmakers were making daily on the floor of the rotunda.

We will look back on this time of year with nostalgia, commiserating with one another over stories of where we were when the Capitol building echoed with the sounds of Solidarity.

We will acknowledge the struggles, remember the shoulders of comfort, the hugs, the laughs, the tears we all shared together during this chapter in our state’s history.

But if we keep the fight alive, if we continue to work for progress in the years to come, we will remember one thing more -- how we got our state back, out of the grips of special interests, of corporate-friendly politicians, and back into the hands of the people.

And so I personally view this anniversary as a celebration. Not of what has been -- but of what is yet to become. We have so much more to fight for, so much more to struggle against. Ours is a journey that is days, months, and years in the making. But it’s a story worth living, with an ending that, once resolved, will allow us to someday tell our grandchildren:

I was there. I saw an injustice. I stood up against it with my brothers and sisters. And we won.

Two years on. One day longer -- one day stronger.

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