I can’t reprint the essay here for copyright reasons, but readers of my Scholar as Citizen blog should be aware of the op-ed of mine published in the New York Times today. It is very much in the spirit of this blog: seeking to use scholarly and historical insights to shed light on contemporary political issues. In it, I explore the several ways in which Governor Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s Republican leadership have broken from longstanding traditions of good government and bipartisan cooperation in their own party.
Here’s the concluding paragraph: “The turmoil in Wisconsin is not only about bargaining rights or the pension payments of public employees. It is about transparency and openness. It is about neighborliness, decency and mutual respect. Joe McCarthy forgot these lessons of good government, and so, I fear, has Mr. Walker. Wisconsin’s citizens have not.”
Maybe I should add to this blog a single sentence that was omitted from the final paragraph of the blog, which was originally situated right before the penultimate sentence:
One sign at a recent mass protest said it beautifully: “Bad leaders use problems to drive people apart.”
You can read it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/opinion/22cronon.html