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Friday Feedback: How Not to Be a Union

This week, Steve Barios and Al Nava comment on Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer's article, "How Not to Be a Union."

Each Friday, LA Progressive presents a comment we editors find to be most profound, insightful, unusual, or even annoying-- we then highlight the comment in an effort to bring attention to the broad range of positions taken by our readers.

friday feedback

This week, Steve Barios and Al Nava comment on Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer's article, "How Not to Be a Union," which looks at the unfortunate division between public service worker unions and trade unions so effectively exploited in the recent Wisconsin recall election:

Lee Barrios commented:

So I get your point about the growing bipartisanship of capitalism. And in Louisiana we are certainly feeling the pain of some Democrats in our legislature going over to the dark side in supporting Governor Bobby Jindal's agenda to privatize every public service (prisons, retirement systems. . ) squeeze the budget of every public institution (K-12 and higher education. . . ) and influence the vote with intimidation, bribes and bullying. But I don't get the notion that "turning away from electing democrats" is the solution or has a direct correllation to ending complacency and a belief that our elected representatives actually represent us and by virtue of their election can bring about change. It seems to me that we would be better served educating and motivating the electorate on the realities and to maintain due diligence and a watchdog mentality. Rather than abandoning the Democratic Party or cultivating the false sense of security that "a seat at the table (bloodfeast)" with Republicans or anyone else who abandons our ideals (U.S. Ed. Sec. Arne Duncan - Sen. Mary Landrieu. . . ), we should be doing what the populace does when they are pushed in a corner and have little left but their voices and their power at the polls - stand up, go forth, use our strength in numbers and for me anyway, our belief that our vision for Americans is not only the righteous one but the only viable economic alternative.

And it's time for the Democratic Party in Louisiana to do some weeding in their own garden. One only has to survey the vote on education and retirement bills this legislative session to identify who those are. The Republicans have done a great job hijacking the "reform" agenda for public education and using it to further their own cause. Too many democrats, including our current administration in Washington, are asleep at the wheel. Well, yeah, and a measure of greed and self-service.

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Alfredo "Al" Nava responded:

From my interaction with (non-partisan) Working-Class voters, when Unions mainly "devote their energies to electing Democrats to office", this demotivates the (non-Union) electorate from supporting the idea of Unions. If Unions continue on this path, they will continue to be diminished into marginalization.

Of course Democratic Party faithfuls/ apologists will ardently disagree, but they are so out touch with the average Working-class voter, that their beliefs do not align with this majority of the electorate. Progressives, unlike the (Neo-Liberal) Democrats, should not ignorantly mimic these Dem Party apologists, or they too will become increasingly irrelevant (& also hurt my progress of cultivating a Progressive/ Working-Class non-Democratic Party message that is actually very popular in CA's Central Valley).

Adapt or die. Unions are not adapting. The Democratic Party is adapting by allowing itself to be corrupted by Wall Street interests, which is making them a Right-wing leaning Centrist party thereby leaving the Working-Class with no party to support. This is one of the main reasons why voters are leaving the Dem Party to re-register as No Political Party to become Independents by the hundreds or thousands every month.

Remember: The Democratic Party has become the status quo.
While I commend the mission and work of Progressive-Democrats within the national & CA Democratic Party, they are losing the battle because the Dem Party machine has marginalized them.

[On a side note, the GOP is also losing thousands of voters/ members who are becoming Independents.]