History Has Its Eyes on You Mike

Election years are so hopeful, and 2018 was no exception. On my ballot in Missouri, there were plenty of ballot initiatives to vote for this election. One of them was Amendment 1, or “Clean Up Missouri.” I originally thought it was an environmental initiative, so I was planning on supporting it. But then I did some research before I voted. I found out that it was proposing to clean up Missouri politics—then I was really in support of it.

Amendment 1 aimes to redraw district lines to combat gerrymandering and it also places rules on legislators to get dark money out of the state government. No surprise, Missourians wanted Amendment 1, and it passed. Missouri was on its way to being a better state.

Then comes Mike Parson. Well, he didn’t come. He’s been governor since June when Eric Greitens realized that he wouldn’t be able to sweet talk his way out of his crimes. Parson isn’t that big of a fan of Amendment 1, and has now decided that moving forward in the 2019 legislative session, he will not support it. In fact, he wants a repeal-and-replace for the amendment. How funny is that: the guy we didn’t elect to be governor is now deciding to undermine the direct vote of the people.

Honestly, though, it’s not surprising. Missouri Republicans have had supermajorities in the state House and Senate for as long as I can remember. They’re used to marching to the beat of their own drum—even when that drum is out of step with the rest of Missouri. Earlier in the 2018 election cycle, Missouri voted on Proposition A: whether or not we should enact Right to Work. Right to Work is a usually Republican-led law that looks to strip power from labor unions. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Right to Work states tend to have lower wages and less rights for workers.

Luckily, Missouri voters decided we didn’t want that. But now in 2019, with their still-a-supermajority, Republicans have already proposed a bill that will enact Right to Work. You would think that after an overwhelming majority of Missourians say “We don’t want Right to Work,” that lawmakers would understand that we don’t want Right to Work. But being able to take a hint is not something Republicans are widely known for. Well, they probably can take a hint, it’s just not in their political interest.

An AP analysis found that Amendment 1 will make it easier for Democrats to win, since the new districts will not be drawn under the control of the Republican supermajority. What a coincidence that they think these initiatives, the ones that gives more power to the people, are unconstitutional. We need only to look at states such as Wisconsin and Michigan if we want to see where this path will take us. Republicans in those states have worked hard over their Winter Breaks to strip power away from incoming Democrats, the ones elected in 2018.

It’s a mess. But I feel as a Missourian I can’t really worry about Michigan and Wisconsin since Mike Parson wants to ignore me. Is it bad that I’m a little thankful the worst Mike Parson had in mind was to try and repeal an already-passed ballot initiative?

It is bad, because it’s bad that it’s happening in the first place.

History does not look kindly on Richard Nixon—he tried to take down his political enemies. History does not look kindly on Eric Greitens—he had an extramarital affair and then blackmailed his mistress by tying her up and taking a nude photo of her. He also illegally used data from his nonprofit to target voters during his run for governor, but the affair thing grabs people’s attention better.

History is watching, Mike. No, you probably won’t bug the Democratic party like Nixon. And I’m going to go out on a limb and say you probably don’t have a mistress like Greitens. But you might directly deny Missourians our right to our government, which depending on how you look at it, is a lot worse than having a little something on the side. History is watching, Mike.