|Unfortunately in 2011, Scott Walker broke the back of the teacher’s union in Wisconsin by passing Act 10. Then in 2015, he crippled the private sector labor movement by passing “Right-to-Work” legislation, which is understood to mean “Right-to-Work-for-Less” to anyone who has studied what goes into these bills.
During the public testimony for this bill, another father, Antony Anastasi, president of Iron Workers Local 383, broke down in tears as he pleaded to the Republican-majority legislature, “Please think about the families that will be impacted by this.”
One year later, private sector union membership in Wisconsin fell to 6.4% from a pre-NAFTA high of 15.7% in 1993. Now in Wisconsin, the gap between the rich and the poor has increased dramatically, and there are countless studies that show how increased inequality is directly correlated to the decline of the labor movement.
Wisconsin’s fathers have always had a proud and independent streak in them. They may not be rich, but they work hard and have a pride in that work.
But that pride has taken a beating when year after year of Republican disinformation has convinced us to vote for policies that decrease our wages and suppress our hopes that through hard work, we can support our families.
For so many, it feels like we no longer have a voice in our own destinies, the system is rigged against us, and the only people that seemingly win in this system are those who cheat…
…Thus the rise of Trump, the “deplorables” who support him, and the complete loss of gentlemanly and distinguished behavior in politics and political discourse.
Just yesterday, as videos were shared of our 79-year-old President and grandfather falling off his bike, Scott Walker tweeted “this is pathetic,” and Donald Trump Jr. tweeted “we have a winner, folks.”
A day before Father’s Day, our soft-spoken, hard-working, working-class president, was ridiculed by the Trump Cult for simply falling off his bicycle.
Is this how America now treats its grandfathers?
We treat people this way when we lose our pride, and we lose our pride when we no longer believe we have agency in our own lives. We lose that agency and our hope when we consume right-wing media full of hate and fear, when our democracy and respected institutions crumble around us, and when our votes no longer count due to gerrymandering and the flood of money into politics.
We have to get our pride back in America and Wisconsin–the pride that chooses our communities over party affiliation, and the pride that chooses fairness over cheating.