Don’t go to a state or national union convention thinking there will be real debate or democracy. As a delegate to a state convention one year I needed a bright orange sweater and my whole region waving their arms around behind me for the state president to recognize me at a microphone. At last year’s national meeting we had a two hour debate about the Confederate flag, the result being that my item passed and was filed in a deep dark hole somewhere, never to be seen or heard from again.
Union democracy. Frequently an oxymoron.
AFT President Randi Weingarten is a lawyer, so she knows how to use rhetorical devices.
When I made note on Facebook of her approving repost of a hack piece (The Right Baits the Left to Turn Against Hillary Clinton) from the New York Times suggesting the Bernie Sanders campaign was a conservative conspiracy to deprive Hillary Clinton of her earned nomination, she responded, “Fred-so when you disagree you call someone a hack?”
Nope. I call a hack a hack. Most of those I disagree with I call wrong or right. Or when I disagree with my wife, honey.
The problem with our union leadership is that they have a hard time with those they disagree with. Every difference among the membership is treated as if it were a conspiracy to destroy our unions.
“I can’t believe you don’t want to know how the right manipulates us… We know how they do it overtly, but this is an astonishing example of how they do it covertly.”
See. Those supporting Sanders are just being manipulated. It’s not as if there are real issues here.
Is that why there was no rank-and-file input into the early, no-strings endorsement by the NEA and the AFT of Hillary?
In our short exchange I told Randi, “Nobody doubts games are played, but the assumption of this article and your comments suggest that the nomination is rightfully Clinton’s and that differences in policy and program exist in the Democratic Party because of a right-wing plot that created a progressive opposition to Clinton’s centrist corporate politics. Nonsense. These differences have always existed in the Democratic Party. Let them play out instead of treating it as if it were all a conspiracy. It should have been a debate in the AFT and the NEA. But that debate was shut down as well.”