Photo: Chicago Tribune

The words intelligent people choose to use in public are revealing. This is especially true of politicians, whose word choices are designed to convey messages and reflect values.

Despite his faux folksy speeches laced with dropped “G’s”, Bruce Rauner is an intelligent man whose word choices have meanings.

Which leads us to the governor’s public reaction to the US Supreme Court decision in Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association.

A ruling allowing workers to refuse to pay the fees would have been the culmination of a decades-long campaign by a group of prominent conservative foundations aimed at weakening unions that represent teachers and other public employees. Tuesday’s deadlock denied them that victory, but it set no precedent and left the door open for further challenges once the Supreme Court is back at full strength.

The 4-4 ruling means the CTA’s position, that unions should be allowed to collect fees for services provided to all members of a bargaining unit regardless of whether an employee chooses to join the union, remains the law of the land. Barring an unexpected decision to rehear the case, Friedrichs is dead.

Governor Rauner considers that “tragic.”   

“I think it was a tragic decision by the court,” Rauner said at an event, according to his office. “It’s a loss for freedom of speech and freedom of political expression in the United States.”

Here’s what Webster’s dictionary considers appropriate uses of the “T” word:

Examples of tragic in a sentence

1.    Their deaths were tragic and untimely.

2.    They both died in a tragic car accident.

3.    Romeo and Juliet’s tragic love affair.

4.    We saw a tragic play about a man with AIDS.

5.    the tragic characters of her novel

The ruling considered “tragic” by the governor ensures that, for the present, unions remain able to help working men and women stand up to people who would deny them their collectively bargained rights and benefits.

People like Bruce Rauner.

Here are just a few actual tragedies the governor could fix if he was so inclined:

These are just a few examples of “tragic” things occurring as a result of Gov. Rauner’s decision to hold the state budget hostage until his unpopular anti-working families agenda is passed.

If you’re so inclined, participate in the Days of Action this week. Perhaps the sight of thousands of Illinoisans protesting things that he, the state’s chief executive, could fix, will help Bruce Rauner understand what truly is “tragic.”

And feel free to leave a comment explaining to Gov. Rauner what is “tragic.”