the loyalty oath. They bemoan the incredible sacrifices they have to make to earn their free trips and patronage gigs. They come with weak arguments, argumentum ad hominem, and other logical fallacies they've overheard at meetings. They will be out in force in coming months to defend their miserable record.
They come with personal insults, I warn them once and then ban them. Too bad they can't concoct a proactive argument.
They'll claim it's not a loyalty oath, and that they sit around and discuss all decisions democratically. They'll suggest that they have a voice and do not ask "How high?" when Leroy Barr instructs them to jump.
But they'll have one thing in common, though they may deny it. Every single person who's come here to defend Unity has signed the oath, drunk the Kool-Aid, and is somehow reaping a benefit from our dues money. I recently noticed that one of the dimmest Unity bulbs, who came here and spouted ad hominem nonsense before I tossed him, had earned a position through his absolute willingness to be a lapdog and support whatever he was instructed to support. That's hardly an activist, hardly a thinker, and certainly not anyone I want to pay, but there you go.
There are some very smart people in Unity, but I have yet to see them around these parts. Some of them actually know what argument is, and understand that the entire, "You stink" model is not particularly effective. The smarter people in Unity are not jumping up and down for a chance to defend second-tier due process, junk science evaluation, charter schools, mayoral control, or other abominations championed by Mulgrew and Minions.
I'm here every day, and I'm not at all afraid. A machine like Unity is pernicious and, in its thirst for absolute power, has distanced itself so far from rank and file that it's rendered us almost irrelevant. It's got enough Minions to motivate 17% of working teachers to vote, and that's good enough for them. Of course if Friedrichs wins, there's gonna be a huge issue with the 83% who Don't Give a Crap. How is Mulgrew gonna motivate that crowd to pony up a thousand bucks a year to fund re-election galas at the Woodhaven Manor?
It's an open question. Because even if we escape Friedrichs and have Another Great Victory, reformies have a way of bringing the same old crap over and over. Maybe they'll argue it differently. Maybe they'll amend the Constitution. The thing is, though, even if we lose Friedrichs, it will be a Great Victory one way or the other.
Because we are in the best of all possible worlds, we have the best of all possible unions, and, most importantly, we have the best of all possible union leaderships. And every single UFT member with a vote in NYSUT or AFT will agree or be expelled from the Unity Caucus.
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