NFFE National Vice President John Obst Speaks out in Wisconsin NewspaperThursday, March 3, 2011
(National Federation of Federal Employees)
does democracy look like?” shouted one
protester. “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS
LIKE!!” chanted thousands of Union Sisters and
Brothers in Madison, Wisconsin as they
demonstrated against Republican Governor
Walker’s pledge to strip collective bargaining
from public employees. Madison’s only daily
newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal, took a
poke at the demonstrators, telling the
newspaper’s readers that democracy equates to
election returns. Upset by that narrow
editorial stance, NFFE National Vice President
John Obst wrote a letter to the editor which
was published this morning. His letter is
Democracy or Tyranny of the Majority?
by John R. Obst
“The Wisconsin State Journal stated: “election returns – more than anything else – are what democracy looks like;” and “Republicans are going to get most of what they want for the next two years, just as the Democrats got most of what they wanted for the past two years.”
Democracy requires elections, but what the Wisconsin State Journal added better describes “tyranny by the majority” than ideals of democracy. Majority Democrats never did anything to prompt immediate intense reaction from the minority as did the Republican attack on public workers.
Tyranny by the majority: Republicans did not want to listen to, or accommodate, citizens or Democrats in the Assembly. And Walker stated his plan to maneuver Democratic Senators to return to the Capitol so his bill can be rubber-stamped by Republicans.
If the Wisconsin State Journal’s “what democracy looks like” were convincing, 70,000+ demonstrators would not participate in a rally. If democracy-is-elections prevailed, activists, such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Mother Jones, Susan B. Anthony, Samuel Gompers, and Cesar Chavez would have stayed home wailing, “the majority have spoken, so that’s the end of that!”
“Majority rule” never trumps injustice.
Best protest sign seen? The one near the Fox News truck: “Collective Bargaining, Fair and Balanced.”
John R. Obst
Click Here to View the Published Op-Ed