Robert Meyer
Total meltdown of citizenship in Wisconsin
By Robert Meyer
April 4, 2011

The state of Wisconsin has suffered a meltdown. I am happy to report it was not a meltdown of their nuclear reactors such as Japan experienced after its recent catastrophic earthquake. It has instead been a meltdown in citizenship. A crisis whereby people have completely lost understanding of the constitutional role of government. An Orwellian Twilight Zone where the government has been transformed into a cow to be milked rather than a watchdog to be fed.

A quotation sometimes attributed to A.F. Tytler says it all "A democracy(And the U.S. was never founded as a democracy)cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury..."

People have certainly discovered the public trough. We see it in the way they have reacted to the budget crisis in this state, but the epidemic is hardly native. Everywhere, we have seen a deconstruction of the foundations of good government, into a morass parasitical dependency.

A fictional anecdote below which illustrates the ideal of informed constitutional citizenship, is taken from the book "The Life of Colonel David Crockett," written by Edward Sylvester Ellis.

Many people are unaware that Davy Crockett served in Congress before his death at the Alamo in 1836. While he was in Washington, there was supposedly a fire in Georgetown, which he along with other Congressmen helped to put out. Afterward, Congress voted to designate money for those who had their homes destroyed. Crockett voted for the bill, but afterward when he was making the rounds for his re-election campaign, he was criticized by one of his constituents for using taxpayer money as charity. This person was a farmer named Horatio Bunce. Bunce then pointed out to Crockett that the U.S. Constitution never allowed Congress this prerogative. When Crocket later returned to Washington, he was soon confronted with another predicament not unlike the one mentioned above. It was a bill providing a stipend to a widow of a deceased naval officer. When Crockett was given the floor to speak he stated:

"Mr. Speaker, I have as much...sympathy as...any man in the House, but Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money....Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks." Edward S. Ellis, The life of Colonel David Crockett...(Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1884), pp. 138-39.

Though the bill was defeated, when Crocket passed around his cap, he was shocked to discover nothing but his own contribution inside when he got it back. If only we had more citizens like Horatio Bunce, and more statesmen like Crocket who can be humble enough to reform their errant behaviors!

Now I completely recognize that politics within the individual states aren't limited to the parameters of polity at the federal level. For James Madison himself has stated in Federalist Paper #45: "The powers delegated ... to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite..." But the point is simple; no matter the financial condition of the state, a majority of citizens have bought into the "progressive" fallacy that limiting collective bargaining privileges of state government employees is the illicit denuding of a birthright. A final diagnostic test to determine if this progressive ideological cancer has reached stage IV, will be determined April 5th, in a state election for Supreme Court Justice.

It seems that each succeeding election for Supreme Court Justice in Wisconsin becomes more heavily politicized than the prior election was. In a normal election climate, the incumbent, David Prosser would be the easy winner, just as he was in the February primaries.

But the current climate has been stoked by the assumption that if the challenger, Joanne Kloppenburg, were elected, she would issue a deciding vote to invalidate the recent passage of the state Budget Repair Bill. Kloppenburg is billed as an "impartial" jurist by those who hope a gullible public, combined with swelling anger by state employees over the Governor Walker's Budget Repair Bill claw backs, will allow for an upset victory.

Of course Kloppenburg is no more impartial than the Dane County Judge who issued a restraining order against publishing the bill in March(do your own research to verify that). Part of the proof is that the forces which organized the Madison protests are "all in" on Kloppenburg's candidacy. They wouldn't do that unless they knew the "cat" was already bagged. In other words, they are confident on how Kloppenburg will vote when the challenge to the Budget Repair Bill arrives for adjudication at the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Furthermore, they attempt to portray Prosser as a conservative ideologue. That would be like confusing the judicial philosophies and rulings of Anthony Kennedy with Antonin Scalia in the SCOTUS.

Liberals are so desperate that they would happily elect Charlie Sheen for state Supreme Court Justice, if they thought his insane disposition would contribute to favorable rulings.

The strategy is to overwhelm a recent conservative shift by promoting high voter turnout in Dane and Milwaukee counties, heavily populated bastions of knee-jerk liberalism, spawned by anger among state employees and contentious county executive races.

The problem is not limited to liberal fervor, but rather the independent voter, and those conservatives who think Walker may have gone a bridge too far. Many have not considered the consequences of a protest vote for Kloppenburg. You can't vote on the Budget Repair Bill in a vacuum. Vote for Kloppenburg, and you're stuck with her jurisprudence for the next decade on other issues of concern.

To those folks I ask the simple question: Do you know her stances on criminal justice issues, gun ownership, religious freedom, defense of traditional marriage, right to life, and other important cultural positions?

Will they find out before going to the polls with fists clenched, but their minds closed?

© Robert Meyer


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Robert Meyer

Robert Meyer is a hardy soul who hails from the Cheesehead country of the upper midwest... (more)


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