Teachers Teach The Power Of Voting

A bias for teachers

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit a bias in favor of those who teach. My bias favors anyone who guides, challenges, and inspires others toward a better life. Perhaps it’s the influence of family aunts, a cousin, a sister, and my own career in corporate training that colors my perspective.

Teachers are demanding changes

Lately, we have all noticed that teachers in several states are making their voices heard, as they demand more pay and better educational support. They’re not doing this by inspirational speeches or well-crafted opinions channeled through the news media. Rather, they are striking—refusing to work—until their demands are met. There is neither time nor room for negotiation because, they say, the children and their futures are at risk. Something must be done.

The news has picked up the messaging and awakened the nation to the critical needs of our education system. For example, Matt Mauro of Denver’s Fox 31 Morning News noted Pueblo Teacher’s strike for more pay.

Pay is not the only issue, albeit a critical one. Alexia Fernandez Campbell and Alvin Chang of Vox noted how tax hikes are needed to meet increased education support for schools in Arizona, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

One of the important takeaways from these strikes is the reality that such activities influence subsequent votes. It forces change.

Influencing votes

We’ve watched, perhaps participated in, marches that cry out for attention and an urging for our legislators to make changes. The messages (in their various forms) indicating, “Enough is Enough!” are meant to shake people (common citizens and legislators alike) awake and realize changes in thinking and action are needed.

While these activities and messages are not ballots cast, they influence the thinking and emotional impetus for voting. These messages are necessary to nudge our governance to a better place.

The value of voting

Voting is precious. It’s a citizen’s right and patriotic duty to vote. As Dan Rather states in his book, “What Unites Us:”

It is one of the great truisms of a democratic form of government that not only political power but the very definition of citizenship is predicated on the right to vote.

050918 Dan Rather Book

Spending on the education of our youth, be it in salaries or materials, is a wise investment in our nation’s future. As Franklin D. Roosevelt stated, “The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize.”

So the teachers strike. They teach us, awaken us, to what is vital for our society to survive and endure and progress. We are reminded that education should be a top priority. And more, they teach us the importance of our vote. Our vote translates our caring and our best thinking into changes that serve all of us.

The critical need for Equal Voice Voting

Which brings me to how we elect our presidents. We squander our votes, even our voting rights. We currently do not perform this voting function in a fair manner. We burden the Electoral College with an added-on weight with the winner-takes-all approach that nullifies much of our nation’s voting sentiment. This approach must be discarded and the Electoral College preserved.

Equal Voice Voting (EVV) removes the winner-takes-all limitation, allowing the Electoral College to serve all of us as intended. EVV does not require a Constitutional amendment and can be instituted on a state-by-state basis. Simply stated, EVV:

  • Makes every vote count
  • Makes every state matter

No other voting approach can promise this kind of outcome.

Perhaps people are not awake yet to march or boycott or strike for this cause. Maybe people don’t realize they can change the process to be fairer in their own state. Could it be that people have not been taught how vital their vote is?

Before you begrudge anyone being in the White House, please consider how we elect our presidents. Realize—wake up—to the fact we do not successfully capture the true sentiment of the governed in presidential elections.

A change is needed!

Begin by discussing this with others, especially other legislators. Be proud of your right to vote and know that it (your vote) is precious. Teach others to do the same.

Here’s a message you’ve probably seen before: “If you can read this, thank a teacher!” And remember what else they teach!