Wisconsin! The vote! The rally! The demonstrations! Michael Moore! Lead story at all the major media outlets! Did I say Michael Moore!?!
America was sitting up, paying attention, and tuned in, to the biggest labor issue since
Reagan fired the air traffic controllers in 1981. This was to be our turn. The republicans had finally
overstepped and over-reached their vague mandate to stop the insanity in Washington. America was screaming for jobs. Real, life sustaining, raise some kids jobs and the opportunistic Rightwing went after the jugular of some of the few good jobs available to regular working Americans. Republicans had tipped their hand and gave us all a glimpse at what we knew they were- Corporate shills preying on what little "we the people" have left. The right to organize. The right to unify. The right to have a say about our lives and livelihood. The right wing's salvo spoke directly to the heart of their agenda. It said "this isn't your daddy's America." "THIS IS THE REAL NEW WORLD ORDER"! But we were not going to take it! Right? And then. . .BOOM! CRASH! SPLASH! The most destructive and saddest natural disaster imaginable. Men, woman, and children hopelessly washed away and displaced by a 9.0 earthquake and the following tsunami. "This just in"! "Breaking News!"
"Let's go to so and so in Hawaii!" I'm not implying that Japan was not newsworthy. Quite the opposite. But in a world with quick news cycles and a populous with short attention spans, Wisconsin, as fast as you can say "DOWNSIZE!" became what the republicans hoped it would become to America. . .someone else's problem. Counting on America's distaste for any sense of
community or unity, and the attention span of 5yr olds, the nation was captivated by giant waves,
body counts, and meltdowns. And when that story cooled down. . .here comes Libya. We never had a chance. Mobilizing a nation like ours, a movement, if you will, takes timing and luck. The middleclass had neither. The moment passed further and further away with each aftershock and every very expensive Tomahawk explosion. "How much does each one cost," we would ask each other over dinner? Well, I know how much. Enough to educate our young and enough to pay good people decent wages and benefits for a good day's work. How will the next moment pass?