So which side of the “Wall of Decency” are you on?
“What this country needs is not a border wall, but about 1 million yellow vests. It needs federal workers who will not work without pay. What this country needs, in short, is a bit of the spirit that animated French workers and brought them out in the streets, wearing the yellow safety vests found in most French cars. I’d say strike up “La Marseillaise,” but this is America. The old union anthem “Which Side Are You On?” will do just fine.”
With 800,000 Federal workers furloughed or being asked to come to work without pay, a President who brazenly tells the American people that most of those workers support him and with no end in sight, today I thought about my father.
Poppa was a union man; the youngest son of Italian immigrant parents who left their village where absentee landlords owned everything and every one else owned nothing. They left their home, family, friends, language, culture to come here and hopefully give their 3 children a better life. They had five more children including my dad.
Poppa had an 8th grade education and epilepsy after being hit my a car while riding his bike. No epileptics were allowed in school. He eventually married my mom and worked as an unskilled laborer in construction.
But he had a union, a decent wage, a retirement plan and health care. We were never hungry, We always had a roof over our heads, food on our table, hand me down clothes and a stay at home mom.
I have no doubt what his reaction would be if asked to come to work without pay.
“No pay – No work!”
The government workers are pawns in the battle between Democrats and Republicans. They have not asked for anything; not more money or better working conditions. They are not asking for anything – only to go back to work.
I cannot imagine telling my father “that the president is a paunchy plutocrat with orange skin and blondish hair, a billionaire with a mansion in Palm Beach, a triplex or something on Fifth Avenue and his own private jet.” That he is a caricature out of Thomas Nast, the 19th-century political cartoonist. Nast drew Boss Tweed, the head of the New York Democratic organization, with a huge belly and a head made of a sack with a dollar sign on it.
I cannot imagine my dad comprehending that ordinary workers would miss even one payday for the sake of a political statement – a mostly useless wall. Many of these folks live paycheck to paycheck with financial obligations which must be met. It is the solemn obligation of the employer to pay them on time.
Unfortunately “the head of the government is a brat with a gold-plated sink in his jet and whose idea of privation is flying commercial. What better symbol of unfairness can you get?”
Meanwhile, Nancy and Chuck trudge to the White House for useless discussions. How about coming out with a call for “No Pay! No Work” which is something EVERYONE can understand. Can you blame TSA employees for calling in sick and quitting their jobs? Why put in a day at the airport when no one really seems to give a rat’s ass that you’re not getting paid?
“Trump stumped for a wall, but even those close to him surely knew it was an idiotic idea. Right before the holidays, Congressional Republicans tried passing a short-term spending bill without wall funding. With that, his vultures of vitriol sprang into action. Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh demanded to know if the president was a man or a mouse. A man, he squealed, and dug in his heels on the wall.”
Nancy Pelosi called the wall “an immorality.” She is essentially right – it is the concrete or steel realization of anti-immigrant demagoguery. The intent is to keep out all those Mexican rapists and murderers of Trump’s imagination. He flings statistics and numbers like confetti at a wedding,
“The national emergency that Trump threatens to declare is redundant: he already is one. The president is a tsunami of lies, snits, ferocious ignorance and malevolent thoughts. But he outdoes himself with this shutdown, depriving many thousands of their pay to satisfy a campaign boast. He has erected his own wall, one between decency and demagoguery.
Which side are you on?”