Conservative Grassroots Confront the Unions
Josh Mandel’s conservative grassroots supporters went toe-to-toe with a surly union coalition on October 25 in Cincinnati.
Supporters of both candidates gathered outside a Cincinnati television studio on October 25 prior to the final debate between Senator Sherrod Brown and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, hoping to lend a positive boost and propel their candidate to victory on November 6. Sherrod Brown’s supporters, representing half a dozen unions were paid and fed to ensure a strong turnout prior to his arrival at the WCET studio. The conservative grassroots drove in from a number of counties throughout Southwest Ohio to hear tea party leaders expose Sherrod Brown’s progressive record and cheer on Ohio’s Treasurer as he seeks to retire the longtime DC insider.
Several media outlets, on hand to collect a few minutes of boilerplate background video, were taken aback by the conflict between the unions and grassroots as they gathered for separate rallies. After years of watching the emerging tea party movement, local media are still perplexed by the intensity of passion displayed by the grassroots. Reporters, like local news anchor Sheree Paolello, stared in seeming disbelief as supporters of the candidates engaged in fierce verbal confrontation with union members. The unions, are rarely challenged on territorial battles and immediately deployed a popular Alinsky tactic of surround, squeeze and shout down the opposition in hopes of breaking the cohesion of the grassroots as they conducted a press conference. The grassroots gathering of 50, were not deterred and with the help of a hardy PA system were able to hold their ground and provide a counter to the deafening pro-Brown chants. Josh Mandel thanked the gathered grassroots activists from his vehicle as he arrived at the studio. The unions formed a wall to surround their benefactor upon his arrival and kept him safely ensconced as worked his way toward the entrance. The grassroots pushed to within ten feet of the Senator shouting “Brown Kills Jobs.” Union members quickly closed ranks. At that moment, the physical jostling was a powder keg ready to ignite. Neither side was going to back down and soon the union was closing in on the tea party enclave. Both groups continued the verbal duel until the union pay period ended. Within moments, the unions dispersed, leaving the scene to tea party faithful.
The unions and their leadership owe their livelihood to powerful Democrat party leaders like Sherrod Brown and Harry Reid. Corrupt leaders like Richard Trumka have enslaved the rank and file in an unsustainable model where companies are left with no flexibility to prevent downsizing and plant closures. The union workers realize they cannot compete with right to work states and other countries, yet they are bound, by fear and intimidation to the politico-union alliance, performing on command, as the Sherrod Brown rally demonstrates, to protect their benefactors in government. Watching their slavish devotion to corrupt Democrat leaders, evokes both anger and sympathy for the workers. The great sadness is the destruction of potential while chained to the collective. Surely, many of these people yearn for freedom and autonomy, but peer pressure and years of dependency have sapped the energy to break free of their captors and the President’s long recession only confirms their fears.
The grassroots see the socialist path to government management of all activity as not only a recipe for human misery, but also an end to our exceptional Republic. Constitutional conservatives look at this political battle as a responsibility to generations who have fought and died for our freedom. Most of the people who call themselves grassroots, or tea party, are certain they will be called to account for their actions to a higher power. They also believe the United States is meant to be a force for good; our economic and military weakness will allow the world to descend into chaos.
The two groups facing-off have two contrasting views that are wholly incompatible. One says, government is the first and the best place to look for the answers to all our needs. The other side says, government is like fire, a fearful master and a dangerous servant.
Sometimes, a meeting of the minds is just not an option; one philosophy must triumph.