So big surprise, Gov. Schwarzenegger is running for re-election next year. And big surprise, while addressing his party faithful at the GOP convention in Anaheim this weekend, he came out in favor of Prop 75, the anti-union initiative. Prop 75 just happens to be the only big business-backed initiative that is not failing miserably at the moment in the polls. Coincidence? We think not. So again, Schwarzenegger’s actions are not motivated by his convictions or beliefs, but come out of pure political calculation.
An Orange County teacher that Schwarzenegger trotted out at the convention was quoted in the press today in support of Prop 75, saying it is an “employee rights issue.” From the L.A. Times:
At the GOP convention, Schwarzenegger allies dispatched Sandra Crandall, a teacher at Moiola Elementary School.
“This is a freedom-of-choice issue,” she said. “The issue is so simple, my kindergarten children understand it. Ask permission. Ask permission on how to use my hard-earned money.”
This is completely flawed logic. Sure, it’s her money, but the reason she has 20 5-year-olds in that classroom and not 30 or 40 is because of the union-led initiatives for class-size reduction. The state can pay her salary because of education funding protections in Proposition 98, which would never have happened without the union. So you just can’t on the one hand, reap the benefits of the union and the political clout it has built up over the years, and on the other hand strip away the money that enables that work because “it’s mine.”
That is the crux of the difference between conservatives and progressives. Conservatives live in this fantasy world where they have somehow achieved everything “on their own,” while progressives recognize that we all contribute to the well being of each other, and thus to the greater good.
We’re glad Schwarzenegger has come out publicly in favor of Prop 75. It will make it that much more difficult to keep a straight face when he tells the public that this special election is about anything other than right-wing Republican-led partisan attacks.