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Letter to the editor

Student voices opinion on Budget Repair Bill

February 24, 2011

Dear Editor,

“Hands off my teachers” is a protest sign that I would gladly hold high… so long as it’s directed towards the unions. I’ve never bargained my own contract or fought to enforce good working conditions so it’s naïve of me to say, but I’d rather speak for myself – and so long as Governor Scott Walker’s bill doesn’t physically remove my vocal chords, I will have a voice.

I think it’s time that we come to terms with the reality of the modern union; it is not so much a noble, representative body of the workers as it is a third party separate from the workers with its own interests.

My opinion doesn’t really matter and I certainly can’t state my case in 300 words which is why I’d like to speak to the more pressing issue. There have been a lot of legitimate concerns that Walker and other legislators are not being democratic through all this. I absolutely agree, but hypocrisy in desperate times is not easily avoided. At the town hall meeting held this past Monday, February 14, one of the panel members stated that discussions like this (the meeting) was what democracy was all about.

In a run-on description of Monday’s meeting, a democratic discussion is apparently when you have a panel of community members that either cannot or will not even consider the opposing side of an issue “moderated” by a similarly convicted teacher not afraid to advertise her own bias to a crowd eager to ask dead-end questions in order to receive mocking, sarcastically scathing, fallacious answers in order to initiate a rewarding and resounding applause so that everyone can feel good that other people think like they do.

Here’s what democracy looks like: The people cannot be ignored. Their arguments are credible, passionate, and based in logic. Listen, analyze, and open yourself to them, for a belief can only ever be shallow if you alone comprise it.

Jordan Harshman
student