President Obama’s union backers plan a protest of the Republican National Convention (RNC) that will include a purported signing of President Franklin Roosevelt’s “second Bill of Rights,” but they aren’t signing what he proposes — they’re just using his phrase and applying it to their own desires.
“The event will conclude with the signing of America’s Second Bill of Rights by the performers and their audience,” the announcement promises. But that’s not exactly right.
Obama aides have invoked FDR to justify his “you didn’t build that” style of government, but the differences between FDR’s platform that of the union appear immediately. For instance, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) five-point platform does not include Roosevelt’s declaration that Americans have “the right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation.”
(Perhaps the Obama EPA’s systematic targeting of the coal industry – so much so that the American Mine Workers Association refused to endorse Obama — made Roosevelt’s mention of mining, in the first plank of his second Bill of Rights, too uncomfortable for the AFL-CIO.)
The union’s “satirical” protest also plays up fears that a Mitt Romney presidency will produce “voting inequities with a booth that is open to white male voters but closed to all others.”
FDR was careful to skirt that topic in his speech, which acknowledged the existence “of certain inalienable political rights” before discussing certain “economic truths” that he regarded as “a second Bill of Rights.”
The union has a good messaging tactic — remind Florida’s oldest seniors of the Democratic president, FDR, while lambasting the Republican ticket — but they might do better to come up with their own name for their own bill of rights.
At any rate, the protest provides a good reason for why the current Democratic Party refuses to say the name of its convention site (Bank of America Stadium). The union protesters will adopt the mantra of Occupy Wall Street, which hates the bank, as “performers will illuminate economic injustices that benefit the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent” on the first stop of the protest.
Here is the protest announcement:
(TAMPA, FL) Along the RNC official protest parade route, anything is likely to happen. On Wednesday, August 29th from 6:00PM to 7:30PM one of those things will be “Welcome to Romney’s America” hosted by the West Central Florida Federation of Labor Central Labor Council. This satirical look at what life under a Romney/Ryan administration would look like is based around the five tenants of America’s Second Bill of Rights.
These civil liberties include the right to:
1. Full Employment and a Living Wage
2. Full Participation in the Electoral Process
3. A Voice at Work
4. A Quality Education
5. A Secure, Healthy Future
Romney’s vision for America would make a mockery of these basic rights and destroy the middle class.
The first stop will be at the corner of Washington and Morgan Streets where performers will illuminate economic injustices that benefit the 1% at the expense of the 99%. Further down the parade route, the next stop will depict voting inequities with a booth that is open to white male voters but closed to all others. The next stop on the route is devoted to highlighting the need for workers to be able to advocate for better working conditions, safety, security and pay without having their labor exploited by their employer. The fourth stop will show that not funding public education and pricing higher education out of the reach of most American families ultimately undermines our global competitiveness. The fifth stop, at the end of the parade route, will draw attention to the dangers a Romney/Ryan administration presents to the future of all working Americans. The event will conclude with the signing of America’s Second Bill of Rights by the performers and their audience.
The middle class is under attack and working people cannot afford to sit back and let this happen. Romney and Ryan care more about the wealthy CEOs and corporations who donate to their campaigns, than about working middle class families. The West Central Florida Federation of Labor Central Labor Council, along with their families and friends, believes that by electing leaders who will fight to rebuild the middle class, we can all enjoy economic prosperity and a safe, healthy future.