Those of you who follow this blog know that despite my occasionally strong political opinions, I rarely place them here. However, this is one occasion where I feel compelled to write publicly about it. I have been praying about this, and God seems to be letting the idea stick in my mind.
The upcoming State Senate and gubernatorial recall elections in Wisconsin have commanded a good deal of attention from me because I grew up in Wisconsin, the main issue that triggered the recall is of great importance to me, and my wife and I both have friends who are public school teachers. I am no longer a resident of Wisconsin, so I cannot vote in this election, but I am writing this partly to encourage you who do live in Wisconsin to vote against Scott Walker.
He, with the cooperation of the state legislature and the state Supreme Court, eliminated the ability of public school teachers to bargain collectively for their wages or benefits. I can understand the need to reform pension systems and balance the budget, but I disagree with eliminating unions to do it. The state government could have negotiated, even to the point of a good, old fashioned strike, but they chose not to.
In my mind, state and federal budgetary problems are largely due to the current recession, and Gov. Walker is simply using them as an excuse for union busting. In other words, public school teachers and their unions are becoming scapegoats for the recession, for which almost every American citizen and institution is culpable to some degree.
He has, via these actions, caused two of the best teachers I have ever known to leave the field via early retirement. More than anything else, this is why I am writing this post. I do not have permission to name them here, but whatever command of the English language or artistic merit is present in this blog is in part due to them. They are not the only ones. The cost of this loss to students now and to the young teachers who are deprived of the opportunity to learn from their experience, will not be fully realized for a generation.
I realize that in the spring State Supreme Court election and the State Senate recall elections earlier this year, supporters of the public school teachers unions lost by a few thousand votes.
I realize that current polls show Gov. Walker with a single digit lead.
I realize this will probably not accomplish much beyond garnering negative feedback from some of my conservative friends in at least four different states.
However, I also realize that one drop of water will not accomplish carving the grand canyon and a few loaves and fishes will not accomplish feeding thousands of people. So, I post this for what it is worth and trust the Lord to guide the voters of Wisconsin to do his will.