There are usually two sides to every issue. Never is it more true when it comes to the fundamental freedoms of the American people when they are at work.
There are those who take seriously the basic and fundamental right found in the US Constitution and in every other of of just about every free industrialized country:
"Congress shall make no law . . . abridging . . . the right of the people peaceably to assemble."
Then there are those who put the special interests of a small privilidged elite above those of their people.
Workers should be able to join unions if they please and employers should feel free to fire them if they do, as they should. Currently they cannot fire them, at least openly.
Only someone with a demented mind or a callous heart would support a one sided, employer dominated system that has resulted in 46.6 million people living without health insurance - where white collar workers see their lives crash into homelessness - where the number of American children living in poverty is increasing at an alarming rate and where a child dies because his mother didn't have the health insurance necessary to take care of his tooth infection.
In the last 74 years since the passage of labor law reform that actually made it legal to join a union, only on a handful of occasions has new legislation passed that benefited the American working class. The last was in 1993 with the Family Medical Leave Act and the time before was the inception of OSHA in 1969. That's it.
In that 74 years, the American middle class has witnessed a constant erosion in its wages and living conditions. We went from where one parent had the option of working to where both are a necessity in one generation. And even then, a two parent income today is hardly enough for most Americans not when you need to make at least $84,957 just to qualify for a new home.
There are those today who want to hold onto a Soviet-style system that has denied millions of Americans the chance to better their economic condition. They represent a small, elite group of CEOs, financiers, and conservative activists who look at a larger and stronger middle class as a threat to their hold on power. Funny how they like to call those on the left communists and pinkos when the very system they are defending resembles nothing called American but looks more like a plot setting from a Cold War era book about gulags:
Imagine a local state or national election where you are required to take Republican Party literature before entering the voting booth - while at the same time all opposing material is banned from the premises.
Imagine the penalty for anyone caught soliciting opposition literature being the loss of their livelihood with little legal recourse.
Imagine every television station in the week leading up to the election being required to broadcast "Path to 9/11" over and over again with Red Dawn and a few other conservative - sided films thrown in for good measure.
Imagine being a fence sitter whose not sure how you're going to vote and are required to attend a mandatory briefing from a group of local authority figures in a closed room with no witnesses.
If that is not sufficient, imagine your candidate winning the election by a convincing margin, only to sit and wait for years as your opponent files objection after objection to the election. Or maybe the opponent chooses to ignore the election - as it is done in NLRB elections and practiced by dictators such as Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.
DO YOU CALL ANY OF THAT FREE, FAIR AND DEMOCRATIC?
I don't and neither would I suspect every sane American citizen.
Today, the grasp that the right wing and their elite friends have held onto power through a system like this will be slighlty loosened.
The House is on the verge of passing the landmark Employee Free Choice Act with a bipartisan coalition of Democrats and Republicans.
The Act will protect the long ignored right of Americans to choose whether or not to negotiate a contract at work. The same type of contract their employers enjoy.
60 million American workers say they would join a union if they could. But only 15 million belong. The current system of NLRB labor laws sis what's blocking millions from the choice of whether or they should try to enter the middle class.
You don't have to be a union supporter to know the system needs fixing.
You don't need to be a union supporter to know which side you're on - the side of people who want to truly solve the burgeoning economic problems of the middle class or the side of people like Dick Cheney and his colleaguesn below - all of whom have histories of resisting free and open Democracy with sham elections.