Yesterday, millions of Pennsylvanians collectively hit the brakes on runaway government in Washington and Harrisburg. In race after race, they voted against years of over-spending, over-borrowing, and under-performing. Voters also sent the clear message that they don't want to be governed by the right, the left or the center; the
On September 17, we celebrate the creation of our Constitution, one of the greatest governing documents ever conceived by the hand of man. This is the day we commemorate the birth of the United States as a nation, based on the rule of law and dedicated to the preservation of personal liberty, political freedom, economic opportunity, and the
I hope the Commissioners will seriously consider both the costs and the benefits of the LCHRC. They may find that there is reason to continue this work, but I hope not to pay lip service to "promoting diversity," but for the actual results and performance of the LCHRC's work.
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As I write this, most of Pennsylvania's political glitterati has its mind on New York City, where the annual Pennsylvania Society gathering is underway. But my mind is on the bustling metropolis of Lansing, the capital of Michigan, where both houses of the legislature approved right-to-work bills yesterday, issuing forth a loud cry of "No soup for you!" to furious protesters.
There will be much more to say about this as the situation unfolds; the legislature's work is not yet finished, Gov. Rick Snyder hasn't yet signed the bill (though he's promised to do so), and you can bet there will be litigation. But right now, I'd suggest there are at least two lessons to be learned from Michigan's breakthrough.
Lesson one: There are now no excuses. Don't let anyone tell you we can't have real reform here in Pennsylvania because the state is just too blue or union dominated. As if Wisconsin were not enough evidence that this excuse is bogus, now there's Michigan, where President Obama's reelection margin was larger and the historic attachment to unions is even deeper than in the Badger State.
Lesson two: Don't buy the hero worship. I hear from people all the time who believe huge advances like passing right-to-work in Michigan only come as the direct result of brave leadership by superhuman governors. I've got nothing against Gov. Snyder, and I'm glad he came out for right-to-work this week, but make no mistake: This week was the first time. As the Detroit News reported, "Ever since he took office in January 2011, Snyder has said right-to-work is not on his agenda and that lawmakers should focus more on issues that will create jobs and a strong economy." Freedom fighters in Michigan didn't take his previous disclaimers of interest as definitive statements of "no soup for you"; they convinced him and others in Lansing to get it done. Rather than losing heart until some future election produces a political messiah, those of us who want to save Pennsylvania should follow suit and bring the successes of Wisconsin—and now Michigan—to our state.
My friend Jon Caldara of our sister think-tank in Colorado eloquently and humorously offers an important lesson from the election—the results stem not from a short-term campaign, but from long-term work by political institutions and activists:
The left wins because they control the narrative. They control the narrative because they invest their resources, their years, and a ton of our money, to build systems, organizations and institutions that tell the stories they want voters in the middle to believe. Capitalism hurts the country. Hydraulic fracturing is an environmental danger. There is a war against women. Blah, blah, blah...
The right's donors invest too often in personality, not political infrastructure. They invest for the short term. ... The money goes to candidates or their support systems. By then it is usually too late. The left has built unions, think tanks, media operations, opposition research groups, voter registration machines, legal harassment firms and so much more.
What is he talking about? LaborUnionReport over at Redstate sums up the work of Goliath—government unions and their friends—this past election:
- The SEIU put 100,000 "volunteers" on the ground in swing states.
- AFSCME put 65,000 members into action
- The National Education Association claimed to have 175,000 working the campaign
- "Ohio alone, which is increasingly likely to determine the outcome of the presidential race, has nearly 3,500 educator volunteers in 87 of the state's 88 counties."
The list goes on and on if you want to read it all.
We have to prepare ourselves for a long-term battle by building the institutions—smooth stones—needed to take on Goliath.
Today marks the 225th birthday of the U.S. Constitution, and while it may be getting up there in years, the principles it sets forth are no less relevant today than they were at the signing. Why is this 225 year old document still relevant?
The Constitution, when its plain meaning is applied, is America's most important tool to prevent the arbitrary and abusive rule of men and to maintain the rule of law and the limits on government power. When correctly applied and enforced, the Constitution, and the people's understanding of the Constitution, protects liberty...To preserve, indeed to revive our Constitution and thereby protect liberty, order, and justice for all, requires an understanding of what the Constitution says, what it means, and what it was intended to achieve.
This explanation is from a series of articles on the Constitution and our founding principles, entitled We the People. Click here to check out the full series and get the tools to bolster your knowledge of and enthusiasm for this unparalleled document.
Freedom and liberty belong to "We the People," but we must fight to preserve it. So save yourself 225 candles and celebrate this Constitution Day by strengthening your understanding of our founding principles.
Who are We?
The Commonwealth Foundation is Pennsylvania's free-market think tank. The Commonwealth Foundation crafts free-market policies, convinces Pennsylvanians of their benefits, and counters attacks on liberty.
Hannah Tuffy, 20, is one of the first cyber school students to be accepted at the prestigious U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The accomplished Scranton native credits her success to the flexible program she enjoyed at cyber school, which allowed her to excel academically while creating room for ...