Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Politics vs Real Life

For those of you remember my blog starting in 2004, this is like the third reincanation of it. Just me ranting about stuff, now from a suburban and married man's point of view. And without further ado.

I'm passionate about politics, can't help it growing up on the south side of Chicago, when you can vote multiple times in a day and your dead relatives still have valid voters cards, it makes you interested in how "The Machine" works. I was born while Richard J. Daley was still in office and the first alderman I remember was Wilson Frost (34th Ward, first boss of Gery Chico), and I grew up in the second congressional district, formally represented by Gus Savage, Mel Reynolds and lastest by Jesse Jackson Jr. None of those cats could keep it in their pants.

Despite that south side upbringing, I'm not a straight ticket democrat, I vote for the best person running, as long as they are not in alliance with the Tea Party. Here in Homer Township (eastern Lockport), this is Tea Party Central, I wish those people would do their homework on political history, I also wish they would be fair and would have been half as hard on George W. Bush as they are with Barack Obama, I don't agree with everything of the current administration but understand the man has a tough job ahead and is doing what he can.

So my issue today is with the Wisconsin & Indiana lawmakers that have abandoned their states and are hanging out here in Illinois because they don't like what's being voted on in their home states.

Look my parents were union members, my mother was a union delegate for years and has been involved in the retired union board. I know the good, bad & ugly of organized labor. My mother walked the picket lines 10 times for the Chicago Public Schools in 35 years, that's dedication to your representation. So I don't question her loyalty, I do question if she got equal hard work from her union.

My father also 30 year union member said the union was only good if you got in trouble (which he did a few times), but I've never been protected by organized labor in any job. We tried to get representation for my work group with United Airlines (SAM, salary & management of accounting workers), but never had the votes to get organized representation.

Unions are important, sometimes they are all working people have against unfair work practices, we wouldn't have 8 hour works days, 5 days work weeks or any other perks without the tireless work of organized labor. Men like Samuel Gompers & Cesar Chavez gave their lives for the rights of labor and to have working conditions that we take for granted.

But when do unions cross the line and are more about power than protection? And when their costs are prohibitive of the tax payers whom support them?

This needs to be debated by law makers, instead of running from the fight. I think the Wisconsin Governor seems to be on an ego trip at best, a union breaker at worst. But he needs to be confronted by law makers. If the very union members that are affected by this new legislation walked off the job they would face consequences despite the union having their back.

Wisconsin lawmakers can't effectively represent the very people that elected them by hiding out in a Quality Inn in Rockford. They need to face the music and deal with this situation. We live in a democracy, I understand they may not have the votes to overturn this bad legislation but at least it can be debated and their citizens wouldn't be alone protesting in the Capitol where the lawmakers should be there on their behalf.

Same for the Indiana lawmakers now in so called exlile in Champaign. If I didn't show up at my job because its hard (and it is), then I'd be shown the door.

Life is no easy, jobs are even harder and to quote Chicago Black Esemble playwright Jackie Taylor "Sometimes life kicks you in the ass". You just have to be a strong person and deal with it.

Democracy has its flaws but it beats having a monarch any day of the week. But to have democracy in action, the people elected to office need to represent their people, in their state. Not showing up for the fight is just letting down the people who need them the most.

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