This is why we say never stop.
This is why, when the smart money in Wisconsin said to calm down and back down and sit down, to just concentrate on the next election and whatever, really, people stood up. Because you never know where it stops.
Let's get one thing straight here. Democrats didn't have the power in Michigan to stop this. The people might, but it's far from a sure thing. But it's not the responsibility of anybody to listen to what you have to say. It's your responsibility to speak. If people listen, if people act, that's a bonus. That's a grace. That's a miracle. If what you say spreads out across the world and turns the tide, that's the prize. But that's not the work. The work is you opening your mouth about what you care about. And the work is never done.
It seems like I ask you this question every year, like it's cold out, and I'm tired, and I just want to get off the damn treadmill and so do you. When does the treadmill stop? When does it get easier? But the secret is that there's no treadmill and no off. Stop thinking that there's gonna come a day when things are easier, Mr. A and I say to each other at least once a week. Stop waiting for that day. It's poisonous and small and it'll kill you every day just a little bit more. This is all there is. It's hard. Stop thinking hard isn't what it's supposed to be. Stop thinking hard isn't what you're here for.
There's such a gloriousness of purpose in fighting the hardest that you can for what you really want. There's such a strength in it. Half of our frustration and all of our anger comes from asking so little of ourselves every day, from the constant work of convincing ourselves there's nothing we can do. There's always something. Look at that up there. Did they win? No. But you tell me they lost as much as everybody on the couch and I'll call you a liar.
Watching the Ustream of the protests this morning here, a man with a sign reading "We Fight Until You Take My Union Card from My Cold Dead Hands" looked over the crowd chanting "Kill the bill." He grinned, even in the face of certain defeat.
"Worth it," he told the camera, a smile in his voice and on his face.