09 March 2011
Today I saw a bumper sticker that said, "I love my country, not my government."
When I've traveled overseas, people have told me they liked me and thought Americans were good people, but they didn't like what our government and military were doing.
Making a distinction between the people and whoever governs them is very important. It helped me to make sense of something I noticed in the wake of what's happening in Wisconsin.
The striking public-sector employees are getting scorn from some quarters. They're blamed for "breaking" the budgets of their states and for all sorts of woes that betide the states.
I'll concede that there are public-sector employees who are slackers or are simply unqualified for their jobs. Are you going to tell me you won't find such employees in other places?
But those employees are, I believe, unfairly blamed for things that the union bosses have done, such as feathering their nests at the public's expense and of creating cushy jobs as favors to someone or another in the heirarchy.
I also think that's the reason why Tea Baggers see nothing wrong with demanding that public employees give up their bargaining rights, as the governor of Wisconsin wants them to do. Meantime, the TBs squawk over a small tax increase for billionaires.