This cartoon addresses the protests in Wisconsin against Governor Scott Walker, and his attempts to use budget difficulties as a jumping-off point to kill off public employees’ unions in the state.
Walker isn’t the first well-known, union-hating politician from Wisconsin. I imagine he finds much common ground on the topic with Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin Senator who infamously exploited the Red Scare in the ’50s to intimidate and terrorize his political enemies, while at the same time building up his own power, until finally being brought down by the TV journalist Edward R. Murrow in 1954. I considered doing a cartoon exploring this angle, but decided against it because I figured not enough people would be aware McCarthy was from Wisconsin.
The intention of the cartoon I finally drew was to point out how the collective bargaining powers of unions are sometimes the last defense workers have against unscrupulous and better-funded enemies in the private and public sectors who could otherwise devour those workers with impunity. So, negotiating with Walker now would be akin to the three little pigs opening the door to their brick stronghold when the Big Bad Wolf asks them to let him come in.
If anyone reading this happens to have participated in the Wisconsin protests, I’d be interested in hearing your comments on both my cartoon and the wider situation it addresses.