Is there a place where hundreds of thousands have protested, occupied their Capitol building, nearly a million later signing election petitions, without violence, at limited public costs, and without fraud?
What spot of peace and honesty, integrity and democracy, is like that? Could there even be such a place, in all the world?
It’s called Wisconsin.
Over the last year, multitudes — ordinary Wisconsinites — have protested, camped, occupied, and signed documents peacefully and honestly. They’ve sought redress of their grievances, and still others have protested in opposition to those claims. Despite naysayers insisting that these efforts would lead to violence, widespread riots, and rampant fraud, the opposite has been true: virtually everything that has happened has been peaceful and honest.
Hundreds of thousands cumulatively protested at the Capitol in Madison, over several weeks, without injury to others or themselves. These were not — as some absurdly claimed — riots, but intead the exercise of the nonviolent right to free assembly. One was as safe walking among those crowds as one would be anywhere, at anytime.
Do you wonder if vast numbers of people can peaceably assemble and speak, day after day, week after week? Wisconsin proves that they can.
Some occupied their state’s Capitol building, for which they were ridiculed as dirty and destructive. Fantastic claims of supposed damage to the building – without justification beyond guesswork — labeled these residents as vandals. In fact, costs for cleanup were only a small fraction of the millions speciously alledged as costs.
Can people nonviolently and temporarily occupy public buildings without permanent damage or debilitating costs? Wisconsin proves that they can.
Later, many of these same residents, and hundreds of thousands more, collected petitions through the coldest months of the year to recall their governor. One heard that it could not be done, or that it could only be done by fraud. These residents exceeded even the high standard their constitition set for the number of signatures required. Despite wild assertions that signatures would be fabricated, of over nine-hundred thousand signatures, only four were found to be false. Four – the tiny number between three and five.
Is there a place where people could collect so much, so quickly, so honestly? Wisconsin proves that there is.
We’ve controversies ahead, to be sure. Yet for it all, we have reason to be optimistic, for our future and America’s. Our best days await us.
Wisconsin, whose many residents are peaceful and honest, proves this to be true.