An interesting thing has been happening around the country this week and, as often occurs with interesting things, it doesn't seem that it is being reported by the mainstream media as much as it would appear to deserve. I'm talking about poll after poll that has been taken within the last couple of weeks by just about every polling organization in the country, and for once they are all unanimous and unambiguous in their results. The people have spoken and they have said that they don't want collective bargaining rights taken away from public sector employees. Furthermore, when they are asked how they prefer to have the budget gap closed, they overwhelmingly prefer the "soak the rich" method. By a large margin, they believe that the rich should pay higher taxes.
The results from a New York Times/CBS poll released earlier this week are fairly typical. But even a poll by Rasmussen, the notoriously pro-Republican/conservative polling organization, found similar results.
The bottom line is that Americans do not hate unions. They understand that to take away a person's right to organize with like-minded people to protect themselves, their rights, and their jobs is to leave the average worker defenseless against the "Big Bosses" and they don't approve of that.
Also, when given the choice of balancing the budget on the backs of the poor and the middle class by tearing holes in the social safety net or by requiring the very, very rich to sacrifice more for the good of all, it is no contest. The people surveyed strongly believe that the rich are NOT paying their fair share and that they should do so.
I think the findings of these polls probably came as a shock to some Republican governors and also to some inside-the-beltway Washington political pundits who are suckers for whatever line the Republicans happen to be peddling this week. Let us hope that the Democrats in positions to take advantage of these findings are reading the polls and that they are smart enough to interpret and use them in their public discourse and in their campaigns in coming months.
The people are speaking and smart politicians should listen.