The Scolai

“Just a Good Guy…With a Few Bad Habits”

An Open Letter from a Union Conservative

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With the 2008 election season, incredibly, all ready beginning, I am writing this letter in hopes of seeing union members vote their core values instead of the “Leadership Line.”

I am an anomaly. A Conservative Union member.  As one of the few Conservative Union members in captivity, I believe in the power of a Union to do good things. My IAFF local supports firefighter families through our Benevolent Fund, it supports families in need through our Fire Relief Fund, and it supports local children through our “The Firefighters Dream” Charity. Every year finds us involved with “Fill the Boot”, a fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy. Many different Unions support similar charities related to their fields.

I was not raised in a Union home, but have been told stories of my grandfather fighting against strikebreakers outside the old Fisher Body plant and other auto plants in and around Pontiac, Michigan . I have come to believe in Local Unions through personal involvement. I have belonged to one Union or another for the last 19 years. I am a loyal member of my Local, but most times a vocal critic of my State and International boards. I have a serious problem with their almost slavish attachment to the Democrat party who pays us lip service at best and then only in election years.


I believe in God, I am Pro Family, I am Pro Life, and I am Pro Gun ownership. I believe that Federal taxes should only be collected to fund a minimal government and strong National Defense. State taxes should be collected only for what is needed to fund Basic Services. I think government’s role in my life should be kept to a bare minimum. Most of the candidates supported by the State and International boards are avowed activists for Gun Control and Abortion on Demand, and if they could find a way to literally tax your ass, they would gleefully do so, as Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm recently demonstrated.
There are many Union members who feel exactly as I do, at a Local level. Unfortunately, our voices are often drowned out by the Pro Democrat mantra’s loudly proclaimed by the State and International bosses (make no mistake, many of these “Bosses” are no better than the “Bosses” they constantly decry). Two of their favorite rants are: “We only support candidates that support Labor” followed closely by: “What have Republicans ever done for us?” First, if we only support candidates who support Labor, we are certainly doing a poor job of picking winners. Not to say that candidates with Union backing haven’t done well at the ballot box, I’m talking about winners in the sense of what they accomplish once in office. Is the little they actually get done on our behalf worth compromising core values in order to support these radical left politicians so often endorsed by State and International leadership? Secondly, what have Unions ever done to earn the support of the Republican Party? If you’ve read any of my recent posts, you know that I am not exactly sweet on the GOP these days; I remain, however, a Conservative at heart and am sad to see how spineless and indecisive my Party has become. Every year my State board sends every Union member a “Voters Guide.” With one or two exceptions (and that is an extremely generous estimate) the entire slate has a (D) following each candidates name. Can a Union expect support from a political party that the Union is constantly and vocally trying to defeat? I know the old adage, “It’s not who’s right, but what’s right”, I hear it all the time from people who tell me we should be receiving GOP support regardless; However, common sense tells you its easier to do “what’s right” when “what’s right” is good for someone who supports you.

I think that workers should have the right to organize, and believe, in many cases, it is necessary to ensure safe working conditions and equitable wages. There are those who would love to see a literal return to  serfdom and they aren’t all Republicans. Rich Democrats like John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, etc. claim to be for the working class, but in reality they are more “imperial” than the most stereotypical Republican. I believe collective bargaining and Union representation are good things for the average working man and woman in this country. I just wish that Union leadership did a better job of reflecting the views and values of their rank and file membership. I ask, in the next election cycle, that my Union brothers and sisters take the time to look beyond the candidates being spoon fed to them and vote for those who best represent their core values.

Scolai

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Written by thescolai

February 10, 2007 at 12:38 am

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