Disagreement and vociferous opposition are OK; demonization is not.
That’s the message this week as No Labels, in its self-appointed role as political referee, threw another yellow flag, this time on pro-union forces in Wisconsin.
Democratic Wisconsin legislators temporarily fled the state in order to block a bill from passing that would end collective bargaining for unions representing teachers and other public employees. As part of the protests that continue in that state, Gov. Scott Walker was demonized by protesters who marched chanting, “Heil Walker! Stop the Maniac” and carrying signs comparing him to Adolf Hitler.
Said No Labels in issuing its statement that a yellow flag had been thrown, “This demonization has only contributed to the disorder that the state faces in the wake of its fiscal shortfall. It’s understandable that passions are running high with so much at stake, but that’s no justification for the name-calling and denigration we’re seeing.”
The statement continued, saying, “In order to find sustainable solutions to our nation’s budget crisis, we must have a civilized discussion on the issues themselves. Whether the conversation is at the state or national level, demonizing only obfuscates the underlying reality, which is that we cannot solve our problems without working together. That’s why we’re throwing a yellow flag at the incendiary debates in Wisconsin. This rhetoric and incivility has gotten out of hand. It’s time to come together with everybody at the table and everything on the table—including civility and respect.”