Excited, Not Euphoric
The dictionary defines the word “excited” this way: “having, showing or characterized by a heightened state of energy, enthusiasm, eagerness, etc.; feeling or showing excitement.”
After the recent meeting of a labor caucus in the United States Congress, some union members exclaimed they were “excited.” All well and good. I’m glad there will be a “labor caucus.”
The dictionary defines the word “euphoric” this way: “marked by a feeling of great happiness and excitement.”
I remember the days of people serving our country in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate who were put there primarily by labor’s effort and support. In those days of the past, we had a legitimate labor caucus, not just with a formal title! We enjoyed actual public servants who had a relationship of mutual respect with organized labor and knew that, working with labor, America could and would continue to prosper. Paul Wellstone, Lloyd Bentsen, Howard Metzembaum, Tom Harkin, Elijah Cummings, John Lewis, Jay Rockefeller, Dick Gephardt, Bob Kerry and Ted Kennedy are just a few of the people who were an integral part of an informal “labor caucus.” But that was back when labor had great numbers, unselfish leaders, loyal members and put forth an obvious unified force. Nationally, we enjoy only a few public servants today who embrace that mutual respect. People come to mind like Sherrod Brown, Maxine Waters, Bernie Sanders and Tim Ryan, to name just a few.
I, too, am excited that some members of Congress are willing to assemble a labor caucus. I’ll be euphoric when success for our working families is realized! If success is realized, it won’t simply be handed to us on that proverbial silver platter. Success will be realized only when labor truly unifies and plays a critical part in electing pubic servants who prioritize our working families, when organized labor demonstrates unselfish leadership by executing the principle of one for all and all for one, and endorses, supports and works to elect true friends of our working families. Supporting any other candidate is quite simply shooting ourselves in the foot and contributing to our own demise.