On Monday night I found myself in the Shawnee Mission East auditorium being inducted as a National Honor Society member. As I heard about the four pillars of the organization, I couldn’t help but focus on one pillar: character. When I look to the situation in Wisconsin, I see nothing but a lack of character.
Wisconsin state senators have left the state to go to Illinois in order to postpone the vote on a bill. This bill would drastically change state labor unions by doing things like limiting collective bargaining for public workers. Instead of facing a vote that would eventually come to the senate floor anyway, these elected officials ran away from their duties like immature first graders.
I understand fully investing yourself in a dispute. I can appreciate not giving in to others when you completely disagree with the things they are trying to change. The thing I have a problem with is when people run away from their problems. The Wisconsin state democrats have done exactly that. When we elect officials, we expect them to remain in office through thick and thin. We don’t elect these people to flee to other states.
Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is seen by many as proponent of reform and seen by others as a politician who has the potential to ruin lives. You don’t have to like the proposed bill, but the people of Wisconsin did elect Walker. He isn’t a dictator that came into power during a coup. If you don’t support bill, don’t complain because you had your chance to make a difference by voting in the last election. If you did vote against Walker, well, at least you tried.
Walker has done no wrong in proposing the bill – the true fault lies with the senators that fled the state.
After saying all of this, I do see the wisdom in the move of the state senators. They knew they wouldn’t be supported for running away from their duties. But they did something critical that every movement needs. They got publicity, protesters, and power. Hundreds of concerned citizens have taken over the capital and the nations’ eyes are on them. A breech in duty will be nothing if they can accomplish their goals.
So, is this a lack of character or a strategic maneuver on the part of the senators? What we have to decide is how far we will allow our politicians to go to achieve their desired outcomes.