Walker and his corporate backers exploit fear to further enrich themselves at our expense.
The ghost in the machine
Why does Governor Scott Walker believe he can make such outrageous statements about union workers in Wisconsin--indeed, union workers everywhere--and get away with it? Because the people have given him the power to do so.
Wisconsin has always been a state in which I have been very proud to live, work and raise my children. The people are compassionate, loyal, and respectful and live their lives in honor of their community. But we are also now living in fear. Fear of losing our jobs, fear of rising health care costs and impending retirement, fear that our children cannot receive a good competitive education, fear that the food we eat and the water we drink is not clean. We have become complacent because of this fear which has resulted in a ‘me first’ attitude towards living in a community. Survival is now a state of being, fueled by fear.
Walker has behind him a machine that prides itself in the education of the few and the oppression of the many. It does not worry about money, fear, educating its children or the cost of health care. It develops messages and mandates that make other people fear. This machine's greatest flaw is its inability to feel compassion.
The people of Wisconsin are compassionate deep thinkers. Family values are strongly held together by the deep ethnic variety of working minded folks willing to stand up for what they believe in and to help others who otherwise cannot help themselves. Solidarity is respect for all things in the community in which you live and breathe and continuing to teach the young that solidarity means cohesion, safety, security, and mindfulness in every day living.
The Super Bowl game we just watched had the most viewers of any television program in the world. The Packers represent our community. Everyone likes Wisconsin and its people.
Aaron Rodgers did an ad for Disney World which I am sure he was paid for. Walker does his ads for free, his bold statements that stir up the pot of emotional fear. We are the ones who gave the machine the ability to have all that free air time. Where is our free time in the media? Or…should I ask, Are we giving away our free time?
Solidarity requires strategic thinking and planning.
The machine is strategic with its messages and movements. That is why Scott Walker is now our governor. The people stopped believing in themselves and began believing in the fear. We do have the power, we do have the respect, and we do have the intelligence to preserve what we are and have been about.
February 15, 2011
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Pat Takamine lives in Mukwonago and comes from a long line of educators, union organizers, union members, and peace and social justice mentors.