Democracy Lessons.




I did mention that I'm from Wisconsin, didn't I?

Wisconsin made a bit of news this week, in case you hadn't noticed. Our new Governor has introduced a budget repair bill that is being met with enthusiasm, though not the kind he was planning on. The democratic senators have left the state to prevent a vote on the bill until more discussion can happen, and schools closed throughout the state as teachers called in sick and traveled to Madison to protest. (We even have our own Wikipedia page if you are interested.) Regardless of your politics it makes for a good story at the very least. Democracy!

On Saturday I loaded my kids into the car and headed to Madison. I wanted to see this historic Wisconsin moment first hand and share it with my kids – Sage in particular. I wanted to give them a first hand experience with democracy in action. As homeschoolers this was an amazing opportunity to learn about our government.




What we saw in Madison was nothing short of amazing. Thousands of people, standing together and particiapting in the story of Wisconsin and the workings of our government. I didn't see any apathy here. When the crowd in the capital started chanting "This is what democracy looks like!" I got goosebumps. Regardless of your politics, this is what democracy looks like. We were safe to stand up to our government, to chant and shout and drum and yell. We were safe. Because as poorly as I believe our democracy functions, it is still a democracy.

Sage and Lupine were transfixed by the crowds, the signs, the songs, the chanting, the passion. They had never seen anything like it.




Finally we left the capital building and watched the march of thousands that encircled the capital square. Sage had a lot of questions about the government, the budget bill, and democracy. With his new reading skills he also had a lot of questions and commentary about the signs. It was his first real introduction to the workings of our government, to politics, to democracy.

The protest was peaceful, passionate, and even – at times – humorous (see below). We left for home feeling our freedom in a different way than we had before. Because whether that voice will be heard or not, we were able to raise it. Becasue this is, after all, a democracy. And hooray for that.





9 thoughts on “Democracy Lessons.

  1. Casey Umhoefer says:

    Fantastic. We were there Saturday evening as well — it is so incredible to see.

    “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” Elie Wiesel

    If you come back, let me know! We’re headed back down in about an hour.

  2. Mikaela Robertson says:


    I’m a Madison native living abroad for the year, and not being in Madison to protest right now is driving me nuts. I’m so glad your family was able to go down! It’s hard not to be there to add my voice to the crowd, but I can only imagine that it’s equally hard to be protesting along with thousands of people and to have your requests fall on deaf ears. Let’s hope for the best, despite all the odds…

    I discovered your blog just last week when you posted about cashmere longjohns on SouleMama. As wild as it sounds, the posts I’ve read so far here have already impacted my life in significant ways. This blog is just what I’ve been needing. I’ll read every one of your posts from here on out!

    Thanks for taking the time to share your beautiful life with us.


  3. Burp_Blog says:

    I joked with a friend of mine the other day that “I love a good protest”… and it’s true. For me, this sort of action on the part of the people is what our country is all about. Regardless of which side you’re on, there are lessons to be learned here.

    Kudos to you for giving your kids an authentic lesson in democracy. They’ll remember it forever.

  4. Rachel Wolf says:

    What a difficult moment to be away, Mikaela. There is magic in the air in Madison, Ill tell you that. It was so powerful, so peaceful, so empowered to stand with that crowd. Glad you stumbled into this space and have found inspiration here. When you are back in Madison know that we set up on the outer ring of the farmers market (with the artist/craft vendors) every Saturday if you want to pop by to say hello.


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