Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Rep. Cory Mason? Too bad you’re not my Representative

Mason read the words to a hushed chamber: “There is looming up a dark new power. … The enterprises of the country are aggregating vast corporate combinations of unexampled capital, boldly marking, not for economic conquest only, but for political power. For the first time in our politics, money is taking the field of organized power. The question will arise, and arise in your day though perhaps not fully in mine: Which shall rule — wealth or man? Which shall lead — money or intellect? Who shall fill public stations — educated and patriotic free men, or the feudal serfs of corporate wealth?”

Then the young legislator declared: “Never has this warning been more appropriate in my lifetime than here today. Now, you may win this vote today. But I promise you, I promise you, that the citizens whose rights are being deprived of them, and the public who believes they should have those rights, and the members of this chamber who oppose this body, we will fight you in this Capitol and we will fight you at home in our districts, we will fight you in hearing rooms, we will fight you in labor halls. We will fight you in the smallest town and the biggest city. Until these rights are restored, we will not surrender and we will not give up on restoring people’s rights in the great state of Wisconsin!”

From John Nichols


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