Edith Green. She headed the Oregon campaigns of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Henry Jackson. Back in the day when the Democrat party represented the issues and concerns of the working man. The blue-collar voter. The Trades.
What I am suggesting is a bifurcation of the current Democrat party. The current leadership will retain the title Democrat and its various incantations: progressive, environmentalist, Lefty, social-activist, Visionairy, bureaucrat, planner, advocate, one-worlder, nanny, Smarter-Than-You, equalizer, socialist, communist, feminist, abortionist, victim, underprivileged, minority, government employee, teacher (oops! government employee!), tort attorney...
The New Democrat party will be for the men and women who believe that having a job and working for a living is man's life in this world. That the right to organize the workers is as inalienable a right as is the right for corporations to organize the formation of capital to create new jobs and new industries.
The New Democrat will be for men and women who believe that a man's work is a measure of his creativity and his labour, and a standard against which he can know his value as a man, as a worker, as a parent, as a member of his neighborhood, his city and the State of Oregon.
The New Democrat will recognize that the current Democrat party has led them down a ruinous path, that the labour movement is at its lowest ebb in years. The New Democrat party will work with businesses to improve the opportunity for investment and job creation.
The New Democrat will take a look at the history of the path taken by the ILWU. That finding common cause with the Democrat party leads not to growth, but extinction.
The New Democrat will take a look at the current view of labour held by the Democrat party and ask, "do these people understand what it means to be a member of the trades?" The New Democrat will not call members of the trades thieves and second-story men. The New Democrat will not view the trades as a source of increased crime in the towns and cities in which they are found.
The New Democrats will not try to tell business investors what are acceptable investments. They will not try to replace their Vision with the actual demands of the marketplace.
The New Democrats will let labour know that the opportunity of one worker to work is just as important as any other worker. And one man's opportunity to learn more, experience more and earn more are the fruits of hard work and dedication and education.
The New Democrats already have support. The best example of this support is in the partnership of the National Electrical Contractors Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. From shop rat to the old guy that nobody talks back to, the IBEW gives its members job training benefits, pension benefits, seniority rights, negotiated wages, leave of absence, negotiated health plan, paid vacation and holidays, a defined work schedule, arbitration, grievance procedures, guaranteed overtime pay, safety protections, and most importantly, a voice.
What does the Democrat party offer organized labour? I mean, labour. Not the teachers or the folks you see at city hall or county offices.
Distrust. Because, when you have a job, and a sense of self-worth, you don't see yourself as a victim. And opportunity becomes, well, opportunity. And that is not what the Democrat party is about.