Thursday, April 03, 2008

Mixed Nuts: Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland)

When I first saw this, I immediately assumed that it was an elaborate April Fool’s joke played on Channel 5. I’m still not sure that it isn’t, but there does appear to be a real, live bill in the Ohio legislature. Nothing like a big dose of state enforced compulsory ‘volunteerism’.

We’re told all the time that “you can’t legislate morality”. Now, that’s an iffy proposition at best, since almost all legislation is based on some sort of moral position. We’re really arguing about who’s morality, why that morality, and how much morality to legislate. Fair 'nuff.

But one thing that you absolutely, positively, cannot legislate is volunteerism. That makes it compulsory. Mandated behavior is not voluntary. It’s a contradiction in terms.

After all, given this bit of Orwellian double speak, we could re-institute the military draft, and still claim to have an all volunteer force. After all, they had a choice – volunteer or go to jail! What could be better? Now we’re considering using the police to round up parents.

Ms. Williams wants to force parents to “volunteer” in schools for 13 hours, or cough up a $100 fine. I’m sure that this will work out well; angry, resentful, ed shanghaied people usually make wonderful “volunteers”.

Note to Ms. Williams: if you have to call in the police to force someone to do something, they are not volunteers, they are properly known as conscripts. If you have to pay them to do something, they are not volunteers, they are called employees.

Volunteers, volunteer. To meet a need, help others, and usually don’t expect much other than a rare thank you.

Apparently, she missed the memo on oxymorons. Apparently not something covered at Cleveland State or Tiffin U. Well, to be fair, those institutions may have assumed that something this basic didn’t need to be taught.

But they were mistaken.

Update (04 April 08): They’re lining up to run some smack on Ms. Williams. In the spirit of bipartisan cooperation, everyone hates a moron.
Redhorse makes the points that a) who really wants or needs angry, pi**ed off “volunteers” in the classroom, and b) there’s a significant cost to a family for having to sacrifice two vacation days to “volunteer”.

Ben notes that compulsory volunteerism hits the working poor the hardest.

Sandra Williams – A Uniter, not a Divider!