It has been about two weeks now since I first met Devon Generally, standing out in front of Independence Hall, the very building where our founders laid the foundation for our great country with the same principles conservatives like myself and Devon are so desperately trying to bring back into the fold.
Here at America’s Right, I write a lot about how the GOP must return to its conservative roots and find new blood to effectively disseminate its message and remind Americans of the merits of conservatism. In Devon, I see potential and capability rivaled only by his passion and patriotism and, as he pursues his dreams of doing the right thing for our nation, I am honored that he can stop by this little Web site from time to time along the way.
I hope this commentary will only be the first of many to come, and that you will help spread the word about his candidacy. In the meantime, learn more about Devon here and at his Web site, and contact him at the latter if you’re ready and willing to help him bring our country back to the principles and values upon which she was founded, one step at a time.
By Devon Generally
A bit of advice: when our elected officials in Washington, D.C. begin to push through legislation with pleasant-sounding or nebulous names, Americans should either get informed and protest, or simply duck and cover.
Many people on the other side of the aisle argue that “Card Check” is necessary to preserve the rights of workers. In fact, the architects of this legislation would have us to believe that unionizing even the smallest of businesses will provide higher wages and healthcare. In reality, however, this radical legislation destroys such rights. Perhaps the Employee Free Choice Act could be better named the Employee No Choice Act.
The first of the two pillars of “Card Check” reeks of intimidation. Imagine for a moment that you own a small business — a print shop, a car dealership, a machine shop, or even a restaurant. Under this legislation, union organizers could visit your operation, talk to your workers, and essentially force them to publicly sign legally binding cards to form a union. Once a majority of workers signed, the union would be officially formed and certified, and it would be unlawful for the workers–up until that day, your workers–to request a secret-ballot election.
The second of the two pillars reeks of inequity. As soon as the aforementioned union is certified, this legislation sets a short deadline for small business owners and other employers like yourself–we’re still using our imaginations, remember–to agree to the demands of that union in terms of wages, benefits, hours and more. If you decline, an arbitrator provided by the organized labor-happy federal government would decide those conditions of employment for you, and for your workers.
See? It’s more of a No Choice Act than a Free Choice Act.
One of the major tenets of free peoples is the right to feel secure in their vote. Since 1892, for example, we’ve chosen our president in private, secure that our covenant with our government is nobody’s concern but our own. The days of being afraid were once a distant memory. Those days, it seems, are rapidly returning with this lemming-like march towards “Card Check.” The fear is shared by the employer and the employed. Supporters argue that they’re all for worker’s rights, yet they omit the fact that some of the highest unemployment rates can be found in the most unionized states.
Without a union in the department store he took over following his father’s death, Barry Goldwater offered wages higher than the national retail-store average. His company also assumed the full cost of employees’ health, accident, and life insurance, and made use of other innovations such as a profit-sharing plan and a maximum forty-hour week.
Goldwater described his business strategy as “enlightened self-interest.” Will we now be enlightened by the self-interest of big union bosses? Where is the courage of those who claim to represent us? While Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter–who voted with the Democrats on this issue in 2007–may actually come out on the right side of it this time (and, for our country, I hope he does), he says that his change of heart has come because he has been “lobbied on it very, very heavily.”
Where, may I ask, are the principles? Yes, it may be all well and good that Specter could come out on the right side of this issue, on the side of freedom and the side of prosperity, but it terrifies me as an American that this man has come about such a decision because of someone whispering in his ear or promising something in return.
We need courage in Washington. We need principles in Washington. We need conservative leadership in Washington, leadership exhibited by people who refuse to betray small business owners, sentence our workers to rampant unemployment, and burden our children with the mounting debt and consequences of our bad choices, all in the name of so-called bipartisanship.
And we need leaders in our nation’s capital who understand the proper role of unions. I assure you that I am by no means anti-union. I’ve occasionally worked in a union environment, dealt with great people who happen to be union workers and bosses alike, and I fully understand the usefulness–and, in some cases, necessity–of a union. However, as a man who has always lived in the Land of the Free, I appreciate the choice of not being in a union. Does the Employee Free Choice Act indeed provide for these freedoms, or do we simply have yet another special interest to appease?
Devon Generally is a conservative, a U.S. Navy veteran, and a working-class father of twins. He currently works as a Shift Supervisor for Philadelphia Gas Works, and is in the embryonic stages of challenging Sen. Arlen Specter for his Senate seat in Pennsylvania in 2010. He has been contributing to America’s Right since March 2009.
For more information on his candidacy, visit his official Web site at devongenerally.com.