I took a little time off in the past week, so I’m playing catch-up on some issues. The most predominant issue that occurred during my absence was the election last Tuesday. Wisconsin, of course, rang bells across the country – if not the world. A vote also took place in Springfield. The issue received little notice outside of Springfield but, in some ways, sent as big a message (albeit a negative one) as Wisconsin.

The Good (actually, The Great!)
Governor Walker’s strong showing in the recall election cannot be easily dismissed, although liberals/progressives (insert name of the day to run from tomorrow here) certainly try. When the exit polling shows strong support from those who are supposed to be against Governor Walker – such as 36% of union households supporting him – you know he was on the right path!

I had the privilege of attending a small breakfast gathering a month or so ago with Governor Walker. It was evident that he was doing what he believed was best for Wisconsin. Tuesday’s strong election results confirmed his approach.

But what struck me the most was something he said at the meeting – he was not afraid of losing because he was doing what he believed was the right thing to do! I told him afterward that was always my philosophy and that more elected officials across the country – especially here in Missouri – need to understand that principle. They are not elected to be popular. They are not elected to get re-elected. They are elected to do the right thing, regardless of the political outcome.

Hopefully the results in Wisconsin will encourage and provide backbone to elected officials everywhere to do the right thing without worrying about the next election. We need more statesmen and fewer politicians!

The Bad and The Ugly!
Springfield, Missouri, also held an election on June 5th. The sole question on the ballot was whether a draconian violation of business owners’ property rights would be repealed. Unfortunately, very few people in Springfield cared enough to turn out to protect not just business owners’ property rights, but their own freedoms as well. The repeal vote failed.

Truth be told few people like smoking. Truth be told – Question 1 in Springfield would not have required anyone who doesn’t want to be in a smoking environment to be in one. They could simply choose to go somewhere that doesn’t allow smoking as they always could have before big government, liberty limiting people voted otherwise.

Instead, a few of the registered voters in Springfield voted to violate the property rights of business owners without making any investment in those businesses. Some might say, “That’s too bad, but I don’t like smoking anyway, so what’s the big deal?” The big deal is that if they can violate the business owners’ property rights, they will be coming after yours even harder than they have in the past!

As a rule, most of us tend to talk a good game about “liberty” and “rights.” But as the vote in Springfield shows, few of us are willing to actually do something about defending those rights – even when all you have to do is take a few minutes of your time to cast a vote.

The impacts of the smoking ban in Springfield are real. You can see and hear about the impacts on small businesses here and find more info here.

Even though many “conservatives” abandoned the principles of liberty and freedom for convenience, they can still count on those who defended their rights last Tuesday to do so again when the need arises.  You can’t keep true fighters for liberty down, even if you haven’t always fought alongside them when you should have.