Am I endorsing Walker? No, it’s too early. Our choices are excellent with Jindal, Paul, Cruz, Fiorina, Carson, Rubio—any of these and more could comprise a winning ticket. But Walker merits discussion. I must discuss his unique ascension. I must discuss the possibilities of a Walker ticket. And most of all, I must discuss how to defeat the biggest challenge we’ll face if this Badger state governor represents us in 2016--and why we’ll have to start early.
First, Why Walker?
Walker is now the frontrunner. Big deal, right? He’s peaking early. And yet, for several reasons, Walker’s early showing seems important:
- Past early risers, such as Romney, Huckabee, Paul, Cain, etc., were usually monster fundraisers or grassroots phenoms. Walker is neither.
- Walker is a Midwestern, blue-state governor; a proven winner where Obama won twice.
- Walker is the rarest of hybrids—trusted by the Tea Party, respected by the Establishment.
- When Romney withdrew, his supporters walked right past Jeb Bush—straight to Walker.
- Emerging from a recall election drawing interest countrywide, Walker now has what his opponents feared: National prominence, with an enormous listing of potential donors.
- Walker’s obvious weakness—foreign policy--isn’t one, thanks to a deep bench of potential VP options. The clear choice (but not the only one) would be Marco Rubio. Having thankfully moved rightward on immigration, Rubio is dazzling when discussing foreign policy.
The only drawback to a Walker-Rubio ticket would be Rubio’s superior stage presence. Walker’s a doer, not a speaker, as his “breakout speech” in Iowa would qualify as a disastrous outing for Rubio. There’s just no comparison. Displaying pure, effortless eloquence, Rubio is the Right’s most inspiring communicator since Reagan. He’s Ben Carson, only quicker afoot. So, would Walker repeat Romney’s mistake of handcuffing a brilliant running mate, or would Rubio be unleashed?
This is no small concern. While many recall Rubio’s “water moment” from his State of the Union response, most forget the cause. Rubio was confined, limited by handlers like those ruining response scripts for Bobby Jindal and Joni Ernst. Looking plastic and nervous, Rubio was a thoroughbred hitched to plodding Clydesdales. He was nervous. Helpless. And as we saw, dry-mouthed.
Assuming Walker would avoid such GOP pitfalls—a BIG assumption—any ticket with him and Rubio would thunder past Gramma Clinton. Could you imagine it? On one side, there’s a Democrat who has been everywhere, achieved nothing, and written a book no one bought. On the other, there are two young men who turn around states and dazzle crowds. The contrast would be delicious.
But while Rubio seems a strong bet, don’t write off the disarming smoothness of Ben Carson, the broad appeal of Rand Paul, or the incredible track record of Bobby Jindal. The bench has never been so deep.
So what’s the problem? Nominate Walker and coast to victory, right?
Not so fast. Get used to these words: “Collective Bargaining Rights for Public Teacher Unions.”
Huh? That’s it? But…but that’s just talking about whether public schoolteachers can go on strike. That’s so minor! The Presidency is about our national economy, energy policy, or the War on Terror; you know, BIG STUFF. This issue carries all the importance of Kanye West’s next protest! Who cares?!
Public schoolteachers, that’s who. For them, Scott Walker is the Antichrist. They despise him. And if Walker becomes our candidate, these people will do everything in their power to defeat him. They will write checks. They will march. They will mobilize millions of young people. With neither conscience nor regret, they will take every ounce of community respect given them for “staying after class to help little Wendy master her vowels” and “helping Timmy deal with bullies”—and they will use it against us. Trust me, I was raised in a public teacher union family, and I know full well what’s coming.
For teachers, Scott Walker’s actions to remove Collective Bargaining Rights amounted to taking away their voice—their ability to negotiate. This cuts deep, folks. I present you this challenge: Watch footage of the Wisconsin teacher protests, and then watch the zombie film, “World War Z”—and see if you can tell the difference. I myself found some distinctions: While the teachers used more signs, profanity, and spray paint, they didn’t eat people—but then, the undead left less trash.
So What Do We Do?
We must prepare our messaging, and—if Walker’s surge continues—take it to the masses.
For starters, don’t connect this issue with Walker having to balance Wisconsin’s budget. If you do, the Left will joyfully say, “What?! With all the money wasted by politicians, you blame it on the good people who help little Timmy and Wendy? Is this how you give the rich their tax breaks—on the backs of hardworking teachers?” Please folks, set that talking point down, and slowly back away…
Instead, as I always advise when confronting the Left, target their greatest weakness. Target their lust for control. On this issue, try the following points:
- We are not against collective bargaining power for unions.
- Instead, we oppose collective bargaining for Public Teacher Unions, because we want a fair and level playing field between teachers and their customers.
- With private unions, we have this. Suppose GM’s auto union strikes for higher wages or benefits. This affects the cost and quality of their cars, and that’s fine. Why? Because if we customers don’t like the resulting cost and quality, we’re free to take our money out the door and purchase cars elsewhere. Our power as consumers balances the union’s power as producers--it’s a level playing field.
- But with public teacher unions, the customers (parents and taxpayers) have no such freedom. They can’t walk out the door with the money, so the union has guaranteed revenue. Thus, the workers can go on strike, but the customers can’t. The playing field isn’t level.
- The Big Question: What if GM’s union could force us to buy their cars? Would we want them to have collective bargaining power to drive up the price of those cars? Of course not.
- One way the teachers’ customers could walk out with the money is school vouchers, but public teach unions consistently oppose giving this bargaining leverage to their customers. So, while we support a level playing field, they do not. They only want control.
- Scott Walker supports a level playing field. Don’t you wish Hillary Clinton did?
Look, I like teachers. I don’t want us pitted against them. But if Scott Walker wins the nomination, there will be no avoiding World War Z, so we’d better prepare our messaging. Teachers—and by extension, teacher’s unions—are trusted by children, parents, and pretty much everyone else. The best way to counter this trust is to expose the control that teachers’ unions seek through an unlevel playing field—demanding bargaining power for themselves, while denying it to their customers. Exposing this control, we make teachers’ unions far less sympathetic—and less effective.
Is Scott Walker a legitimate frontrunner? Oh yes. He’s the real deal. No, he’s not the only option—not even my top choice—but he’s a rising powerhouse.
And yet, if we want to win back the White House with Walker leading the way, we must help him. Mastering our message, we must take to the blogs, Facebook pages, newspaper sites, school forums, and any other place frequented by flesh-eating zombies. Spreading the word and exposing the Left, we can pave the way for victory.
Think I’m being too dramatic? You’ll think differently when it begins. Get ready, folks. Get ready for hate. Get ready for war.
Get ready for Walker.