A cornerstone of conservatism has been less government involvement in the lives of private citizens, as stated by former President Ronald Reagan, “Man is not free unless government is limited … As government expands, liberty contracts.”[….]
Either the GOP has abandoned Reagan’s philosophy or they have chosen to distort conservative values beyond recognition. What’s trickling down from the GOP in Washington is an erosion of our rights, including the right to form unions and select a representative to appear on our behalf at the bargaining table. Even more sinister is the use of mis-information to deliberately mis-educate the American people in order to get their way.
After proposing to gut government agencies and programs at the federal level, the GOP turns its attention to the local level. On the chopping block, unions. Will that ease or rectify state’s budget falls? No. And despite bills cropping up in state legislatures seeking to either limit or eliminate collective bargaining, everyone knows that this is not about the budget, its about the GOP winning the White House in 2012. The strategy here is defund departments like education, environmental protection, etc., on the federal level causing a rise in states’ budget shortfalls and then get rid of the unions by blaming them for same.
Traditionally, Republicans use voter intimidation to discourage voters outside of their party from voting. Keep Democrats home, spend like crazy and convince Independents that its the Democrats fault and win the day. In response to that tactic, well-organized unions and organizations like ACORN and Planned Parenthood hit the streets and registered record numbers of voters and produced a new voting population. Add to this scenario the Internet, Facebook, You Tube and Twitter and the game changed. The GOP’s response, defund and eliminate by any means necessary organizations that get out the “liberal” vote. Hence, unions, like ACORN, Planned Parenthood and similar organizations, got to go if the GOP has any chance of winning the White House in 2012. How do they accomplish this? Mis-information in order to mis-educate the public.
Republican Governors and state lawmakers in five states are proposing union-busting bills:
- Idaho | Considering legislation. No news as yet.
- Indiana | Limit, centralize bargaining for teacher contracts
- Michigan | Unions plan Lansing rally to highlight attacks on labor
- Ohio | UC students plan protest of Ohio Senate bill number 5
- Tennessee | Tennessee teachers fight bill to end collective bargaining
- Wisconsin | Wis. Republican: Union Changes Key To Fixing Budget
The GOP’s mis-information game keeps getting us into serious trouble. We were plunged into a war because the GOP told us that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and was on the verge of destroying the world. Turns out there weren’t any WMDs. In fact, Donald Rumsfeld just released a tell-all book that says Hussein didn’t even have the right tools to make such weapons. Skewing the facts about Iraq cost us the lives of 4,439 men and women in our military and over 100,000 Iraqi citizens. Plus, we spent $775,521,785,000 (and growing every second).
Our economy suffers because of two wars, a broken health care system (that thankfully is now on the mend), a corrupt financial system that crushed the housing market and blighted entire neighborhoods in many cities (that is also being addressed), obscene tax breaks for the wealthy – again, pork bills (such as the F35 project that the House had the sense to vote down in Speaker Boehner’s district), and similar items. None of these problems came about because of collective bargaining practices with firemen, teachers, policemen and other government employees at the local level.
Definitely, unions and local governments need to work together for everyone’s benefit. Times are tough. If a family has to tighten its budget, we don’t get rid of one of the kids or put down the family pet because the price of food is rising. We work on our budget and cut down our spending on things we can do without or less of. The GOP needs to stop wasting valuable time and resources on bills that are nothing more than political sport. Eliminating collective bargaining and the right to unionize does not resolve budget shortfalls or promote job growth at any level of government.
Must Read: John L. Lewis: an Unauthorized Biography | by Saul D. Alinsky