Over the weekend Vice President Al Gore lambasted a Republican
to ensure that union workers don’t have to support political candidates
they don’t approve of, via their union dues.
What is peculiar about Gore’s criticism of the GOP’s “paycheck
protection” plan is his lack of ability to remember what he’s done to
destroy unions in this country.
First of all, it’s no secret that labor union leaders and many
members are unequivocally Democratic supporters. That’s fine — no one
is saying that they cannot support whomever they choose. But the fact
of the matter is, not all union members support Democratic
candidates — less every day. Equally odd is that the Democrats, under
Clinton, have been traditional supporters of policies that have helped
ruin the U.S. industrial base and with it, union jobs. The scam is that
the Democrats are no longer the party of the working people because of
all they have done to circumvent U.S. labor. Somebody should tell union
members this because many of them still believe the lie that Democrats
care more about them than any other party. They don’t.
All the melodramatics aside, Gore claims if the GOP has their way,
this plan will be “the single most notorious union-busting proposal to
come along in years”; the vice president said, “Most moderate
Republicans have stayed away from it because it’s really hostile to
working people and especially to those in organized labor.”
“If you are in favor of collective bargaining, if you are in favor of
giving working people the right to petition for better conditions and
fair wages by joining a union, then you cannot be for this paycheck
deception idea because it destroys the ability of unions to exist,”
Gore told reporters.
Oh, please. As I read the plan, the Republicans said nothing
about doing away with all union dues. Whatever he meant, Gore’s
assessment of the “paycheck protection” plan is wrong — almost
Gore — who hasn’t had to witness first hand what government policies
anathema to labor unions have really done to the work force in this
country — probably does want Joe Sixpack to keep his job on the line in
Detroit — for now. But he wants him to keep his job not because he
gives a damn about his family; all Gore wants is to make sure Joe
doesn’t have any choice when it comes to whom he financially supports on
election day, namely Democrats and, chiefly, himself.
Though the vice president waxes eloquently about how he supports
union workers and wants to keep “evil” conservatives from “busting up
their unions,” his position on this plan is classic socialist-fascist.
It’s really about not giving you a choice.
But it gets stranger.
If I’m not mistaken, it was Gore — right along with the chief
socialist in the White House — who pushed so hard to get NAFTA and GATT
pushed through, wasn’t it? So how can he now say he’s such a big union
champion after supporting policies and treaties that have helped destroy
hundreds of thousands of union jobs? This is the scam many union workers
still do not grasp.
Over the past five years U.S. corporations by the dozens have pulled
the plug on scores of domestic plants and moved them overseas. And those
jobs — despite the government’s rosy “job creation figures” — have
never come back, will never come back and will never be replaced by
anything resembling them in the future, under current trade policy. In
fact, America — for years — has been losing her industrial base
because phony “free trade” agreements and treaties have given
corporations a way to move their production facilities overseas, pay
those workers two-thirds less, then ship their goods back here for
free — thus making untold billions in profits.
Consequently, are Gore and the Democrats really just trying to bleed
the unions dry before they go under? Because they sure aren’t
supporting legislation that would increase union membership by
increasing U.S. factory and labor jobs in this country. Not
everybody can be “retrained” to “meet the needs of the economy for the
21st century,” as all these free traders would have you believe.
Republican “champs” of free trade are not much better friends of the
unions either, because even though they back this plan they also
live for so-called “free” trade. But they know, as do the
Democrats and Gore, that such an arrangement is, by and large, a farce.
Other countries continue to make us pay to import more expensive goods
to their countries even though we don’t make them pay to import their
cheaper goods here.
And, to be honest, unions themselves may not be blameless for their
own destruction. The ever-present demand for more money, coupled with
crippling strikes has, in many respects, forced American corporations
into a corner — and out of the country, once the opportunity presented
But that doesn’t give opportunists like Gore and the Democrats the
right to lie to these people just because they want their millions in
campaign donations. Unions should have been given the chance to reform
and police themselves before the export rug, a la NAFTA, was
pulled from underneath them.
On this particular labor issue, Republicans are absolutely right:
Americans should have the right to financially support any
political candidate they choose or, as the case may be, no one at
Gore, in this case, is behaving just like his boss Clinton. He
claims to be such a “friend” of the unions, but in fact he’s his
own best pal. And he’s already adopting Clintonesque methods of
ensuring he has enough money to run his elections by opposing a bill
that would curb at least some of those “donations.” The only reason he
“cares” about unions is because he “cares” about union money.
Besides this union scam, there has been Donorgate, foreign money, and
duplicity within federal agencies to get more Democrats elected. Do
these people have a single fundraising source that’s legal and moral?
Or can they not win unless they cheat, lie, and in the case of union
We don’t need another eight years of this kind of hypocrisy.