Republicans are always looking for ways to increase their power, and of course they can’t do it the right way and work on policies that actually help people. That sounds an awful lot like work. So they try and pass voter suppression laws, they gerrymander the hell out of their states, and now, an Iowa state senator wants to make an instructor’s party affiliation part of the state’s employment criteria for public universities.
Senator Mark Chelgren seems to be looking to purge liberal staff from the universities with a bill he claims is merely to preserve a balance in the faculties that reflects that of the state. Or something. The bill says:
“[A] person shall not be hired as a professor or instructor member of the faculty at such an institution if the person’s political party affiliation on the date of hire would cause the percentage of faculty belonging to one political party to exceed by ten percent the percentage of faculty belonging to the other political party.”
Seriously? Sure, he makes it sound all “fair and balanced,” like all Republicans try to do with crap like this, but that’s literally discrimination based on political belief. Federal employment law (sadly) doesn’t protect anyone other than federal employees from discrimination based on political beliefs and party affiliations. However, according to Section §216.6 of the Iowa state code:
1) It shall be an unfair or discriminatory practice for any:
(a) Person to refuse to hire, accept, register, classify, or refer for employment, to discharge any employee, or to otherwise discriminate in employment against any applicant for employment or any employee because of the age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion or disability of such applicant or employee, unless based upon the nature of the occupation. [emphasis mine]
The word “creed” is the difference, and a word that Chelgren needs to learn ASAP. A person’s creed can be their political beliefs, which guide their party affiliations and often guide their lives as much as any religion does. And the law names both “religion” and “creed,” so it can hardly be argued that “creed” is only meant to protect people based on religion. Therefore, Chelgren’s bill is illegal because it discriminates against people based on creed.
There’s a fairly solid chance that universities have a higher percentage of Democrats in their faculties than there is in Iowa’s general population – otherwise why would Chelgren propose something like this? There’d be no need if universities had faculties that leaned primarily Republican.
Conservative Republicans have cried for eons that universities are nothing more than liberal indoctrination centers, when what’s really happening is people who are educated are more likely to find that conservative policies enjoy a lot less factual support than liberal policies. But, indoctrination centers they are, because truth and facts can’t possibly support the evil liberal viewpoint.
The biggest problem with this, besides its totally illegal nature, is that it’s the GOP working to eliminate Democrats and liberals from any and all influence. Look at North Carolina. One longtime GOP consultant said that, if black people voted primarily Republican, then the Republican legislature wouldn’t be looking at all these voter suppression tactics because of course they wouldn’t.
But since they can’t make their policies appeal, they’ll resort to illegal, fascist techniques to gain power and hold it. This is sickening.
Featured image via screen capture