Defend Wisconsin News Round Up

We bring together news links on the subject of Wisconsin politics. For latest political news, follow Defend Wisconsin News Round Up on Twitter!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Editorial: Let Sean Duffy Walk In Labor Day Parade And Tell Him How You Feel!

Yesterday the word came out of Wausau that Republican Congressman Sean Duffy was told that he was  not allowed in this year's Labor Day parade in Wausau. As appealing as it may be to exclude every anti-union and anti-labor politician from Labor Day parades, it will only lead us to more division.  This decision by parade organizers, though done with the best intentions, is ultimately short-sighted and should be reversed.  Parades are the times for us to come together to celebrate, not be an opportunity to further divide us.

Labor Day parades have become staples of many communities.  They are a celebration of labor but also of community spirit, perseverance and working together.  If we begin to exclude our politicians, Labor Day parade celebrations will become viewed not as community events that bring us together but as political statements that highlight our differences.  With all the protests that take place across Wisconsin whenever Scott Walker shows his face in public, we have nearly daily opportunities to make political statements.

Labor Day parade should be about all of us coming together, and isn't that what Union movement is all about?  Yes, we need to celebrate history and we need to work together to build future we can all be proud of, but if Republicans and Democrats have their own parades, how does this make us a stronger community?  Even in these polarized times, we have to remember the Golden Rule and treat others as we want to be treated.

If Sean Duffy is not allowed to participate, it will inevitably cause his supporters to re-examine whether they want to be involved in the parade.  There are already outpourings of support for Representative Duffy and invitations to walk on other Labor Day parades.  Does he deserve support for his track record in Congress?  Not at all.  But is he likely to benefit for being excluded from a parade?  You bet.  By excluding him, in the short run both the parade organizers and Sean Duffy may gain more supporters but in the long run we all lose.  The best Labor Day parade is the one that brings everyone together and we don't need to make Sean Duffy into some kind of a phony folk hero.

Yes, Republican Congressman Sean Duffy should be allowed to walk in the Labor Day parade, but that does not mean that he should be showered with hugs, kisses and flowers from the adoring crowd.  Not at all.  Putting yourself up for public comment, such as any parade is (and particularly Labor Day), should remind Sean Duffy how alone he is and how small his support is.  So let him in the parade and let him know how you feel.  This is what democracy looks like. 


  1. So let me get this suggest that Duffy and the Republican state representatives be allowed in the parade so they can be jeered at. Your idea is logically flawed. What you're suggesting is to trick Duffy et al into coming so people can throw figurative rotten tomatoes at them, and this is supposed to help bring the community together and foster cooperation?

    Duffy and his ilk would only be a distraction. Labor Day is not just a parade and a picnic - it's a celebration of Labor and a memorial to those who died fighting for workers' rights. Inviting openly hostile, anti-union creeps like Duffy and Galloway would be an insult to Marathon County's working families.

  2. Agree with the previous poster, the logic is flawed in terms of wanting to bring people together but also letting Republicans walk in the parade just so people can boo at them. Makes no sense.

    This is a chance to refocus people on what Labor Day is really about - and one thing I know it's not about is people who vote against labor every day getting to prance around and free publicity. Don't you think that Duffy and the rest go back and laugh at the unions after they march in Labor Day parades, getting all that free exposure while trying to destroy unions?

  3. As much as people are mad at Duffy and the rest of the GOP for their anti-labor agenda, kicking him out will (actually already has) attract more attention to him and the festival. This is a short term win for both but long-term losing proposition for all. We need to continue to look for ways to communicate, even if it means turning our backs or yell shame when Duffy and the rest of the GOP stroll by. If they pull out, let it be their choice.