Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fantasy Chickens Coming Home in Wisconsin: A Rant

The fantasy chickens are coming home to roost in Wisconsin.

It's not about democracy.
Whatever one might think about democracy, Democrat party affiliated legislators who have now fled their duties in Wisconsin (and now Indiana), are clearly not interested in it.
Nor are they clear on their responsibility to represent the people of their districts who voted for them and gave them power.
Pulling this kind of stunt makes clear to all what it is really about in their own minds:
It is all about them. They have taken on the mantle of the annointed, they believe that they are right, and they believe that they therefore have the right to force their will on the demos, in violation of the mandate of the said people to balance the budget of Wisconsin.

Minority party Wisconsin have holed up in Illinois, in order to stop a change in the collective bargaining privileges of public employees in Wisconsin. Apparently, democracy--the process of majority rule with respect to voting--is fine for Egypt, but not so fine for the people of Wisconsin (and Indiana).

It is not that I promote pure democracy, which our founders rightly characterized as mob rule; rather I support our Constitutionally mandated representative republican government, in which government is accordingly a servant to the protection of the individual rights of the people, and in which the Rule of Law covers everyone equally, from the President of the United States to the day laborer. (That our current POTUS believes he is above the law, and is allowing his adminstration to act in contempt of court in a number of cases, does not obviate the Constitution, it only makes it clear that the executive branch is in rebellion against it). Democracy is not a form of government, but it is a process that, with certain limits, is useful to the workings of said government.

But what we are seeing in Wisconsin is not even democracy. For those legislators who have used "the nuclear option" as they are calling it, are denying a quorum to their respective legislators, and are refusing to do their jobs because in these cases, the vote will likely go against them.

Certainly there are time-honored ways to slow down a bill, but the spectacle of legislators picking up their marbles and going AWOL in order to stop bills that has widespread popular support among the people who are taxed to pay for public services is nothing so much as it is childish behavior, a kind of "my way or the highway" thinking that will neither solve the budget woes of the states nor endear these legislators to their constituents. In Wisconsin, those who actually work to pay for public services are now not only told that public servants who live off of their dime, have a "right" to free health insurance and pensions to which they need make no contribution--privileges that the ordinary taxpayer does not have--but they are burdened with paying for legislative sessions that accomplish nothing toward balancing the budgets of their states, now burdened with debt and close to bankruptcy. Since the states cannot print money and inflate their way to a temporary fix as the federal government can, these states--and many others--are now poised at the brink of insolvency.

To add further insult to injury, the people of Wisconsin are also treated to the spectacle of teachers walking out on their contracts, politicizing their students and lying about the reason that they are not in the classroom in order to receive sick pay for their antics. Imagine how this must go over in the minds of Wisconsin's working poor, who are little more than day laborers without contract--often having no sick pay, no collective bargaining privileges, and who must now scramble to pay someone to watch their children so that they can keep the wolves from the door for a little while longer. For such people, an extra expense such as this can mean the difference between eating and going hungry, or between having a home and taking to the streets in a different way, as homeless families with no place to lay their heads at night.

The fantasy chickens are now coming home to roost in Wisconsin, where a relatively privileged group of public servants believe that others owe them more than a living, that the taxpaying people who have no such privileges also owe them support for the rest of their lives, and that they need not lift a finger to save for that future. Even more fantastic, they further argue that if these privileges are not provided at the level of their wishes, they can walk out on the contracts they have signed with no consequences, and lie on national television by receiving fake doctors' excuses given out at their temper tantrum parties. . .err, rallies. And they say with a straight face that this is all about teaching the children of Wisconsin. There are no adequate words in the English language that can be used in a family blog to describe such Chutzpah.

The Democrat party legislators encourage such fantasy, and partake in it themselves, when they walk away from the responsibilities that they were elected to accomplish, and which in Wisconsin includes a mandate to balance the budget.

Reality bites. There is no free lunch, and the universe does not owe anyone a living or a life. Money does not grow on trees, and when we choose to have public schools, they have to be paid for with money that is taken by force from some workers to support others.

The minority of teachers* who walked out of their classrooms, politicized their students and in general threw a temper tantrum on the streets of Wisconsin have broken their contracts and ought to be fired. The people of the various districts of Wisconsin ought to recall, impeach or otherwise censure their errant and AWOL legislators, and if these remedies are not available to them, at the very least, refuse to pay for this irrresponsibility. And as always, they ought to "remember, remember" on the 6th of November.

The "Democrats" have vividly demonstrated that they do not really respect democracy as the process that makes government work in Wisconsin. Apparently, democracy works for them only when they win the vote, but when they believe they will lose, well, then any action is acceptable. "Nelly, bar the door!"

*DISCLAIMER: I am a licensed teacher, and I have taught in both public and private school classrooms. I do not dislike teachers, and on the whole I believe that most labor diligently at an important, and often thankless task, but one that they took on willingly and for which they are compensated with a salary and benefits. However, I believe that walking out of the classroom without notice is a breach of contract written or implied, and it is a disgrace to the profession. Further, politicizing the classroom and influencing the students politically goes beyond the educational mandate of the teacher, and encroaches upon the rights and responsibilities of the parents. Lying shamelessly on national television by accepting fake doctors' excuses indicates that these "teachers" have no concern for the values or morals of their students. This is all about them, not about the kids that they are using so cynically.

1 comment:

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