Wednesday, October 07, 2020

If You Like the DOE, You'll Love Trump

So the DOE now says that testing isn't, you know, mandatory for students, but that those who decline, "may be required to learn remotely" if they don't receive enough forms. Of course, that defeats the entire purpose of the testing program, as random samples are not self-selected. Also, that's absolutely not the agreement they made with UFT. UFT will now have to waste time and energy enforcing yet another agreement the DOE made but doesn't care to understand.

Anyway, if you like agreements that work like that, you need to vote for President Trump. He's out there saying there will be no relief bill until after he's re-elected. I'm old enough to remember 2016, when he said he would release his tax returns if he were elected. I remember him saying Mexico would pay for the wall. I remember him saying he had a great health plan that would protect those with pre-existing conditions. It turned out his plan was for everyone to get sick and die ASAP. 

In fact, he's still saying he has a plan. Meanwhile, 210,000 Americans are dead because he's failed to make a national plan to deal with COVID. Originally, he decided not to bother because it looked to his thugs like it would only affect blue states. That's us, of course. We didn't vote for him so we can all go to hell. I guess if you're sufficiently racist or xenophobic, Trump's willingness to give a wink and a nod and say that's fine is kind of comforting. 

Of course if you're a teacher, there are other reasons not to vote for Trump. Trump is a big supporter of so-called right to work, and if you aren't persuaded of that you need only look at the Janus case, which overturned Abood nationally and made union membership optional. After all, why should you pay dues when suckers like me will do it for you? Why shouldn't you enjoy benefits that the rest of us pay for? That's the Trump way. Who do you think pays for all those golf trips he takes? 

Here's the thing, though--when Abood was in force, individual states could opt out via "right to work." This weakened union and made it difficult for working people to organize. Less union means lower pay and fewer benefits for working Americans. That's precisely what Trump wants, even as he stands in front of MAGA worshipers and pretends to be a working class hero. The unspoken deal is you can hate whoever you want, I'll screw you royally, and we'll all watch Fox and pretend things are otherwise.

Things can always get worse, and four more years of Trump will make that happen. If you believe Trump, who's currently trying to get SCOTUS to strike down insurance for tens of millions of Americans, as well as the only law requiring insurers to cover pre-existing conditions, is going to protect those with pre-existing conditions, I have a bridge in Brooklyn with your name on it. Pandemic, shmandemic, say the Trumpies.

Let's forget about health care for a moment, and look at your interests as a teacher. Do you think Amy Coney Island, or whatever her name is, is going to protect your rights as a union member? Let's take a look at our current situation. NY State has taken steps to ameliorate the overturning of Abood, and limited the time under which freeloaders can dump union. Doubtless the Kochs, the Walmart family, and the right-wing think tanks trying to kill union will bring suit to stop that. 

Of course, that's just the next step. Where do they go from there? You don't need The Amazing Kreskin to tell you that. Just take a look at what Koch sweetheart Scott Walker pulled off in Wisconsin. Subverting democracy was just another step to cripple union. In fact, he eliminated collective bargaining for workers with the exception of police and firefighters. Other Republican governors followed suit, cutting pensions except for police and firefighters.

Why are police and firefighters excepted? Because when thousands of workers stormed the capital, someone had to protect sniveling Scott and his thugs. Walker lied, of course, saying protestors were imported from out of state, but that's the right-wing playbook. Of course working people stood up. Hey, if you want to spend days and week protesting instead of working, Trump is the way to go. We can move just as far back as red states have in no time at all.

Do you know what it's like to live without collective bargaining? Teachers in "right to work" states do. I spent time talking to Texas teachers patiently organizing to work toward the rights we already enjoy. I have a friend in Florida who told me tenure there entails a multi-year contract as opposed to single year contract. If you're tired of having a guaranteed pay scale and due process, Trump's your guy. 

If you're tired of having a fixed pension, something few Americans still enjoy, Trump's your guy. If you're tired of being able to speak your mind publicly, again, you know how to vote. The GOP opposes the rights of working people. In fact, if Amy Coney gets her seat, we'll be facing a whole lot of these anti-union suits, and make no mistake, our rights are on the line.

Joe Biden was not my first choice as a presidential nominee. However, he is head and shoulders better than the raving lunatic sitting in the White House, having his COVID treated in ways working Americans could never afford. Get yourself registered in New York State by Friday. Early voting starts October 24th. If you want to keep the privileges you now enjoy, get out and vote for Biden.

If you believe in the rights of working Americans, there's no other choice.

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