All eyes will be on Wisconsin Tuesday as voters take to the polls for the state’s Governor-vs-government special election. The crux of the issue, as anyone who’s been paying attention knows, is that the state’s public employees are trying to use a recall election to replace a Republican Governor with a Democrat.
The Wisconsin recall effort underscores a little-understood fact about American politics. While elected public officials can be Republicans or Democrats, the overwhelming majority of civilian government employees everywhere, including virtually all the public school teachers, are loyal Democrats. America’s two party system of government applies only to the politicians, not to the bureaucrats.
Anyone who thinks America’s public school teachers are a diverse group should look at all the money the teachers’ unions are spending in their campaign against the budget-trimming Republican governor of Wisconsin. If that’s not evidence enough, take a look at the delegates to the Democrats’ national convention every four years.
I spent a couple minutes on Google and turned up figures for two of the recent conventions. In 2000, one delegate in twelve at the Democrat convention was a public school teacher. In 2008 the figure was one delegate in ten. I spent a much longer period of time trying to find anything about school teachers serving as delegates at any Republican convention and came up dry.
If you’re trusting the teachers at your local public school to teach your children social studies and American history, be aware that everything your kid is learning is quite probably coming from the left side of the aisle.
Perhaps that’s why Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is campaigning for re-election by focusing on voters in the private sector. He seems to have tapped into an understandable well of resentment among working people who already earn less than government employees for similar work, and don’t see any reason to pay higher taxes to increase the disparity.
The partisan difference between government and private sector workers is certainly not unique to Wisconsin. In Texas the difference is downright comical. There are 254 counties in Texas, and 253 of them are far more Republican-leaning than Travis County, where the state capital of Austin is located. Anyone who’s ever spent any time there knows that Austin is a liberal redoubt in an extremely conservative state. Voters in Austin overwhelmingly vote Democrat in a state whose Congressional delegation consists of two Republican Senators, and twenty-three Republicans out of thirty-two Representatives.
Our nation’s capital is as solidly Democrat as any of the state capitals. Going by voter registrations, there are eleven Democrats for every Republican in Washington DC.
Whatever else you may say about our two political parties, it is pretty clear that the Democrats are the party of government, and that government employees know it.