Behold Emperor Kasich

By: Matthew Balsinger

During this past year in the great state of Ohio, we witnessed to the democratic process. In February, Emperor Kasich, along with many other villainous leaders in the Ohio government, steam rolled a bill through the legislature aimed at destroying the collective bargaining rights for all state employees. They did so despite the overwhelming outcry of citizens across the state. Senate Bill 5 was passed and was signed by the Emperor on March 31.

The story could have ended there, but it didn’t. Whenever the products of illegitimate leadership gravely affect the lives of everyday people, they will stand up and do what is necessary to rid

Illustration by Brian Palubiak

themselves of that tyranny. We are lucky because we live in a democratic society where there is a process by which the people can resolve bad decisions peacefully.

Over the summer a tremendous movement – the likes of which not seen in Ohio for many decades – organized to circulate petitions to put Senate Bill 5 on the ballot for the people to decide its fate. Through the heroic efforts of these everyday Ohioans, an overwhelming number of signatures were collected to put what is now known as Issue 2 up for a vote.

A no-vote on Issue 2 will mean supporting the middle class and the efforts of true democracy. A yes vote will go toward supporting illegitimate leadership. The repercussions of this issue, however, run far deeper than these societal impacts.

The Emperor and all his friends want to destroy education as we know it in the state of Ohio. They run misleading advertisements stating that Issue 2 is about reducing the budget and asking teachers to take a small percentage cut from their pensions. In reality, this issue is instead set at muting the voice of the people. These advertisements fail to mention that Issue 2 eliminates the right of public employees to form unions, which effectively silences teachers from opposing a radical agenda to reform education.

Education does not need to be reformed in this country – it needs to be cared about and supported. The only problem with education is that our communities across this state and the state itself do not put education first. Education cannot and will never succeed if it is not the top priority.

But what most people miss is the flood that will come if we allow the gates denying people the right to collectively bargain to open. If public employees can be denied the right to form unions, what then is stopping the private sector from also being banned from doing so? The logical next step in this case would be to eliminate everyone’s right to form unions.

It’s tyranny 101. If you can get the people to oppose each other and be distracted by each other, they will not be able to stand against you as you take away their rights.

The keystone of our democracy is that the power is to be retained by the people. We cannot allow our government to deny the fundamental right to speak as a group, that fundamental right to defend ourselves collectively. We are Ohio and we must stand together in opposition of Issue 2. If we do not stand together we will, most certainly, all fall separately.