The Electrical Worker online
December 2012

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Let's Get to Work

If there are any politicians who doubt the power of an energized, educated union membership, 2012 is a reminder that, as one political newspaper put it in its postmortem of the election: "Labor ain't dead." To all of you who knocked on doors, made phone calls, handed out leaflets, talked to your friends and family, I say thank you. You really did make a difference.

This election posed two visions of America. One of shared prosperity, opportunity for all and pro-middle class economics; the other of anti-government obstructionism, a shredded social safety net and a shift of even more of the nation's wealth to those at the top.

Mitt Romney and his party ran on one of the most radical platforms in recent history, calling for the dismantling of Social Security and Medicare, the elimination of the most basic workplace protections, and more tax breaks for the rich. He and running mate Paul Ryan even criticized the Obama administration for investing in education and saving the domestic auto industry.

The American people got a good look at what the GOP was selling and said, "No, thanks."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell famously said early in Obama's first term that his No. 1 goal was to make him a one-term president. The only thing he and his colleagues have to show for their obstructionism are dozens of jobs bills dead on arrival, a damaged credit rating for the federal government and a popularity rate lower than Richard Nixon during Watergate.

No doubt some in the congressional GOP continue to preach obstructionism at all costs, that bipartisan cooperation is a sell-out and that their job is to prevent this president from getting anything done in the next four years.

We saw how that turned out—for the GOP and the country. Let me suggest an alternative. How about finding common ground on issues like infrastructure investment, support for education and training, and job creation? And working with the president on legislation to encourage and foster high-tech manufacturing and technology, or on bipartisan energy legislation to boost clean coal use and domestic production of both natural gas and renewables like wind and solar?

Voters made clear Nov. 6 that they want Washington to help grow the middle class, not hurt it. We're on the road to recovery, but we've still got a long way to go. Lets reject short-sighted partisan bickering, and get to work keeping this great nation the land of opportunity.


Also: Chilia: Our First Job Read Chilia's Column

Edwin D. Hill

Edwin D. Hill
International President