Ed Feulner

“This is what democracy looks like!

That’s a popular protest chant among liberals. It could be heard at many “Occupy” gatherings. It’s a staple at union-backed protests.

We all know that in a democracy, sometimes things go your way, and sometimes they don’t. The big question is, how will you react?

For example, many conservatives were disappointed by the results of last month’s elections. Despite high unemployment, sluggish economic growth and an unpopular health care program, a majority of voters returned a staunchly liberal president to office.

But just as there are no permanent victories, there are no permanent defeats. The only sensible option in a democratic society is to make corrections and keep trying.

See, for example, Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Paul Ryan at the Dec. 4 Jack Kemp Foundation Leadership Award Dinner. Both men are already finding ways to explain that a society based on opportunity is the best way to lift people out of poverty. The liberal welfare state, meanwhile, is all too often a trap, as New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently admitted.

Contrast that approach with what some of our friends on the left are up to.

In a statewide election in Michigan last month, voters soundly defeated Proposal 2, a measure that would have made union collective bargaining a right and given collective bargaining agreements the force of law. Voters shot down the union-backed measure 57-43 percent.

This, too, is what democracy looks like.

Last week, the Michigan legislature, perhaps inspired by the vote, passed a bill to become the nation’s 24th right-to-work state. This simply means that workers will no longer be forced to join a union. They will still be free to do so, if they wish.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed the bill because, he says, he wants Michigan to remain competitive. When nearby Indiana became a right-to-work state earlier this year, businesses scrambled in to create jobs. “They’ve had 90 companies in the pipeline for economic development say this was a factor in deciding to look to come to Indiana,” Snyder said of that state’s right-to-work law at a news conference earlier this year, citing statistics from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “That’s thousands of jobs. We need more and better jobs in Michigan.”

Ed Feulner

Dr. Edwin Feulner is Founder of The Heritage Foundation, a Townhall.com Gold Partner, and co-author of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today .
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Ed Feulner's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.