After waking up to this article this morning and alerting my colleagues, I realized that I am in violation of the ethics policy for employees of the state of Illinois simply because I have not one, but two Obama stickers on my car.
I am not too awfully worried because I gave the chair of our department an Obama sticker, which he stuck on his car. If I'm going down, lots of faculty members are going with me.
However, as I mentioned to my colleagues, I have always taken off my Obama button while teaching or exposed to students in any official capacity as a courtesy. I don't think it is appropriate to bring my specific political beliefs into the classroom unless it is directly relevant to the curriculum.
But I am rather irritated that the State of Illinois thinks they can dictate my behavior outside my workday. I have always said I couldn't work for the federal government for just these reasons. Well ok, there are other reasons as well. Foremost, I don't think I could do so little. But the whole, not being able to speak out against the president should I so desire is something of a big deal to me. If universities become the same sorts of oppressive employers, I'm out. I would have exploded if I couldn't have bitched about GWB over the past 8 years.
I will not be silenced. I'm already gearing up for bitching about President Obama. I wouldn't miss the fun for anything. I've been a fan of the First Amendment from way back.