Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Labor Reading for the Day

David Sirota delivered the keynote address to the Montana State AFL-CIO taken from Morgan Freeman's line in Shawshank Redemption, "Get busy living or get busy dying." The full text of the speech is printed in The Nation here.

Although he, like most people who talk about labor, talk about maintaining the middle class way of life, I think that his point is well taken for all of those interested in politics and labor:

During that critical vote in the next legislature, will we pressure that key Democrat even though we were drinking buddies? When the new Congress begins pushing yet another NAFTA, will we demand in no uncertain terms that Montana's Congressional delegation stand up for our state even if they and their staffs get angry at us? When the power players in the nation's capital shove more tax breaks for millionaires, budget cuts to healthcare and eliminations of labor laws down our throats, will we make them feel pain on election day, even if it offends Democratic Party elders in Washington?

Will we, in other words, go all the way?

The answer has to be yes, and it has to be yes because as I said to start off, the stakes at this point are too high. It's time to stand up, it's time to make our voices heard, it's time to walk in the footsteps of past generations who refused to be intimidated in the face of the class war that is now upon us. It's time, in short, to get busy living--because America will cease to be the great country it is if we get busy dying.

So, I offer David Sirota in short: Work for Democrats during the election because they are better than the Republicans, but don't take their shit if you get them elected.


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