Tag Archives: Madison Wisconsin

Some perspective on the angry mobs in Wisconsin

It is being reported that angry mobs have taken over the Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin. I am reminded of the famous George Santayana quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” So I’ve been tweeting about it, trying to give some perspective on the broader historical and political ramifications. Here are my tweets, as is:

  • Message to the unions & those who still believe they are forces for good: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
  • Motto for the angry mobs in #Wisconsin: “We are bound by no laws. There are no fortresses which Bolsheviks cannot storm.” ~ Stalin #walker
  • Polybius was right “Democracy comes into being; and in due course the licence and lawlessness of this form of government produces mob-rule.”
  • More Polybius: “When by their foolish thirst for reputation they have created among the masses an appetite for gifts and the habit of receiving them, democracy in its turn is abolished and changes into a rule of force and violence. For the people, having grown accustomed to feed at the expense of others and to depend for their livelihood on the property of others, as soon as they find a leader who is enterprising but is excluded from the houses of office by his penury, institute the rule of violence; and now uniting their forces massacre, banish, and plunder, until they degenerate again into perfect savages and find once more a master and monarch.”

An obvious defense of Scott Walker against the smears

Protestors in Wisconsin have compared Governor Scott Walker to Hosni Mubarak. But it’s not just the protesters. Even former Rep. David Obey (D-WI), a 41-year veteran of the House, said:

“All I know is that last week, when people were asking where Mubarak was — whether he had gone to Sharm el-Sheikh or Paris — I was saying he was ensconced in the governor’s mansion in Madison.”

Let’s compare the two.

  • Hosni Mubarak was an autocrat who ruled over Egypt for 30 years without fair elections and no checks and balances on his power.
  • Scott Walker is the duly elected governor of Wisconsin. He has been in power for a month and a half. He cannot enact any laws without bills first being passed by the state legislature.

The comparison is laughable. But then again, these very same people have compared Scott Walker to Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. Some even say he is Mubarak and Hitler combined.

As one who has been called a Nazi for supporting the tea party (I am an active member of the North Phoenix Tea Party), I know what it feels like. And for those who don’t know, I’m an orthodox Jew. If you are going to insult somebody, at least be tactful. These attacks against Governor Walker are tasteless, historically inaccurate, and make the protesters look bad. But then again, maybe the protesters are bad…