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Yesterday, I joined the conversation on John Case’s morning labor radio show at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. It was not an unfamiliar scene for me. I’ve been going up for John’s 7 am to 9 am show every few weeks for much of the last year. It is always an awful lot of fun.
Yesterday, we began what will become a series of shows on Working Class and Progressive Values vs. the values of the radical right-wing.
Joined by trade union leader and sustainable energy advocate and lobbyist John Christenson and stand-up comedian Mike Diesel we talked for two hours about fundamental human values.
The idea behind the show, series, and some of my poetry and speeches is that the values that form the foundation of working class and progressive politics are fundamental human values. These values emanate from our culture and religious teachings, and are thus much better than the values that drive the radical right-wing… even though the radical right-wing talks unceasingly about their “values.”
It is my strong belief that the incessant use of family values by the radical right is a lie, that there is no family value in poverty level wages, hungry children, hatred of gay and lesbian people, unnecessary war, the destruction of good jobs and our planet, the attempted destruction of American Democracy, continued discrimination against The Other. The Other is anyone bosses and the Financial Elite try to divide from the rest of us.
John Case started the conversation by reading Scripture about how we are to treat one another. We discussed integrity, the common good, and the practice by the Financial Elite of exploiting workers to build private wealth. We discussed at length Jesus’ admonition that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
The radical right talks incessantly about values, but practices the politics of hatred, anger, and discrimination.
Us progressives and trade unionists talk about policy and politics without talking about our political foundation, which is our values – fundamental human values. That needs to change. We must articulate those values of justice, compassion, love, and fairness that guide our politics, policies, and our entire lives.