The Future Betrayed
The IAFF Executive Board’s cowardly decision to sit out the 2016 US presidential election is a big win for that group of ancient white men but a big loser for everyone else.
Way back in October 2015, 11th district vice president Sandy McGhee summed it up when he said, “Secretary Clinton doesn’t sell well here.”
He was referring, of course, to the fact she is a woman running for the top job of “chief”, as it were.
The cowardly decision to sit this one out was a clear win for white men in the IAFF.
Truth is, it’s a short term victory for some which weakens the future of our union.
Who’s Best for Labor?
The IAFF endorsement decision should have been blindingly simple: who will support and defend firefighters, paramedics and working families?
On the one hand you have Donald Trump who professes his love of right-to-work and who also has a proven track record of screwing over working Americans.
On the other, Hillary Clinton who has always supported organized labor and working Americans.
But, much more to the point, after September 11th, she worked tirelessly to make sure that firefighters and their families were cared for and that all Ground Zero workers received the medical coverage they deserved.
She stood with us when it really mattered and we then cut her loose.
Ever been in a working fire with someone who was found lacking when they were needed most?
Where Hillary Clinton is concerned, we are that guy.
How’s it feel to be a slacker?
The political prognosticators 538.com published a piece yesterday observing that in this election where the first woman president, a Democrat, is about to be elected, that the party of Trump, the Republicans, are getting whiter, and more male, by the minute.
As an example, in the House of Representatives 87% of Republicans are white males while on the Democratic side just 43% are.
There’s a problem with that.
The American electorate (and many fire departments) are becoming less and less white and male.
We call that diversity.
The IAFF leadership, by caving on Clinton, is also clinging to a political (and labor) model that is headed right down the trash chute.
Real leaders lead and it was the responsibility of the IAFF executive board to understand the facts and the landscape and to position us for the future.
They failed, utterly.
But, they did protect their fat cat, plushy deal.
And in so doing they have ensured that the IAFF fails to represent in substance and in form either our membership or our future.
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