Construction Unions Choosing Trump Over Clinton… Accentuating the Reality that NEITHER Candidate Supports Middle Class
Apologies to readers who are trying to avoid presidential politics… but an article in today’s NYTimes led me to enter a comment on the poor choices we are likely to face if Hillary Clinton squares off against Donald Trump. The article by Jonathan Martin titled “Rift Between Labor and Environmentalists Threatens Democratic Turnout Plan” describes how many construction unions are disinclined to support the Democrat candidate because they are beholden to the environmental movement which, in turn, is being bankrolled by a hedge funder named Tom Steyer. What the article fails to note is that the Democrat party COULD garner support from construction trades if they made a full throated argument in favor of major spending on infra-structure projects and/or the installation of alternative energy forms that would require nearly as much cash flow as the Keystone XL pipeline.
Union leaders continue to value power over practicality. The two teachers’ unions, for example, threw their support behind Ms. Clinton who takes lots of campaign dollars from the hedge funders who underwrite the Democrats For Education Reform (DFER). DFER’s definition of reform is captured in Arne Duncan’s Race To The Top: adopt “national standards”; give “high stakes” tests based on those “standards” to identify “failing schools”; close those “failing schools” and turn them over to privatizers who employ non-union workers; repeat this process annually until the majority of public schools are owned by investors. As a result of this process, unions are demonized, teachers’ wages, benefits, and working conditions are compromised, and students– especially those raised in poverty– are hurt. If teachers’ unions can support a candidate who takes hedge fund money that leads to their demise why should construction unions behave any differently?
But here’s what is frustrating to this voter: the other party is no better… and there IS a candidate who IS on the side of working Americans— that pesky social democrat Senator from Vermont! But it seems that the mass media has written off his chances and dismissed his ideas as impractical given the current state of affairs in Congress. It doesn’t have to be this way. There is a way the power of employees could be restored instead of reinforcing the power of those who underwrite the costs of elections… but it requires a chance of thinking and a change of heart, both of which seem impossible in the echo chamber that exists in today’s mass media.