1. You have to give the unions a hand when it comes to organization. I could probably come up with 50 issues I think more important than right-to-work that don’t generate this level of civic involvement simply because it isn’t organized. (I was going to also write that the conservative personality is simply less inclined to protest – but I remember the Tea Party and, maybe even more remarkably, pro-life protests, which are bigger and occur more often than you’d ever guess by watching the coverage, or lack thereof, that they receive in many media outlets.)
2. Conservatives have been rather mopey lately, but there are two big issues that we’ve been winning – right-to-work, and school choice. (And the latter, I’d say, really is one of the most important issues in America.) Maybe it’s no coincidence that both are state-level issues, and also that both issues are rare examples of when the default language of our society benefits conservatives. “Right-to-work” sounds pretty positive, doesn’t it? And what do you call people who oppose it? Well, sometimes they’re called “pro-union”, but more often it’s simply said that they “oppose right-to-work”. Which doesn’t really sound very good.
3. Was surprised yesterday as I was again reminded that not everyone is a political nerd – I had several students who wondered just what all those people were doing downtown! And even more surprisingly several faculty members, whom you might expect to be more well informed, didn’t seem to really know what right-to-work was about, didn’t know what was motivating the protestors, etc. That might sound like an insult but I don’t really intend it that way – it’s a complicated world, nobody can keep track of everything that is happening, we all pick and choose.
(Lansing’s “hot dog guy”, who normally sells hot dogs outside of city hall, had his cart destroyed by protestors yesterday. You can donate money to get him going again.)