Some traditional labor unions have already endorsed the president, making me wonder about the state of organized labor today. I remember a time when the relationship between organized labor and the Democratic party was a much more equal partnership; the Democrats got votes, and Labor got…..something!
Given that establishment Democrats have not provided a higher minimum wage, universal healthcare, paid family leave or a guaranteed living wage, establishment unions endorsing Biden makes no sense. For if you don’t use your leverage you have no leverage.
But I also see what has happened in America. Over the last few decades, Americans have been played – trained to limit our political imaginations, simply accept what the system says we can have, enable our own abusers, and fall in line for whatever false narrative they spin in order to keep us in line. Many of our best and brightest have been insidiously seduced by a pot of gold, ironically given less on the promise of receiving more.
If our ancestors had been so similarly played, we wouldn’t have the rights we have today.
We need a new, revitalized sense of hope in America today – and we ourselves must provide it. Despite the efforts to lure us into the belief that a kinda-sorta-making-things-better is the best we can hope for, I reject that belief. We are Americans. We can do and have whatever we want, if we are willing to toughen up, buckle up, and rise up. That is what our ancestors did when times were tough, and what we need to do today.
As my father used to say, there are times in life when you have to say “Hell no.” No to crumbs. No to half measures. No to incremental change. No to limiting our opportunities or the opportunities of our children.
My presidential campaign is for those who want universal health care, just like the citizens of every other advanced democracy. We want tuition free public universities and tech schools, just like the citizens of ever other advanced democracy. We want paid family leave, guaranteed sick pay, and a living wage for all workers. We want robust and meaningful efforts to mitigate climate change, and we want to rein in the military industrial complex. We want policies considered moderate positions in every other advanced democracy. And we are no longer willing to be gaslighted into thinking that such things are not possible here.
This is the message we must continue to forge. It is our turn to show up now; Americans haven’t been asking for too much, we’ve been asking for too little. As Lincoln said, “As our case is new, we must think anew and act anew. And then we will save our country.”