SEIU and the 'Cheapest Emotional Denominator'
Take issues like race out of the narrative -- take away, that is, the whole smelly machinery of the politics of grievance -- and what does the left have to work with? -- Roger Kimball
Assuming that President Andy Stern’s impending retirement from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) will be a blessing for America is misguided. While conservatives are rightly ecstatic over the departure of a man who degraded his union into little more than an unofficial franchise of Democrat Party USA, his replacement appears cut from the same “Made in the GDR” cloth. Apparently, Stern’s accomplishments during his 14 year tenure swell him with pride. A SEIU source told the New York Times that his decision to leave was based on the passage of the statist health care bill which was one of his “longtime goals.” Moreover, Barack Obama, his power-lusting co-dependent, may have big plans for him post-retirement.
In terms of sheer corruption though, it’ll be hard to improve on Stern’s performance. He spent $85 million during the 2008 election cycle which caused SEIU’s net assets to fall by nearly half.
Financial data though is an irrelevancy to Big Labor, so the archenemy and tormentor of Glenn Beck declared victory. Stern boasted that “SEIU is on the field, it's in the White House, it's in the administration.”
It certainly is. Thanks to Stern, in 2010, whatever benefits radicals benefits SEIU. This rule applies to the Democratic Party’s agenda as a whole, be it the socialization of health care, fighting global greed (no explanation given on what precisely that is), “climate change,” and the ever-popular goal of taxing banks out of existence.
Of course, one cannot forget the Democrats’ next outrage: immigration “reform.” They learned from the past and eschew calling it "amnesty." This time around it’s “reform,” but, as with all other wedge issues (areas in which the general public’s opinion significantly clashes with that of the leftist elite), word games must be played.
Contrast this with the conservative approach, wherein we verbally depict problems with language that matches how they actually are. We classify those who break into our country and evade detection as being “illegal immigrants.” Combating their presence is a necessity because how else can we win a war on terror?
For our adversaries, only euphemism matters. The “so called” “war on terror” is an “overseas contingency operation.” Moreover, “no person is illegal.” Please call them what they are not: "undocumented citizens." Let’s take them "out of the shadows."
How does “reform” differ from “amnesty”? That is a question they will not answer. What they do clarify is that immigration, like so many other issues, is moral in nature. We are obligated to create a "path to citizenship."
Fortunately, common sense is not dead. Most people will recognize the left’s verbose gymnastics for the over-processed mumbo-jumbo that it is.
Thus, the Obama administration did not cite ideology when terminating the construction of a “virtual fence” on the border. Instead, it was due to “cost overruns and missed deadlines” even though those two factors are inherent to every single federocracy venture.
The wink and Lakoff approach to immigration is absurd. The U.S. already accepts 700,000 to 900,000 new immigrants per year. Why then, isn’t the status quo sufficient? If not three-quarters of a million plus, then what figure do they prefer?
Democratic champions of the “open the floodgates” school to immigration never acknowledge that sensible objections exist. When confronted with logic, they create straw-man positions to mischaracterize the views of their opponents.
Most of what they concoct amounts to nothing more than an appeal to the CED. For those unfamiliar with this notable psychological phenomenon (which I just made up), CED stands for Cheapest Emotional Denominator.
The term embodies well the tactics Democrats adopt when faced with arguments from the right. Of course, if the public ever digested conservative positions without prejudice they would find that they agreed with most of them.
A Gallup poll from last summer confirms this. It identified conservatives as the “single-largest ideological group” in America. Thus, if Democrats didn’t reflexively invoke base-level fears and engage in perpetual character assassination of Republicans, they’d be as passé as cigarette holders and bets on the U.S. dollar.
Verbal pyrotechnic artistry such as condemning opponents as “racist, sexist, nativist, and homophobic” is an attempt to purge conservatives from the realm of acceptable debate.
A titleholder of SEIU, Executive Vice President Gerry Hudson, provided a sterling example of the CED method earlier this month. Amid a cavalcade of socialists at a Georgetown University event entitled “Labor, the Left, and Progressives in the Obama Era,” Mr. Hudson said of efforts at organizing for amnesty:
What's interesting to me is it doesn't take a whole lot to argue at least African American workers to another place. It doesn't take a whole lot. And I've spent not a whole lot of time doing it, but it had some success. And so, I think we need to spend more time doing it. Try to figure out what's the best ways to get it done. But I think we can get the work done.
On white workers, I think we got some real problems. I spent a lot of time in Wisconsin and places like that where I have heard some of the most anti-immigrant sentiments around. It's also, and this is where you get the black workers first, it's so f***ing rabidly racist. Black people get scared, you know, they don't just mean you, right? And so you can organize them quicker, like, look at what's there, right?
The audience did not see anything wrong with his monologue even though it offended at several levels. Luckily, Mr. Hudson revealed for the world both his inner-racist and the complete disdain he harbors for rank-and-file SEIU members.
How and why they continue to pay dues to an organization whose leadership regards its members as either easily manipulated rubes or toxic bigots is amazing. A clue can be found though in their non-reaction to Mr. Stern’s spending "a fortune" of their hard-earned money on political chicanery and counterproductive legal fees.
Allegations of racism are their nuclear response. That their overuse of the “R charge” has reduced its effectiveness is something to which they are oblivious, but objections to illegal immigration are so meritorious that Democratic nabobs cannot risk having the general population hear them.
After all, how can a country call itself “a country” if it fails to secure its frontiers? We have an army, first and foremost, to protect our borders. Its main role is ensuring that the USA remains both united and American.
Yet there is no significant military presence on the Rio Grande. Meanwhile, the Mexican government treats their southern perimeter far differently. Instead of outstretching their hands to Guatemala, the Mexicans have returned many a refugee.
Originally slow to respond to an influx of Guatemalans, Mexico “eventually decided to close its gates as local communities began complaining that they could no longer absorb such a huge influx of refugees, especially in Mexico’s least developed state [Chiapas].”
What the Democrats term “reform” will only produce more illegal immigration, just as the amnesty of 1986 did. Democrats welcome such an unintended consequence. They fathom that unskilled and uneducated fugitives will, post-citizenship, morph into voters who are entirely dependent on the dole.
To an Alinskyite, “the end justifies almost any means” and an additional 12 million votes could usher in permanent Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress. What happens thereafter to the nation’s social fabric and our treasury is merely collateral damage.
There is an appropriate designation for those who believe in the notion of the melting pot and the rule of law. The name isn’t racist or nativist or oppressor -- it’s “normal.” How wonderful it would be if the left desisted in disparaging our history and saluted the truth that America, the country we share, is the kindest and most gracious nation on earth.
Since getting the opposition to accept this assumption is impossible, the best we can hope for is that they will stop lying about our motivations long enough to respond to what conservatives actually say.