By Teresa Welsh |
The failure of the Scott Walker recall demonstrates that proven progrowth reforms can trump the cynical politics of class warfare and outright mistruths at the ballot box. This bodes well for Mitt Romney as he seeks to win over "purple" states this November.
This recall was about fairness and workers' rights. On the one side, working Wisconsinites in both the private and public sector who recognized that forced unionization and an enormous public-private compensation disparity are both morally wrong and financially unsustainable. This group—the majority of Wisconsin citizens—works hard everyday and is accountable everyday to meet their mortgage payments, put gas in their cars, and put food on their tables. On the other side are Democrat politicians, select public employees who benefit from a system that values seniority over merit, and union leaders that reap the benefits of short-sighted overspending and a lack of accountability all paid for on the backs of working and middle class Wisconsin taxpayers. They work hard everyday to maintain the status quo because the revenue stream they depend on relies on forced unionization and the accompanying dues and political contributions that follow.
The reforms that precipitated the recall are working. Unlike many of its Midwest neighbors, Wisconsin avoided tax hikes and layoffs and the state is on the upswing economically. Additionally, public employees are now free to leave their union and the accompanying paycheck dues deduction behind—an option many of them are exercising. This strengthens Romney's candidacy and any candidate making the case that free market policies are both equitable and practical because it demonstrates that these ideas are not merely theoretical musings. They are proven principles working right now on the state level. Thus Walker's win not only sets the stage for a Romney victory, but also for taxpayer victories in the form of critically necessary spending reform on the state level nationwide.
The level of intensity of this campaign and the accompanying voter participation level demonstrate that, when educated and engaged, voters will endorse progrowth policies. Voters in Wisconsin recognized that Walker and GOP legislators were merely doing what their predecessors have refused to do for years: balancing a math equation despite the looming threat of special interest retribution. Romney, Congress, legislators, and governors in state capitols across the country, and their respective advisers should take note. If they choose to, they too can go head-to-head with the powerful and well-funded leftist political infrastructure and win. The future of our nation depends on it.
About John M. O'Hara Author of 'A New American Tea Party'
James Sherk Senior Policy Analyst at the Heritage Foundation
Ron Bonjean Former Chief of Staff for the Senate Republican Conference
Douglas Schoen Democratic Campaign Consultant
Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College
Karlyn Bowman Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute
Krystal Ball MSNBC Contributor and Former Democratic Nominee for Congress
Michael Kazin Author of 'American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation'