Monday, March 14, 2011

In Madison, the voice of Main Street speaks for America

Conservatives will continue to spread their dishonest nonsense that the "voice" of the Tea Party is the voice of "real" America, but, on Saturday, a newer movement, rising up in response to the right-wing assault on labor in Wisconsin (and on working people everywhere), spoke loud and clear, giving voice to the forces of justice and fairness against the plutocratic Republican effort to keep them down:

Police estimated up to 100,000 people turned out in Madison, WI [on Saturday] to protest Gov. Scott Walker's (R) assault on unions, making it bigger than any protests the city has witnessed, even those during the Vietnam War. The Madison rally is part of a much larger Main Street Movement of average Americans demanding fairness in labor laws, social spending, and taxation that has emerged in Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, and elsewhere. But [Saturday]'s rally in Madison is noteworthy because at 85,000-100,000, it was bigger than the biggest tea party protest, the September 12, 2009 rally in Washington, D.C., which turned out only an estimated 60,000-70,000. A photo of the Madison rally [on Saturday]:

For two years, tea party activists and their allies in the GOP have claimed that the hard-right movement represents the true beliefs of the American people. But the crowd in Madison and numerous polls tell a different story.

And, of course, the media establishment -- whether suckered by or sympathetic to conservative objectives -- will continue to hype up the Tea Party into far more than it really is. Yes, to be fair, the protests in Wisconsin have garnered a great deal of attention, but we know what narrative the media will push.

All the more reason why the Main Street Movement must not let up. It must demand to be heard -- and must demand real change the American people, and not just Tea Party fanatics, can believe in.

Remember that slogan, Mr. President? It used to mean something. Maybe 100,000 people in Madison, along with the voices of the middle class, not to mention the poor, who are usually dismissed entirely, throughout the country, will make it mean something again.

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