A great thing about Democracy is that sometimes you agree with the majority… and sometimes you don’t. When you don’t and you wish to oppose, you have that right and ability. There are lots of avenues. In 2011, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a controversial measure to curtail unions. It was met by widespread protest but passed anyway. It led to recall elections of state lawmakers and the governor, of which most lawmakers and the governor prevailed. This is how democracy works. Win some, lose some, find other ways to win your argument. This week the process took a new turn, as the Wisconsin lower court ruled that measure unconstitutional. But before the pro-union folks begin dancing in the streets, the decision will be appealed and will surely end up in the state’s Supreme Court. And it could one day end up on the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court. Democracy… it grinds on.
But today far too many wish to skip the civil process and go right to extremist tactics. That was no more evident this week than in Florida. A woman, who I won’t give extra attention to my naming, was in a Starbucks when Governor Rick Scott swooped in for coffee. It doesn’t appear to be an event, just a stop for coffee. The girl decides to jump the governor verbally on her belief is his failed policies. Of course it is caught on cell phone and goes viral, especially when she calls him an asshole.
And of course, that’s not the end of the issue. A Political Action Committee (PAC) friendly to the governer put out a video this week that took shots at the individual. Turns out she’s a former local county official. But she’s not running for office currently and the video runs much like an attack ad on TV. All because one person’s rant went viral? Yep. The video shows the worst of what we are becoming politically. Yellers and screamers and back stabbers.
This type of discourse is what leads neither political party wishing to take the upper hand. The nomination of a new Supreme Court Justice? Well, we won’t have that… because the other party stalled years ago under similar circumstances. Or when presidential candidates exchange barbs over the others wives, saying “well, he started it.”
If we want to be treated as adults, perhaps we should act like it. Regardless of party affiliation, we all have more in common than not, but we sure don’t seem to believe it.