Let’s get political, people!
Okay, I’m going to start this out on a positive note. Simply this: Way To Go Egypt!
It always feels good to see a tyranny overthrown by the will of the people. Makes me feel patriotic actually (In the sense of my allegiance to the ideals of the American Revolution). I watched the unfolding drama with baited breath, consistently refreshing the updates page over at Mother Jones and it was exciting to see freedom happen.
Does that mean I have some sort of rosy idea that everything is going to be all peachy now? Of course not. There are all sorts of struggles ahead of the Egyptian people. They haven’t had true democracy for a very long time and it will take some time to turn passion and anger into wise governance. Here’s hoping that they pull it off with the same aplomb that they managed their peaceful protests. Of course this depends on how the Army (who are now in charge) deal, fairly or unfairly, with the civilians. I have high hopes due to the way the military acted during the protests, including protecting the protesters from the state police.
Of course the pundits are all speculating how this affects American interests. Well, it will probably effect them negatively in some ways, I’m sure. The new government probably won’t be as friendly to us as Mubarak, largely because… well… we were friends with Mubarak. That says a lot, doesn’t it? We’ll probably still sell lots of material to the Army there. We’ll still have some friends. Hopefully, we’ll get better ones this time, with whom we’re friends due to ideological shared ground on things like freedom rather than their usefulness for our purposes. (Hey, I can dream right?) Of course there is the distinct possibility that groups who patently dislike America and American ideals will grab power. If they do this in a democratic fashion, due to the support of the population, well, we’ll just have to suck it up and live with it. We won’t like it, but that’s democracy. Now if they somehow grab power through shady means, we’ll not only have a new hostile middle eastern power, but it will also mean the revolution was for nothing, and that would be disgusting in the light of the successes gained there. Now, some people are scared of these people having any say at all in the new democracy. People like the Muslim Brotherhood. The thing is, they represent a good part of the population. The key is not to push them away from the table, but to include them and compromise if needed. Progress doesn’t come as fast as all sectors might want, but progress will be destroyed if they are turned into some sort of underground fighter movement.
Besides, I don’t think religious tensions over in Egypt are as consistently dire as people would like to paint it. At least if the Muslims protecting Christians and vice-verse stories have any lasting impact. And isn’t that the most beautiful thing? People protecting people despite differences? ^__^
Of course, the success of these protests have recently been sparking more protests around the region. I doubt they will go as well, though I hope for the best. I say this because the other dictators and so forth will see their doom coming if they don’t react hard and fast. We are already seeing some of that kind of violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen. It’s another thing to watch in the coming weeks.
Of course those aren’t the only protests occurring in the world. Let’s set our eyes homeward, and to Wisconsin. For those of you who still don’t know, the governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, is trying to ram some anti-Union legislation into law over there.
"I grab the unions' balls just like so, and then I begin to cut..."
This has caused some massive backlash amongst the unions, especially the teachers’ union. For those of you who don’t know why this matters, first of all study the history of labor (like child-labor and unsafe conditions) and how the unions changed that, and then go over to This News Story
which should explain it thoroughly. Once you’ve figured it out, then you will probably know where I stand on the issue.
That is, simply: I Don’t Like It.
Now, I think that the voters of Wisconsin asked for it when they voted those people into office, and I’m all about Democracy, but I. Don’t. Like. It. To be plainer, I’m scared of it. Why? Because I want to be a teacher some day, if my writing doesn’t support me, and I want to be sure that I have certain rights when i become an employee of the state; rights which this bill would take away.
I'm easily not the only person angry about this.
Are unions the shining beacon of hope, freedom and protection they might be proclaimed to be? Not all of the time, no. Unions can be problems sometimes too, but I’ve never seen a reason for why they’re more of a problem than they are a solution. The fact is, for their sometimes flaws, unions are highly beneficial for representing the rights and well-being of their members. And even if they have significant
flaws, which I don’t see, then is the answer really to take away all of their bargaining power in perpetuity? I’d say not.
Of course, this is all proposed by Gov. Walker under the banner of cutting down the budget. He’s holding some thousand jobs hostage over the issue, saying if the legislation doesn’t pass he’ll have to fire people. The ironic thing is that this belt-tightening he’s saying there is no escape from was caused by actions he took his first few days in office, including tax cuts and special interest legislation.
The voice of the people is speaking in this photo
So, I think the Democrats who skipped town are doing the right thing. I think the people supporting this law are doing the wrong thing. I sincerely hope that something happens to stop this soon, for my sake, for the workers’ sakes, and for the sake of years and years of progress about to be turned backward.
On a side note, before I draw this post to a close, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is awesome (and i can’t wait till I’m actually good at it) and I’m addicted to Starcraft II multiplayer some more. I think I’m actually getting better! O.o
That’s all today folks. Adios!
– Edward L. Cheever II
Images courtesy of Biyokukule.com, Calvin at lottoshare.blogspot.com, the Associated Press and Shawsblog.