Scores of people gathered this weekend on the national mall as part of the One Nation Working Together rally, offering, in the words of one of the event’s featured speakers, NAACP President Ben Jealous, “the antidote to the Tea Party,” and promoting liberal answers to issues ranging from job creation to immigration, to education and the environment – namely, more government intervention and higher taxes and regulation.
Actually, the attendance was easily in the tens of thousands, but sometimes it’s fun to take a cue from the MSM and just understate any fact that doesn’t serve your narrative.
Still, despite the impressive numbers, the predominately white rally does differ from Glenn Beck’s recent Restore Honor rally, and the Tea Party movement in general, in one way that illuminates the core difference between left and right.
Specifically, the Tea Party tends to be a movement of individuals, each pursuing their own interests, self-organizing in defense of their own rights, whereas the One Nation Working Together rally was the product of partnerships between over 400 labor, civil-rights, and other liberal organizations, many of whom bussed in their members by the thousands to bolster their numbers.
If there is any better picture of the top-down, coercive nature of liberalism than their approach to “grass roots” organizing, I’m not sure what it is.
These organizations use intimidation and the power of law to demand workers join their ranks in order to be employed in their sectors, then confiscate money from them in the form of mandatory dues, and then use that money to promote political causes that represent the interests of the organizations themselves – not necessarily their members.
Then they encourage those members to get on the busses their dues already paid for and go spend their weekend marching around to demand that politicians give the organizations even more power over them.
For actors plying their trade in Hollywood, it is an oft-recited axiom that in order to get work, you must be union, but in order to be union, you must get work.
Being a union actor, and therefore employable in Hollywood, means belonging to either the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) or their sometimes-sister/sometimes-bitter-rival union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).
Either way, your union dues and infrastructure are being used to support One Nation Working Together – regardless of whether you personally support liberal policies or not.
Both unions sent out official emails to their members encouraging them to participate in the activities in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles this weekend.
SAG says that it supports One Nation Working Together, and that it will be marching in solidarity with its fellows.
AFTRA is an official Endorsing Organization, along with groups like Communist Party USA, MOVE ON, National Council of La Raza (National Council of The Race, for those who don’t understand bi-lingual racism), Code Pink, Rainbow Push, and the International Socialist Organization.
If you belong to SAG or AFTRA and yet happen to be one those racist, mean-spirited, divisive Tea Partiers, or are just generally opposed to bolstering the politics of race-baiters, international communists, or anti-war activists, you certainly don’t have to march in the protest, but you’re still obliged to finance your union’s promotion of it.
* For the record, AFTRA says general member dues were not used to support One Nation Working Together, but that some AFTRA Locals may help to pay for buses. This misses the point, however, that the entire organizational structure that allows AFTRA to promote these sorts of events is the product of member dues.
Of course, you are always perfectly free to just leave the union if you disagree with its political affiliations. The fact that might mean effectively quitting your profession and giving up your livelihood makes this exactly the kind of freedom the left loves to support.
This is just one more reason it is so difficult for conservatives in Hollywood. When you are required to financially support liberal political organizations as a prerequisite for employment in a business where being rejected for a job without explanation is necessarily a daily occurrence, it is hard to believe your conformity to the party line is not itself a requirement.
Iraq War vets who complain of discrimination and recrimination by casting directors seem a bit more credible when their own union declares solidarity with Code Pink, and Republicans afraid to voice their beliefs on set for fear of being blacklisted seem less hyperbolic when their own union declares solidarity with LA Grassroots for Obama, SEIU, and the Democratic Socialists of America. At the same time, writers bemoaning the witch-hunts of McCarthyism in screenplay after screenplay seem somehow less credible when both major acting unions declare solidarity with the Communist Party USA.
In matters of racial or sexual discrimination, the left is quick to point out that discrimination is not just about reality, it is about perception. A person can be coerced into conformity by just the appearance of consequences for going their own way, even if no explicit threat is made. So consider for yourself whether the two emails below lend credibility to the fears of conservatives in Hollywood, and ask yourself how you might feel if you were in their shoes.