11.17.2011 0

A man or a mob?

By David Bozeman — Will America’s character ultimately be defined by the rabid “Me! Me! Me!” mentality of a teeming mob or by the solemn determination of one man to stand on principle when the best career advice would probably tell him to do the opposite?  Indeed, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is Kipling’s man who “can keep his head when all about him are losing theirs.”

With Election 2012 all the rage, the travails of the sleepy-eyed governor pale next to the Cain saga and Newt’s meteoric ascension in the polls.  But according to The Huffington Post and other outlets, the governor is cancelling an appearance at an upcoming fundraiser in Kansas, where thousands of union employees were threatening to protest.

Earlier this month, Occupy Chicago protestors interrupted his speech at the city’s Union League Club where he was — gasp! — crediting tax cuts for making his state more business friendly.  Walker, of course, is most famous for curtailing the collective bargaining of most public sector unions in his state.  The streets of Madison soon resembled a mass playroom temper-tantrum, but his legislation stands.

The governor has been savaged personally, and his speech this June at a Special Olympics ceremony was interrupted by protestors dressed — I’m not kidding — as zombies.  Classy bunch.  Bear in mind, some of these miscreants are teaching your children.  Where are the civility monitors who demand the smelling salts every time Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh offers an opinion?

I find it intellectually lazy to embrace public figures just because they are targeted by leftist hordes, but someone as progressively uncool as Scott Walker can’t be all bad:  a Boy Scout, inspired as a youth by Reagan and a champion of tax cuts.

Somehow, New Jersey’s blustery Chris Christie was touted for standing his ground against collectivized labor, but it is Governor Walker who has felt the most heat, and he deserves the moral support of not just every conservative but any American who values limited government and reasoned, issues-oriented discourse.

The governor is now the subject of a recall effort in his state.  Petition drives are underway at this very moment, and activists have already ousted two of six Republicans on ballots this summer for recall.  Men such as Walker, who consider themselves Americans first as opposed to mere extras in a rage-of-the-day production for the nightly news, are all that stand between a free capitalist society and, say, Europe.

At times, America seems precariously close to the statist’s primary (but not ultimate) goal of 51 percent of the population permanently dependent on government, either through direct subsidy or employment or both.  Sealing America’s fate is the fact that those ties between citizen and state are emotional and not to be easily broken by appeals to reason and individual empowerment.

So, the mob members are fueled by the inertia of their mere numbers, and public policy is soon dictated by who can shout the loudest or stand outside the capital the longest waving a sign of Walker with a Hitler mustache.

But the governor never buckled.  Republican primary voters, we are told, are pining for a true conservative voice not swayed by prevailing collectivist passions.  Well, the staid and dignified Walker is your man, at least in terms of standing his ground against public sector unions.  He is no less a statesman than Christie, and while nothing written here should be taken as an official endorsement of any sort, the man just needs to know that small-government patriots have his back, as do all Americans who value sane,  reasoned (albeit passionate) discourse.

Leaders such as Walker seldom seek personal glory, but they do occasionally need the goodwill of supporters.  Greece or the United States of America?  Free, independent citizens or bile-spewing mobs?  Let’s opt for freedom and all hail Scott Walker.

David Bozeman, former Libertarian Party Chairman, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.

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