Scott Walker told his billionaire supporter, “…you use divide and conquer.”
What does that mean? It means that you demonize public workers so that private workers resent them. It means that you demonize teachers so that their community no longer trusts them. It means that you demonize environmentalists so that job seekers revile them. It means that you label some citizens “thugs” so that their fellow citizens fear them.
It means that you tell the passengers the ship is sinking and watch smugly while they fight for a seat in the lifeboat. Why do you do this? You do it because it works.
Scott Walker has made it work in Wisconsin. We no longer trust one another. We have become enemies. We are sure that our neighbor has more than we do. We believe that in order for us to succeed, someone else must fail. Resources are shrinking. We are on our own. Everyone’s motives are suspect. We believe that our very survival is at stake. That’s how it is in a lifeboat.
This is the meaning of “divide”. At the very moment when we need each other the most, we are obsessed by our struggles against one another.
My friends, we still have oars. The ship is still within reach. On June 5, we can reclaim our place on it.
If we fail, we will watch the dividers sail away without us on a ship that wasn’t sinking after all.
And that is the meaning of “conquer.”
Sheila Plotkin, McFarland