Well, I was in Madison today, and took a walk up to the capitol to watch the rioting over the Budget repair bill. Let me just say it was energizing to see people mobilized to a cause they feel strongly about. I thought about it and it was really my first protest...like, ever.
When I was a student at the University of Minnesota the cause of the day was "No Nukes". I didn't really participate in any of them, of course. I've never been a real political person. I think politics should be left to the voting booth and not worn on your sleeve. It turns people into ugly, god-awful people when they get to bickering about partisan issues. It divides otherwise good friends, colleagues, neighbors and church members.
All of that aside, I did need to get my say in this particular issue. I'm as fired up about the heavy-handedness of our governor and his union-busting, power grab tactics as I've ever been about anything political. As I've told everyone, I have no issue with his proposal to make public employees pay up to 5% of their health care and 12.8% of their pension. Those are long overdue in my opinion, despite being real numbers that will affect my bottom line significantly. The economy is tight and everyone needs to make a few concessions.
The collective bargaining thing though is over-the-top. A complete power grab. I just think he's got other motives than just saving a few dollars. He's out to bust the unions which have always tended toward the Democratic vote, and that is wrong. I just can't like the guy, but we all have our own opinions.
So anyway, I can cross off two things off my bucket list this week. I shaved my head, and participated in my first protest. I use "participated" loosely because I was mostly a spectator, but I did sign a kill the bill petition and even got my own sign. I got a picture with my sign and when a friend took it he said "What are you smiling for? You're supposed to look mad."
Oh yeah, that. I told you I was not very good with political causes.
Anyhow it was an awesome experience really. The energy inside the capital rotunda was just amazing. They had a drum circle and probably 5000 people in there. It was refreshing to see. Frankly, people are pissed off, and our leaders need to respect that and rethink their role as representatives of us.
With that said, I'm going to the molotov cocktail store and picking up a couple, and then I'm off to get a tear gas mask just in case things get sketchy.