The Long Range Significance Of Wisconsin! Survival Of The Middle Class, Public Education, And Democracy!

The Wisconsin labor struggle is a battle against corporate interests who wish to destroy the working middle class’s right to collective bargaining and labor representation. It is a calculated attempt of conservatives, Tea Party Movement, and Republicans (who have always hated and opposed labor rights) to diminish the middle class and destroy public education, the only way for upward social mobility in this society!

The labor movement helped to create the middle class, but it had to face entrenched business and conservative interests in the 19th century and in the 20th century. Now, in the 21st century, it faces new attempts to take away the hard earned rights and benefits that generations of workers struggled for, earned by the sweat of their brow, and deserve respect and dignity for their commitment to their work.

Every social movement in this country has required marches, demonstrations, lawsuits, and civil disobedience to win support–including the anti slavery movement, the women suffrage struggle, the recognition of labor rights, the civil rights movement, the women’s rights movement, and the gay rights battle!

It is appropriate that Wisconsin, the birthplace of the Republican Party in 1854 at Ripon, and which had a platform of opposition to the expansion of slavery and included abolitionists in its midst; and also the birthplace of the progressive movement in Madison with the election of Governor Robert LaFollette, Sr in 1900–is the “ground zero” location of the new fight for labor rights and the survival of the middle class and public education!

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin might be intransigent, but those opposed to his use of fear and hysteria–just as the GOP has always been good at utilizing, as in the Red Scare led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, and the manipulation of September 11 to promote the Iraq War–must not give in, and must continue the struggle, and it must be fought in Florida, Ohio, New Jersey and elsewhere with no surrender, as it will determine the future of the American middle class and the survival of a society that can still be termed a democracy!

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