The GOP is amidst a war with workers and who is to blame, the politicians or those who finance their campaigns? According to James Hoffa in his opinion piece for The Detroit News, it’s both and the media. It’s true, to anyone willing to peek past their Republican blindfold the GOP is taking steps to create laws at various levels that systematically strip rights away from workers and then gives new rights to the corporations who employ them. It’s also true that the Tea Party, who has funded a majority of those politicians with the largest voices against unions, is in fact funded by large corporations such as Koch Industries. It’s also true that conservative media outlets such as Fox News and the Drudge Report took Hoffa’s Labor Day remarks and edited them to create a false firestorm. So I guess Hoffa is right, but in my opinion only partially, because he is missing a key component to the GOP’s war on workers. The complacent, uninformed, and dare I say borderline brainwashed Tea Party voters who simply don’t care what the officials they elect do when they get to Washington because they are so full of misplaced hate that many actually want America to fail. Sadder yet is that a disproportional amount of Tea Party activists are currently unemployed and instead of looking for new jobs they are organizing events for politicians that will implement policies that will keep them out of work.
Once in office those officials who have aligned themselves with the Tea Party to get elected follow a clear cut ideological agenda that helps no one but the companies who funded their campaign. According to Hoffa,
Rich corporations are outsourcing the jobs of long-time workers or demanding concessions as never before — just because they think they can.
Corporate-backed politicians give lip service to shared sacrifice even as they balance their budgets on the backs of working families.
Public sector jobs are being cut, collective bargaining rights attacked and essential services slashed — sometimes to pay for corporate tax breaks.
What can be done? Here is where I suggest two solutions. First we follow Hoffa’s advice and fight back. Second, there is a large group of very politically savvy and frustrated voters in America who need to organize and act as the counter-tea party; they are the ‘99ers.
In his article Hoffa talks about ways in which union supporters are already fighting back.
Teamsters have marched in California, collected signatures in Ohio, rallied in the streets of New York, gone to court in Florida, stormed the statehouse in Wisconsin, walked picket lines around the country and even driven a copy of a Maine labor mural to an art exhibit in Maryland.
Here in Michigan, we will fight with everything we've got against any right-to-work "for less" legislation that gets introduced.
This fight is about the economy, it's about jobs and it's about rebuilding America.
As I said last week, we all have to vote to take anti-worker politicians out of office.
Too many of our elected officials serve as order-takers to the corporations that fund their campaigns. Their main concern is satisfying corporate masters interested only in fattening their profits. They have no qualms about taking a wrecking ball to the middle class.
The GOP is purposely trying to let our economy fall to ruins with hopes of retaking the white house and senate in 2012, a scenario that would allow them to forever change our country. This is where the ‘99ers come in.
It’s already started; unemployed people are starting to organically come together with intentions of organizing to make their voice heard louder. Through New Media this disenfranchised demographic is making their move to be a political force hell bent on electing officials who create pro-worker laws. As the 2012 Presidential election unfolds it will be interesting to see what role the ‘99ers will play or more realistically what role the media allows them to play.
The simple but possibly naïve thought here is that Americans need to come together right now and look past their political talking point differences to help each other out and get their neighbors back to work. In these polarized times it is hard to imagine this scenario occurring however. James Hoffa was correct in saying,
The jobs crisis is an American problem. It isn't President Barack Obama's problem and it isn't a Republican or Democrat problem. All Americans need to come together to create good jobs for the good of our economy and the good of our great country.