Oligarchic power versus public employee unions
June England's March 15 letter to the editor ("Send in the clowns") is a well-written smokescreen as to what is really happening with the conservative attack on public employee unions.
But it is still a smokescreen, words of little substance hiding issues of great substance.
She inadvertently reveals her real agenda when she complains that unions give money to Democrats. It is no coincidence that Republicans have targeted every group that gives significant money to Democrats while simultaneously benefiting disproportionately from the Supreme Court's ruling allowing unlimited corporate giving, much of it in secret, to Republicans and corporatist Democrats.
But oligarchic power is not yet secure. To cement oligarchic rule the political opposition also has to be denied the resources to offer voters alternative points of view. Hence the attack on unions.
Scott Fitzgerald, Republican Senate Majority leader in Wisconsin told FOX News, "If we win this battle and the money is not there under the auspices of the unions, certainly what you're going to find is President Obama is going to have a much more difficult time getting elected and winning the state of Wisconsin."
This reasoning has nothing to do with state budgets and everything to do with eliminating effective voices for alternative points of view.
Do unions sometimes abuse their power? Of course they do. Can England name an organization that does not do so?
Certainly corporations are not innocent. Nor are public bureaucracies, political parties, the military, churches, or any other large organization. The Republican Party least of all. If abuse of power is reason enough to eliminate an organization, let's start with Goldman Sachs, BP, Bank of America, and the Catholic Church.
But England and her allies want to deny power to working people while doing less than nothing to limit the power of the powerful.
They want to make sure no one can push back against corporate domination of America.
Unions do a great deal more than negotiate over wages. Working people can be exploited and abused by bureaucratic managers as easily as by private ones. I know this from personal experience as well as from what friends who are teachers have told me.
That includes many who left teaching because of bad working conditions and being caught in the political games of school boards and principals. Unions are their only protection.
England makes a big point in her letter about deficits, without mentioning that they exist because Republicans and conservatives set democratic decision-making aside in California, requiring supermajorities to address our financial problems.
Founding father James Madison opposed supermajorities because they would lead to minority rule and blackmail.
Madison was right and the people who wrap themselves in our flag would do well to read him sometime.
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Gus diZerega is a resident of Sebastopol.