In Wisconsin, the union presence seemed wedded to a deep sense of civic identity, including connection to a long-standing state tradition of “progressive” innovation and peaceful reconciliation of differences among competing social and economic interests.That is, love/support/respect for unions needs to be firmly embedded in the culture of the place or you don't get the Wisconsin Effect. Noted. That means you can't suddenly whip up a political frenzy in response to one political move on the other side, no matter how drastic the move is.
In Indiana, despite the fact that Indianapolis had once hosted more union headquarters than any other city in America, legislated reduction of the union presence triggered no visible sign of larger public hurt. That the union leaders themselves viewed the issue as “mere politics” betrays their own skepticism that worker rights can truly appeal to the public conscience...
Fink drifts off into a reverie. Here's his last paragraph before the one-liner "I’m dreaming, of course. This is Indiana.":
I could only think of how different was the determination of the 1968 Olympic athletes who raised a black-power salute at their official Olympic awards ceremony. If a similar sense of solidarity had been on display in Indianapolis, players from each team might have unfurled a “union” banner — Norma Rae-like — at halftime and carried it aloft to their respective locker rooms. Better yet, they would have handed off the emblems to Madonna, a long-established member of both the Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild of America.It's actually pretty pathetic when your dreams of deep embeddedness in the culture consist of showy gestures by sports/music/movie celebrities. Madonna, the union member? Why would organizations that boost Madonna resonate with Hoosiers and seem wedded to a deep sense of civic identity?
Face it, Fink: There's a price to be paid for locating liberalism in pop culture. It's not going to be deep. It's inherently shallow. Deeply shallow.