Hello readers. This will be my first attempt at blogging so please, bear with me as I navigate through WordPress. For a while now, my friend and I have wanted to start a blog, and have taken a few months trying to decide on a theme. We wanted it to reflect current events, mostly based on our work around student advocacy, but also able to cover broader themes we see happening in the state and federal governments. This post will serve as an introduction to myself, as well as the general theme of our blog. My partner will introduce himself in a future post.
As a reaction to things going on at UW-Madison, the State of Wisconsin, and national student organizations, we have decided to base our blog on what has been termed, for better or for worse, “The Silent Majority.” Let me take a moment to define what I mean when I say this. When most people hear the word “majority,” they will immediately jump to thinking along lines of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, religion, etc, and the societal power dynamics that come along with these identities. This blog is simply NOT about that. I myself am gay, biracial, working class, etc, and the views I will put forward in this blog have nothing to do with any one of these small parts of what makes me who I am. Not only is it wrong to immediately connect either perceived or true identities with the reason for a person’s thought process, policies, or political actions, it would be just as wrong for me, or anyone for that matter, to say that they represent the entire population who shares that certain identifying characteristic.
Instead, the “majority” we will talk about throughout this blog is one who, frankly, doesn’t at the moment give a damn about student advocacy, politics, or what goes on in and around the halls of power. This majority, to take students on this campus for example, is one that wants to be able to have fun, go to events they care about, get a degree, and find a job after graduation. The majority has come to expect that certain things be provided for them on campus, such as “free” bus transportation, available places to study, and the ability to form student organizations, among many other services that are seen as essential. This majority doesn’t necessarily know or care how these services came about or how they are funded, but they are cognizant of their own tuition bills.
In these posts, we will talk about responsible governance; Governance that doesn’t push aside the thoughts of the silent majority in favor of those of the vocal few, but considers the needs and opinions of all. Governance that is practical, reasonable, and transparent. These ideas are not new, and I will give credit to this Badger Herald article for prompting the theme: http://badgerherald.com/oped/2001/10/07/silent_majority_exis.php
Though the main point isn’t new, I hope you all find a fresh voice in this blog. We will strive to keep the topics covered current and relevant, and hopefully this blog can be a conduit for a few important conversations. I will close with a few housekeeping items. First, please comment on what we write, the format, or anything else you believe will add to the discussion or better this work. We encourage thoughtful discussion and are open to criticism. Second, though we reserve the right to criticize positions taken by individuals, and ideas in general, we will do so on the merits of the proposal(s) at hand, and not on the basis of personality. We ask that you do the same in commenting. Comments that use personal attacks will be deleted. Third, if you have any topic you want us to talk about, let us know.