WILL LINCOLN’S AMERICA PERISH FROM THE EARTH?
By: Scott Erlenborn
Over 230 year ago America’s founding father’s brought forth upon this continent a new nation that was conceived in liberty and dedicated in blood; a government of the people, by the people and for the people that thus far has not perished from this Earth. Just as this noble experiment was put to the test during Abraham Lincoln’s tenure, it is now being put to the test by those that call themselves Lincoln’s Party. It is being put to the test by those who would seek to replace our great democracy with a corporate plutocracy, a government of the richest of the rich, by the richest of the rich and for the richest of the rich.
To understand just how deeply sinister this attack on our democracy is, it must be seen against the broader backdrop of an American political system in the aftermath of the Citizen’s United decision. It is an America in which the unhindered cash and influence of America’s financial Goliaths is now allowed to be legally poured into the political process, while at the same time unions, both public and private, are being crushed in Wisconsin and across the entire nation.
At the turn of the century, prior to the rise of mining unions, the widow of a miner that was killed in a mining accident near Hurley Wisconsin was given $50 and a turkey. Let that sink in for a moment. You have just lost not only your husband and his affection and protection, but also the income that his labor had provided for the family. In return, the Mining Company, who is at fault for his death because of the unsafe work environment it created, gives you a month’s worth of wages, and a turkey. As rock and roller Bruce Springsteen rightly said, “Unions have been the only powerful and effective voice working people have ever had in the history of this country”.
The Scriptures teach us that “the worker is worthy of his wages” and exhorts us to be a voice for the voiceless. They take a pretty dim view of those who would suppress or deny the worker of his rightful wages. These things have been the primary work of unions in this state for over 100 years, and it is indeed the type of work which pleases God.
Some would argue that unions have served their purpose and are no longer needed today because of labor law and worker’s legal protection. But this is totally naïve. Don’t think for a moment that because we have labor laws and protections, that unions fought and bled to give us will not be rolled back, by the financial Goliath’s that are out to silence our voice today. Because both they and we know that if they take away our voice they can take away anything they want from us.
Four years ago Scott Walker said that Act 10 was about balancing the budget when in fact it was about shifting the balance of power away from the people this democracy was designed to serve. The “Right to Work” (RTW) actions of Wisconsin’s legislative body this past week has proven this. Make no doubt about it. America’s working class in under attack by financial Goliath’s and the politicians they have purchased.
RTW is a blatant attempt to solidify, consolidate and institutionalize GOP political strength and power for the benefit of the financial interests that support them. It is an attempt to render the voices of the opposition mute. I truly believe that this is democracy’s last stand – that we are standing at a fork in a road in which America’s economic engine is going to be allowed to serve everyone that is willing to work hard, or a select and privileged few.
At the top of Bascom Hill at UW Madison sits a statue of Abraham Lincoln staring Wisconsin’s capital and its politicians dead in the eye each and every day. Surrounding Lincoln is a bench inscribed with the quote, “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith dare to do our duty”.
The question that confronts us today is the same that confronted Lincoln in his day, and that is whether or not a government of the people, by the people and for the people is going to be allowed to perish from the face of this earth? Are we going to stand in faith and fight for the way of life that our forefathers handed down to us, or are we going to simply let the oligarchs and plutocrats have their way with us, our spouses and our children?
Please click on the video below to watch a speech by Scott Erlenborn: