In the parlance of counseling and therapy an intervention is a device by which an orchestrated effort is used to confront an individual of his or her addiction and impel them to seek professional help. Used as a life saving device in hard core addiction, it can frequently be the last step between the addict and their impending self destruction. The need for an intervention is now coming clear regarding the 14 democrat state senators from Wisconsin that have fled the state and taken up residence in Illinois to avoid participating in a vote to establish a budget fix for the state of Wisconsin. Their self destructive behavior is evident from their blatant avoidance of the job they were elected to perform, representing their constituents in parliamentary debate and votes that could determine the future policies by which the state would abide. But what is their addiction requiring intervention?
The addiction is not drug or alcohol related, but every bit as insidiously destructive in the individual’s core beliefs and capacity for objective thought. It is the addiction to monetary support and block votes provided by public sector unions to the individual politician that has made their current position entirely reliant upon these two pillars of addiction and a future in politics inconceivable without them. It has led them to the impossible position of living outside their own state that they were elected to represent, unable to remain in Illinois and still be able to participate in the legislative process that would allow them to effect debate, and unable to return and receive the wrath of their virulent underwriters who would look at their return as the ultimate sell out.
A more difficult conundrum is hard to imagine. How did this proud party become such an addled and addicted servant to the will of the public sector union? Since its inception as the ‘republican” party of Thomas Jefferson and later, formalized as the party of the common man through Andrew Jackson, the Democrat Party has idealistically stood for those striving to achieve, not those with the levers of power. Like all parties, it has had its hypocrisies and hypocrites to deal with, but prior to the mid 1960’s was easily recognized by the idealized position of standing by the individual and their rights and responsibilities, looking to improve access to good education, equal opportunity under the law, and a fair shake and safety in the work place. The growth of government positioned to legislate and regulate those ideals steadily led a permanence in the need for a “victim” class to require the bureaucracies securing those protections and a “regulator” class to assure the regulations saw no sunset. It was only a matter of time before those in permanent “public service” saw the need to reward themselves for their “selfless” behavior in serving the public, and assure a elective process that would institutionalize those rewards. An awkward partnership between the politicians who determined the budgetary processes that secured the permanence of those rewards and the representatives of the “public service” class to secure elected officials who fully “understood” their selfless behavior led to the collapse of the integrity of the Democrat party we see today. The constituents that drive the current democrat elected official are not the citizens who need education, but the teachers that educate them, not the people who need protection under the law but those that would protect them, not the down trodden who need guidance to elevate themselves, but those maintain their downtrodden status through their perpetual victimization. The modern American workforce, once heavily populated with union representation in the work place is now less than 7% unionized, while the public sector, immune to the priority of profits and production, over 36% unionized. The public sector has become a last bastion for union strategies, tying ever more expensive benefits on the passive taxpayer, to whom they see no need to answer to. They now answer only to their own calling, “to serve”, to determine the inherent value for such service, and secure those in office that will never seek to reflect upon their relative value to similar contributors in the private work place.
And so, the need for an intervention. Interventions are often initially confrontational, and perhaps not voluntary, but the self destructive individual helpless to effect their own life change, often breathes a sigh of relief when they realize the door to one horror is shut, and the chance for a new beginning has opened. I would suggest to the senators who have flown, imagine a world where you could fight for the rights of the educational process on the merits of whether a funded program helped or hurt that education, without concerning oneself with the guarantee that the 80% of funding going to educational processes regardless of their success or value went to permanent staffing costs. Imagine fighting for a child to have choice in educational opportunities independent of the circumstances of their residence or upbringing. Imagine a world where the teacher that inspired the student could be rewarded and the one that showed no teaching capacity avoided, and you as a senator helped bring it about. What a liberating rush that probably would be to your ideals, when you could use your own free thought and creativity to devise legislative concepts rather than have to pass every action you take past the masters of your indebtedness.
An intervention is what these senators will need, and when they are free of their addiction, it will be like spring has returned, with democracy in the arena of ideas, the fruitful blossom of a great harvest to be.