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Too radical for McGovern

Posted by Richard on August 14, 2008

Today's Democratic leadership has lurched so far to the left that George McGovern is concerned. Specifically, the former senator and the party's 1972 presidential candidate objects to one of their top legislative goals, the Employee Free Choice Act (emphasis added):

The key provision of EFCA is a change in the mechanism by which unions are formed and recognized. Instead of a private election with a secret ballot overseen by an impartial federal board, union organizers would simply need to gather signatures from more than 50% of the employees in a workplace or bargaining unit, a system known as "card-check." There are many documented cases where workers have been pressured, harassed, tricked and intimidated into signing cards that have led to mandatory payment of dues.

Under EFCA, workers could lose the freedom to express their will in private, the right to make a decision without anyone peering over their shoulder, free from fear of reprisal.

To my friends supporting EFCA I say this: We cannot be a party that strips working Americans of the right to a secret-ballot election. We are the party that has always defended the rights of the working class. To fail to ensure the right to vote free of intimidation and coercion from all sides would be a betrayal of what we have always championed.

While it is never pleasant to stand against one's party or one's friends, there are times when such actions are necessary — as with my early and lonely opposition to the Vietnam War. I hope some of my friends in Congress will re-evaluate their support for this legislation. Because as Americans, we should strive to ensure that all of us enjoy the freedom of expression and freedom from fear that is our ideal and our right.

Most Democrats will no doubt ignore McGovern, dismiss him as old and confused, or accuse him of becoming a "neocon" (their current epithet of choice, despite having no idea what it means).

If Obama is elected and the Democrats get a filibuster-proof Senate majoirty, EFCA is likely to become law next year. Which means if you have a non-management job for a company likely to be targeted by unions, you can expect a visit some day by a couple of surly, burly "organizers" telling you that you really want to sign their card — if you know what's good for you.

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