Skip to content

Union Protesters Gang up on Tea Partier

February 27, 2011

On this second anniversary of the Tea Party movement I was going to write a bit of a retrospective. It could have been a time to pause and look back at what has happened in the past two years–who we got started and where we are now. This weekend the Tea Party Patriots held their first-ever convention in Phoenix; I would have gone but I was committed to the Leadership Program of the Rockies Annual Retreat in Colorado Springs.

My friend Elliot Fladen joined us on Friday, but on Saturday he went to the capitol in Denver and did something far more significant. Watch:

It can be difficult to hear but essentially Elliot tells them that Tea Partiers have no objections to workers organizing into unions but we do object to unions using government force to get their way. For this, one union man calls Elliott a fascist–but when Elliot asks him, the man has no idea what fascism is.

A woman yells at Elliot that he (I assume by her sign that she means Wisconsin Gov Walker) is doing the bidding of  “a millionaire.” I have no idea who she might be referring to, and I doubt she realizes the irony of that statement in Denver, where four Democratic billionaires have bought and paid for the state government. (The proof is in The Blueprint.)

The crowd dynamic is interesting to watch. The signs are somewhat bizarre and off-topic. Honestly: I’ve been involved in the Tea Party movement since the beginning and I don’t have the faintest idea of who the Koch brothers are. I think there’s more than a little bit of mirror-imaging going on here: since unions are organized top-down and well-funded with union dues, they imaging that the Tea Party movement must be organized the same way. In reality, though, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Individuals approach Elliot shouting talking points; Elliot deflects them easily and at one or two points they appear to be speechless. Perhaps they’ve temporarily run out of epithets. Elliot takes these moments to make his point. Unable to counter with logic–one suspects a certain mental confusion going on–they start chanting. This primitive response is all emotion: fear that the union leaders have stirred up in them. No matter how many times Elliot repeats that no one is after their right to organize, they can’t believe it.

Chanting leads to more epithets, one man repeatedly calling names while he holds up his middle finger. This is real anger. Unlike the Tea Parties, which have seemed to me more like rallies than a protests, these people are angry and looking for someone to vent their anger against. To their great credit, the State Police step in before things get really ugly.

I’m happy to say that Elliot and I are friends. We don’t agree on everything but I believe we do agree on the core organizing principle of this commonwealth: individual Liberty.

The unions don’t get it. Probably never will. Good thing they’re only 11.9% of the workforce, and declining.

  1. Jason Worley permalink
    February 27, 2011 1:30 pm

    Yeah this Koch thing is interesting. I’ve never heard the name, except for the former Mayor Ed Koch. The ignorance of reality is incredible though. It might have been even more hateful Tuesday, but this is classic.

  2. Elliot permalink
    February 27, 2011 7:38 pm

    Thanks Al.

  3. Elliot permalink
    February 27, 2011 7:40 pm

    The key point is this – the union supporters believe that the right to freedom of association encompasses not only organizing into a union, but also requires that other people negotiate with said union. The first may be true (so long as not on gov’t/company time), the second most assuredly is not.

    • February 28, 2011 4:43 pm

      Somehow they don’t seem to have the same idea as we do about organizing and protesting on government time. Another cost to the taxpayer.

      Here’s my idea: go ahead and organize, but then we do away with the civil service, minimum wage laws, preference hiring and all those other laws that are redundant with union-provided or bargained benefits.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: