For those not up to speed about photographer and candidate Lori Compas, here’s a summary:
Lori Compas spearheaded a signature drive to recall her local state senator, Republican Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald—and ended up running against Fitzgerald herself, as a Democrat.
Lori’s gift was that she had a simple message that didn’t just make sense, but could be felt in the gut. Here’s her insightful view of our current Democratic condition:
I think that if progressives want to make any kind of difference in Wisconsin or anywhere else, we have to work to get the money out of politics. We have to level the playing field. We don’t have government anymore, we have an auction. And that’s just not right.
I also think progressives need to get better at messaging. Even if it’s not true, Gov. Walker has been saying, ‘our government reforms are working, it’s working, it’s working,’ like a broken record. And of course his reforms are not working—anyone with two eyes can see that people are out of work.
Lori got to the heart of the Democratic problem. We need to reboot.
Lean Forward: What about the labor movement? If Walker can go after unions and not pay a political price for it, will that convince a lot of other Republicans across the country that they can do the same thing?
Lori Compas: I think that’s true unless we can figure out how to tell the story better. Do you enjoy the weekend? It doesn’t come natural. The five-day work week? We weren’t born with that—it was a thing that was hard-fought and won. And so was sick leave, and so was the 40-hour work week. All of these things that if you’re born into a world where that’s the norm, you just take it for granted. It’s easy for people to sit around all day Saturday and just gripe about how terrible the unions are, but they don’t realize that they are lounging around on a Saturday because the unions worked really hard to give them to you. If you’re in a Right-to-Work state, you’re more likely to have more people in poverty, more likely to have lower literacy rates. Unions raise the quality of life for everyone. Yes, there are big problems with the unions, and yes in some cases they might have too much power, but in general, life is better where unions exist.
It’s that simple isn’t it?