He complained that the economic policies of the Obama administration aren’t statist enough. “In my own naiveté I was dumb enough to assume that a Democratic Congress and a Democrat in the White House would put us on a different path,” he said, arguing that massive government spending on the twin fantasies of clean energy and green technology would magically reduce unemployment.
If Obama won’t move forward with big new spending plans then it’s time to bring out the baseball bats, Gerard said. “We better face up to the fact that we have to hit the streets, kick some ass, and mobilize to do something about it,” he said.
I’m sick and tired of us whining about what the Democrats didn’t do. The tougher question is what are we doing, and do we have what it takes. Don’t worry about attacking Obama; attack the money! It’s Wall Street and the banks blocking a recovery and shipping our manufacturing abroad.
To Gerard, it is not radical leftist agitation that leads to violence but capitalism itself. Economic “inequality,” he says, “leads to instability and violence.”
And unions are on a holy mission to combat the evils of the market, he argues. “Unions are instruments of social and economic justice, and they’re instruments of democracy.”
Gerard has close ties to the neo-communist Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and to Canada’s socialist party, the New Democratic Party (NDP).
In 2007 the Chicago branch of DSA bestowed the Eugene Debs Award on Gerard. The honor is named after the five-time presidential candidate and labor organizer who founded the Socialist Party of America.
Other radical labor leaders and community organizers to receive the award are AFSCME Council 31 political director John D. Cameron (2011), SEIU executive vice president Eliseo Medina (2004), AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka (1994), Midwest Academy founder Heather Booth (1987), and United Farm Workers of America co-founder Dolores Huerta (1976).
It’s just a matter of time before President Obama gives Gerard the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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