Stewart Acuff

Nov 6

Defeating the Corporate Oligarchy

I am filled with anticipation of a bright tomorrow. Not only knowing that unions and the entire progressive community have worked so hard and so closely to not only re-elect Barack Obama and progressive Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, but also to defeat all the forces of oligarchy and reaction and corporatism and greed gone wild.

Remember that in many ways this was to be a breakthrough election for the new radical rightwing Republican Party. They had developed a plan to weaken organized labor with state assaults on collective bargaining and workers’ rights. And they had a brand new Supreme Court decision to allow corporations to spend unlimited amounts of cash in federal elections.

And while we fought and fought hard in state after state, we prepared for this election day.

With that discipline to fight in spite of the obstacles, we are developing the discipline to also fight between elections – on big issues, issues like collective bargaining and workers’ rights, but also wealth and income inequality, global climate change, quality healthcare for all and peace with a domestic dividend.

I wrote a poem recently called What if We Stood Up about all of us committed to a just America and a just world acting collectively on that commitment continuously. We will share that poem again.
I will be on Charles Showalter’s radio show The Union Edge at 1:30pm EST today and on the Thom Hartmann TV program The Big Picture at 5pm EST tonight. And we will all hear the echo of one another making that last round of calls, hitting those doors just one more day and readying our hearts and souls for a new struggle for freedom and justice.


Stewart Acuff is America’s best-known and foremost labor organizer. He is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work, coauthored by Dr. Richard Levins.

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