What Wisconsin means

Time moves in small increments but drags the past forth with it like a ghost. But the Wisconsin ruling yesterday brought America more harmoniously to its rising future. Two benchmarks proceed from the Ronald Reagan era. The first, most important, was that in the Reagan administration the ethnic people of the north, specifically European immigrants, many of them Catholic, and their European Jewish political allies, who came to America to work in factories in the 19th and early 20th centuries, made a historic shift from Democrat to Republican, leading Reagan to win 49 states in his second term. Southerners who had historically voted Democrat also made a so far permanent shift to the Republican Party to vote for Reagan. In that period the failed Patco strike in 1981 significantly changed the political culture. The old working masses, in supporting Reagan, approved the idea that union strikes might have been a necessary and proper strategy for factory workers in the pre-war period, but not for well-off, highly paid specialty workers in a new, varied economy.

The failed Wisconsin recall yesterday affirms these changes and indicates a successful shift in the American body politic from the unified masses of the factory system to one of diversified labor and business where union dominance is a plague on the system.

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It affirms and establishes a new paradigm. President Clinton attempted to bring a better economic paradigm forward but adapting the Democratic Party to be more like the Republican Party brought opposition largely in areas of lifestyle and culture, many of which were irrelevant to the welfare of the people. But Obama’s party and the Democratic Party today, as experienced in Wisconsin, still carries the burden of the past and weighs the party down to irrelevance, making the Obama presidency, with old-school Roosevelt sensibilities, a historical anomaly.

It is possible now for a new approach to arise, one that’s a better fit the times. The movement of states’ rights and sound money, which has entered the discussion recently from Ron Paul and the new libertarians, opens the gate. In a word, the last century of classes and masses in countervention, which placed Keynes in opposition to Marx, can free after Wisconsin to a more healthy and relevant contention of Keynes v. Hayek, leaving Marx as a thing of history. But this will need a new breed of politician and a new generation.