[UPDATE: For more background information, see alecstates’s post here and Phillip Wegmann’s post here. They should help folks get up to speed on this topic. – ML]

Right to work

The GOP-controlled legislature passed right-to-work and a repeal of prevailing wage rules for government projects in West Virginia.  Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat, promptly vetoed both.  And the legislature then just as promptly overrode his veto on both on strictly partisan lines (in West Virginia you only need a simple majority to do that). Excellent news!

…And it represents a lot of work.  A lot of effort – a lot of patient, frustrating, and decidedly not glamorous effort – went into breaking the Democratic party’s stranglehold on the government of West Virginia. People in the West Virginian Republican party have been trying to get to this point for decades. I mean that literally: as the Washington Post noted in 2014, we hadn’t had control of the West Virginia House of Delegates for eighty years.  But a rising tide lifts all boats.  The general movement towards the Republican party in state and federal elections nationwide pulled along West Virginia for the ride… and lo! Now that the West Virginia GOP is in a position to do something, they’ve done something. As has happened across the country, in fact.

I bring all of this up to remind people: things are not as bad as you have been told they are.  Yes, they’re bad.  The economy is stuck on neutral and the world is full of people who don’t really like us very much.  But. You are not alone and surrounded by a gathering darkness.  Everywhere across the country people just like you are repairing the damage and getting on with the job.  So you do not need anybody to rescue you. You can be the rescuers, and you don’t need anybody’s permission, example, or even leadership.  You can just go do it.

You merely have to, you know, not give into despair. Which is the one thing that nobody can do for anybody else.  It’s one of those fundamental moral choices that people have to work through on their own.

Moe Lane

PS: If you think that I’m primarily talking to any one particular candidate’s supporters, I humbly suggest that you stop for a second and ask yourself just why you thought that. And maybe whether it might be in somebody’s best interests that you did think that.