Today, I revel in the peacefulness of Christmas, or at least the joy of being with my family. Tomorrow, the celebration of Chanukah begins for my Jewish friends. For this brief time, we in politics can catch a quiet respite from the bitter political storms brewing for 2006.
But the harsh battles will return soon enough, and we'll have to both welcome and reject the malevolence of today's politics.
We should welcome the fact that our opposition's anti-democratic tactics signal weakness, not strength. But we must reject the harshness inherent in their terrible tenet that the end justifies the means. Agree or not, we must respect the rights of voters. Win or lose, we must always respect the process and the right of the people to decide.
After all, a world of rights and respect is what we're fighting for. This is civilization and this is good.
Unfortunately, the battles of 2006 will likely be anything but civilized.
Three weeks ago, I wrote about the campaign by the Oklahoma Education Association and the Oklahoma Public Employees Association to block a citizen petition drive seeking to place on the ballot a cap on Oklahoma state government spending. These unions hired an organizer from Oregon and launched an effort to block, harass, and intimidate people who were petitioning their government. In many documented cases, the tactics were not only unethical, they also constituted serious civil rights violations.
Now the same war has broken out in a similar way in Michigan, where again leftist agitators seek to shout down and shut down democracy. Apparently, advocates of big government will go to enormous lengths to stop democracy. Mob rule is alive and well as a political theory. And even those holding office will opt for politics instead of fulfilling the public trust. The issue that they hold above (and to the exclusion of) all other principles? Affirmative action.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court hasn't helped matters much; its mixed and muddled decisions on two affirmative action regarding the University of Michigan has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.