Stewart Acuff

Dec 10

Reducing Inequality

Newt Gingrich on Meet The Press said that the weakened Republican Party is incapable of winning against Hilary Clinton in 2016.

It is certainly true that the Republican Party is now in disarray and rudderless without an established leader.

Senator McConnell made a fool of himself last week by filibustering against his own bill while playing a junior high stunt against the Democratic Senators. The collateral damage is that while McConnell should have been working to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, he was engineering a prank more worthy of my 12 year skate genius son and his posse than the leader of Republicans in the Senate.

Republican Speaker John Boehner is stuck between President Obama, who is trying to preserve the tax cuts for the middle class while raising tax rates for the 2% at the top and the tea baggers in the House of Representatives who remind me of the Know Nothings of the late 1800’s. The Speaker of the House has no power. The tea baggers demand that he work only for them without holding the power of his position and without regard for the needs of the country.

There simply is no doubt that the Radical Rightwing Republican Party is greatly weakened and fractured. They’ve made manifest their racism in their disregard of the President of the United States, their open attempt to suppress the vote and even steal the votes of people of color, their campaigns against immigrants and Latinos. Their base is shrinking every day as President Obama’s favorability grows and his competence is more and more obvious. The Radical Rightwing Republican party’s line of leadership concession is a mess. They won’t accept Romney and both Boehner and McConnell are discredited.

More and more of the tea baggers are so frustrated that the world and the country have moved beyond the 1920’s that they are openly talking about secession. We had that fight between 1860 and 1865 and 600,000 Americans died.

I was very happy to attend an excellent west coast senior organizer’s discussion in Monterey, CA. People at our level are working hard, thinking strategically about the future of the American labor movement and the American worker. We were debriefed on the fantastic Walmart organizing and Black Friday strike and the change in Walmart’s response to collective worker action. We discussed our role in reducing our nation’s dangerous and ridiculous inequality. We discussed innovative campaigns and the desperate need to move more resources into strategic organizing to save our labor movement.

We all have a responsibility to keep Washington from reducing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Please call your Senators and Representative and demand that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid not be cut and that the Bush taxcuts for the top two percent of America’s filthy rich be allowed to expire.

Inequality is probably our nations’ greatest problem. It causes growing poverty and hunger and joblessness. It causes parents to be forced to choose between loving care for their children and more and more work.

Reducing inequality rests squarely on our shoulders.


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Stewart Acuff 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.

Playing Bigger Than You Are - A Life in OrganizingGet the e-book edition of Playing Bigger Than You Are by clicking here!

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  1. Bill Munger

    December 29, 2012


    Stewart, Call me very optimistic, but gazing into my crystal ball I see a major uprising of the worker class placing a supermajority of Dems into Congress with the push of Labor organizations and community organizations pressuring them to place and pass the right to self organize into the Constitution along with the Federal abolishment by repeal of Right to Work. After what has happened in Wisc, Ohio, Indiana, Mich. the majority of the middle class is so fed up, Stewart, it is folks like you with your connections that can help us begin this movement to equality. Let’s all step up and bring about a better future for all. for one am ready to begin this.

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