Do you have a relative or friend who is a working person, but insists on badmouthing unions? Do they vociferously defend political policies that hurt working people, but attack policies that help us? Chances are that because they are addicted to right-wing talk radio and a certain right wing cable news network, their brains are fried! So how can we get through to people like that?
Did you ever notice that three and four year old children are always asking "why?" It seems like every sentence out of their little mouths starts with why: “Why is the sky blue?” “Why are leaves green?” “Why is uncle Bubba a Republican?” Just kidding about the last one to see if you're paying attention.
You can harness the power of those innocent questions for a noble purpose, winning people over to our side. The next time your relative or neighbor opens his or her mouth and a right-wing talk show host's words come out, use the power of that innocent question, why? Don't argue with uncle Bubba when he says that “unions kill jobs by demanding high salaries for their members that drive companies out of business”, use the power of why to ask him the following questions:
- Why do “right to work states”, states that have laws that hinder the unionizing of businesses, have lower average salaries than non “right to work” states?
- Why is it good for the American economy when corporations pay workers low wages and the workers have little money to spend?
- Why do many corporations use the threat of sending manufacturing to China to keep wages down here?
- Why is it good for America to let China, a communist country set the wage standards for American workers?
- Why is it good for working Americans that corporations have trade associations and lobbyists to represent them and persuade their pet Congressmen and Senators to vote for legislation that's favorable to them, even if it hurts John and Jane Q. Public, but not good for John and Jane to have the AFL-CIO represent them?
- Why is it good for working Americans to deny them the right of union representation when they need more of a level playing field in dealing with their mega corporation employers?
Remember, you can't argue with people who have been brainwashed by right-wing talk radio or that certain unnamed right-wing cable news network, but you can get them to convince themselves. If you have an anti-union uncle like Bubba or perhaps Billie Bob, the anti-union neighbor, don't fight with them, use the power of why. Just ask them the magic questions and let them convince themselves.