Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
William Rivers Pitt writes an essay on the exact same thing I was thinking as I was watching the coup d'etat in Wisconsin on Wednesday. Then They Came for the Trade Unionists:
On this day, it behooves us to remember the words of Martin Niemoller.
"First they came for the communists," he wrote, "and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."
I am a trade unionist, and yesterday in Wisconsin, they came for me. They came for you. They came for every working person in America, and their intent could not be more clear. Governor Scott Walker, along with the Koch Brothers and the right-wing radicals of the Republican Party, moved in darkness and with shameless deceit to gut the ability of dedicated laborers to bargain on an equal footing for the right to earn a living wage and to have access to decent health care.
* * *
Fairness and the rule of law had no place in Wednesday's filthy action. This move was done in secret, without notice or announcement as required by Wisconsin law, and bears the stamp of the cowards and cretins who are responsible. Similar anti-worker legislation has been unfolding in Ohio, Indiana, Florida and more than a dozen other states. Those responsible claim such actions are necessary because of economic concerns, but the Wisconsin perpetrators tipped their hand. They stripped the bill in question of anything having to do with the state budget, so as to give them the chance to vote without a quorum…but the entire premise of their anti-union attack was that the destruction of collective bargaining was needed to salvage the state's financial situation. By gutting the bill of any semblance of budgetary issues, all they were left with is what they were after in the first place: the end of collective bargaining, the end of unions altogether, and by proxy, the end of the Democratic Party.
* * *
The fact of the matter is that Governor Walker has unleashed a frontal assault on working people in his state because wealthy corporatists believe "Because I Say So" is enough. Make no mistake, friends. This is class warfare. It is brazen, unmistakable, and now out in the open. They have so much, but they want more. It has been made all too clear that they will gut your life, your rights, your everything, in order to get what they want, and what they want is absolute and total control.
Mr. Niemoller wrote his poem decades ago. It might read like this today:
First they declared corporations were "people," and I didn't complain because I'm already a person.
Then they made unlimited money "speech," and I didn't complain because the American Dream says I'll be rich someday, too.
Then they commandeered the means of production by shipping our greatest strength – manufacturing – overseas, because they don't have bothersome unions over there, and I didn't complain because WalMart has cheap stuff.
Then they bought Congress so they could write the laws, and I didn't complain because I can’t be bothered to vote.
Then they bought the Supreme Court so they could cement their rule, and I didn't complain because I don't have time to pay attention.
Then they bought the news so they could convince everyone it's always been this way, and I didn't complain because it's always been this way.
Then they manhandled an election and I didn't complain because I'm not from Florida.
Then they lied us into wars and I didn't complain because I'm not a soldier, or an Iraqi, or an Afghani.
Then millions died for profit and I didn't complain because the graphics on the news were totally awesome.
Then they started locking people up because they said they could and I didn't complain because nobody locked me up.
Then they started spying on everyone because they said they could and I didn't complain because I'm a real American.
Then they came for the worker, but thanks to supply-side trickle-down economics, I don't have a job.
This truth is self-evident.
They are coming for you, and they are relentless.
For your country, for your family, for yourself.