Excerpts from FreedomWorks originally posted March 28, 2013 ...
As a 15 year old, I never imagined my activism in politics would translate into controversy for me at school.
My name is Benji Backer and I attend a public high school in Appleton, Wisconsin. I have always supported the public school system and plan to do so for the rest of my life. Many Americans who stand up for the public school system and the unions believe there is no attempt to sway opinion or that students with opposing beliefs are singled out. Unfortunately, experiences I have had with harassment and bullying prove that wrong. [...] During my 8th grade year I received more attention for my political activity. I had become known in the community because of newspaper, radio and TV interviews and was aware that this would possibly make me a target. Not only was I a volunteer for Governor Walker, but I was a very vocal supporter of him as well [...]
I was named Young Americans for Mitt Romney Co-Chair in Wisconsin and once again, my teachers took notice; my English teacher in particular. In one of the first weeks of school, he had us write about an article we had read for homework. The article was about political campaigns “mining” into the personal lives of the American people. He asked, “other than Facebook and phone calls, how do campaigns mine into personal lives?” I raised my hand and replied: “well, you can check who signed the recall.” [...]Teachers presenting a one-sided political view are a problem and they need to be stopped.
Ohhh my bad, that was mighty ignorant of me. Those aren't the right excerpts I wanted for this blog posting at all. The excerpts I was looking for are from an editorial written by Joshua Inglett.
You know Joshua Inglett, he's the 20 year-old engineering student from UW-Platteville who won a two-year appointment seat on the UW System's Board of Regents but in the last hour was renounced by Gov. Walker, who withdrew the young man's appointment after finding out he had signed the recall petition as an 18-year-old freshman. As a 20 year old, Inglett probably never imagined his political viewpoint would translate into controversy for him at school. After hearing he was dropped from the appointment he said "I felt like my character had been attacked."
But wait a second ...there is no editorial by Inglett. At least not yet.
But there probably won't be an editorial from Inglett and there probably won't be any appearances on national cable political shows like Backer had because Inglett's opponent isn't some school principal or a couple teachers, not to make Backer's perceived issues look any less important.
Plus, Inglett at 18 was nowhere near as politically active as Backer was even in the eight grade, so the similarities between the two are none beyond being seen as victims of an oppressing authority. Simply signing a petition to enact change in government is a cherished fundamental American right. At least I still think so. But Inglett's "opponent" is the sitting governor of a state and a talked-about future presidential candidate. So if you want to see what high stakes pressure looks like from being intimidated, no, bullied into silence, look to Joshua Inglett. He is it.
Star Tribune Excerpt:
Whether Inglett signed the petition or not shouldn't be an issue, Erpenbach said.
"This is absolute McCarthyism. It's the very definition of it," Erpenbach said. "No legislator and no governor should make the litmus test did you sign or didn't you sign. ... The question is whether or not you are qualified to do the job."
Democurmudgeon - Gov. Scott Walker uses Recall Petition as Blacklist to pull Student Regent Nominee. w/news video.