Until yesterday I really hadn’t followed or paid attention to the protests going on in Wisconsin, but then I heard the issue covered on The Diane Rehm Show and the entire thing kind of made me sick. More than anything else it was crystal clear that neither side really cared a lick about actually trying to solve the issues facing the state. Those who represented each side in the conversation were so entrenched in their ideology that they could see that the forest is burning around the one tree that they are trying to save. In other words, the GOP seems to want the unions busted at all costs and the unions wants to be able to tell employers what to do at all costs. Neither belief is logical nor helpful in this (or probably any) situation.
So what do we get when there are two parties that so vehemently disagree on even having a real discussion on the issues at hand? Chaos. Not only do we get chaos, but it is chaos for no good reason. And who is suffering because of it? The kids.
Here’s the deal. Wisconsin, like so many other states, is broke. In order to fix the problem, all parties involved must come to the table and be willing to make sacrifices because there simply isn’t enough money to do everything. There are also no simple answers. You can’t simply kill the unions or raise taxes on major corporations and expect that to fix the problems. It won’t. These problems aren’t as simplistic as the rhetoric would like them to be.
What Wisconsin needs—hell what we all need—is a serious and honest debate about these issues and the things that are truly important to us as a society. We must bring our differing ideas together and work on solutions that take the best parts of all different sides to create a legitimate resolution that takes from all and benefits all at the same time. We need real discussions, real negotiations, and real compromise if we want these fiscal issues to actually get resolved. This isn’t about saying the unions, political parties, or business interests…it’s about saving the country and that is where our focus should be.