Wisconsin cheese, and its after-effects

I hardly know what to say that hasn't already been said about what's going on in Wisconsin — or rather what just went on — and the dismantling of the public service workers' unions out there.

It has the ultimate whiff of loophole-ism — that is, people who can't play by the rules, and so their only solution to get what they want done is to look for ways around the system. What one side did to get their agenda pushed through both state houses is atrocious, underhanded and un-democratic, and even if it lives up to the letter of the law it does not adhere to the spirit of the law. Yet I can't fully agree with what the other political side did by fleeing the state to avoid legislation. Because that's my side of the fence I was secretly pleased that they'd found a way to lengthen the discussion — but it wasn't a solution. Both ways felt like how five-year-olds deal with conflict. "I'll run away!" "Well, I'll just do it anyway!"

This is not how a political system is supposed to work. Loyalty to one's party is one thing, but loyalty without compromise or willingness to discuss to come to a mutually-amicable solution is also not democracy. I don't care what percentage you were elected by — if it wasn't 100% of the voting public in your district, you owe your allegiance to all of your constituents. Not to the party, and not just to the majority.

Sadly, this feels like the way in which politics in the U.S. has been going for some time, writ small. Children as well as grown-ups should recognize that you can't always get all you want. In fact, maybe you shouldn't always get all you want. Living with compromise large and small is called life, and learning how to love the compromise — and not your view from the top of the hill, having kicked everyone else down on your way up — is the way mature humans live with one another.

Yes, I love a teacher (and in other ways have loved many of my old teachers). But it's more than just about teachers — it's about choosing to your ears to other voices. Doing that just makes everyone deaf.