These past couple weeks were the historic weeks! In a matter of 14 days, we experienced, on a grand scale, Courage, Conviction, Cowardice, Confrontation and Hope.
Let me explain:
• COURAGE: The highlight was the courage of more than 307,000 Missourians who stood up to abusive government power and said “NO WAY” to the phony “right-to-work (for less)” by signing the We Are MO petitions demanding a public vote on this misnamed, deceitful law passed by paid-for Republican legislators.
And these were not just union members – we don’t have that many in Missouri any more. No, these were working Missourians from all walks of life — union, non-union, blue collar, white collar, no collar workers who said passing a law that will hurt all working families, hurt our state’s economy and is a blight on democracy in the workplace has no place in Missouri. And next year they will vote and reject this terrible law.
• CONVICTION: Workers across Missouri – union members, family members and non-union members – provided thousands upon thousands of volunteer hours to hit the bricks with the Citizen Petition demanding a public vote on the so-called “right-to-work (for less).” And that conviction to do what’s right paid handsome dividends when on Aug. 18, thousands of those volunteers showed up in Jefferson City to deliver the results of months of hard work.
CONGRATULATIONS — and THANK YOU — to everyone who took the time to make Democracy work for all. Your efforts will give Missourians a voice on what’s right – and wrong – for this state when they reject the phony RTW next November. WELL DONE FOLKS!!
• COWARDICE: When confronted with the opportunity to stand up for American values and forthrightly denounce neo-Nazis, the Klu Klux Klan and white supremacists, President Donald Trump displayed the ultimate cowardice.
Instead of immediately condemning their actions on the streets of Charlottesville, which resulted in a white supremacist killing an innocent protester, he blamed both sides, or in his words “many sides” as having been at fault for the violence.
Despite his half-hearted reading of a denunciation days later, his intent that first day was clear when the Daily Stormer, the mouthpiece for neo-Nazis and alt-right said, “There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all. He said he loves us all. Also refused to answer a question about white nationalists supporting him. No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”
America hung its head in shame that day.
• CONFRONTATION: with the Constitution of the United States as President Trump viciously attacked, yet again, the free press for doing its job: exposing him for the hate-filled fraud he is.
The First Amendment of our Constitution is clear: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….” And yet, he accuses the press of hating America, of being dishonest, of spewing “fake news.” What utter crap!
The cornerstone of Democracy is a free press to be able to expose the misuse of power everywhere, a job it has done with admirable success for decades. But this president wants to destroy the public’s acceptance of, and belief in, the free press because it is exposing him for the fraud he is.
Trump is following the roadmap of what all tinhorn dictators’ actions are when they grab power: kill the free press, kill or imprison their opposition (“Lock her up”), then destroy the unions.
• HOPE: Despite all of this, the sun’s eclipse Aug. 21 was a metaphor of hope for the future. With the sun shining brightly on the America we all love, suddenly a shadow began creeping over it, blotting out the warmth, the light, the “hope” if you will (i.e., the election of President Trump). Then there was total darkness (his first term). Everything stopped. We held our breath at the spectacle.
But then the darkness began to move off, and the sun’s rays took flight and soon the sun was as bright and warm as ever.
The reign of Donald Trump and his minions won’t last forever. The darkness will pass.
I firmly believe that this Labor Day will be a turning point for America and for our Labor Movement.
Not that we won’t have many important fights ahead, we will, but like the sun re-emerging from the moon’s shadow, the light and warmth of Democracy will again shine brightly for America, for the world. Hope springs eternal.