Writing a column of this nature isn’t a strain by any means. The dangers and elements of unsafe nature in my old career (law enforcement) and the difficulties and dangers of your workday make my life seem pale in comparison. But there’s an incredible thing comes about when your world changes drastically as it does when you retire from one career and move into another.
In the “old days” I arose, did the Spit, Shower and Shave thing and started dressing in the raiment of a modern warrior. First the uniform slacks, then the Vest covered by a uniform shirt neatly accentuated by a badge denoting my lofty, possibly pretentious responsibility to serve and protect. Then I strapped on a gunbelt, pistol, handcuffs and a darkening attitude where I EXPECTED somebody to try to assure I didn’t get home safely, that I couldn’t survive.
The knowledge somebody wants to take something fundamental away from you, and of such magnitude as to have repercussions affecting those you love changes you. Your cynicism builds like a callous, getting thicker and thicker until you can’t feel the life-pulse beneath the skin surface. You become hardened; your outlook is jaundiced from your spirit’s pollution building as a result of the backed-up bile of being tragedy’s repetitive witness. You bear silent testimony to what you’ve seen by enduring your nights when the guilt sneaks in for things you wished you’d done faster, sooner, more powerfully, with greater understanding of the other person’s position in the matter.
You know what you did was correct but was it right? Was the law you enforced a hundred times a just and righteous law? Or was it “just law”; written, enacted and disseminated because some power-hungry, morally challenged mental midget needed to do something, no matter how stupid it seems to be now. You know the people I’m talking about: guys and gals who enact legislation legislating the “State Cocktail” and worry more about gamecock fighting than creating jobs so a family can put a chicken in the pot to survive.
I thought all that changed when I put away the badge and the gun with the enforcement responsibility.
But it didn’t change. And, the responsibility never ends.
We, as Americans, can no longer watch humanity devolve as the world turns. We must participate. We must be a part of, and the drive behind, becoming better as people and more involved individually. We must stand to be counted as citizens, not as clots in the blood-course of the Free Enterprise system; but as the main constituent element of productivity and commerce in this country. This country must become free of the political direction of commerce. We must accept the responsibility for becoming the strength of that effort – again. Free enterprise must be free again.
America was NOT built by unions. It was NOT constructed on the backs of the AFL-CIO, SEIU, Teamsters, UMW or other entities assembled for the protection of American Workers being abused by the Robber Barons. The country was built through the labors of the people who banded together – not the unions themselves.
Unions did good things because they recognized there was safety and power in numbers. A roar of a movement’s voice makes more progress than a single sterile cry in the darkness of despair. Unions were necessary. There’s a place for them now.
But they should not be the biggest contributors to political campaigns. They were meant to be the support of people’s protest not the financial bulwark (as any special interest is) of a political party. They should not be allowed to create a new caste system where (theoretically) Teamsters contribute more thus claiming ascendancy over the United Autoworkers or the SEIU. Unions make millions from members’ dues.
Some unions have proven to be more corrupt than the elements they originally challenged. But everybody looks away because they don’t want to feel alone against the big guys.
They never see their bodyguard is as great a threat as any they see while standing in his shadow.
Thanks for listening.