These days, there is no one that conservatives love to hate more than public employees. Overpaid, underworked, sucking money out of the economy, blah, blah, blah. Michigan's Rick Snyder stoked the flames of this hatred with his recent phony report on how public sector pay is out of whack with private sector workers.
And, no, I don't think "hatred" is too strong a word. Just read the comments on the Livingston Press and Argus website and you'll see what I mean. Commentators are gleeful over the possibility of inflicting misery in the form of massive layoffs on public employees.
So why then is the local community holding an elegant affair honoring "first responders" who handled the Oct. 10 car accident on U.S. 23 that took 5 lives. It's a $35 per person event at Crystal Gardens no less, one of the county's most elegant venues. I certainly think it's well deserved and entirely appropriate.
But I hope all those conservatives who are so anxious to slash the pay of public employees know who these "first responders" are: members of the Green Oak Township Police, the Green Oak Township Fire Department, Livingston County Central Dispatch and Livingston County EMS. All public employees.
Of course, part of the reason conservative attacks on public workers are so effective is that conservatives demonize and dehumanize public employees to the point that they are not recognizable as people we know and rely on for services that we appreciate. It's always easier to attack nasty, made-up abstractions, and Republicans are good at setting them up and selling them to the public -- a public who thinks their house is never going to catch on fire, they will never be in a car accident, they will never need an ambulance ride to the hospital for chest pains. Until they do.