Disunion of the teachers union is the city’s last hope
By Michael GoodwinNew York Post
August 20, 2014 | 1:26am
Look for the union label — right there in the garbage can. Where it belongs.
The decision by the teachers union to sponsor Al Sharpton’s anti-police rally isn’t just another day in the rubber room. It is absolute proof that the union has severed its tenuous relationship with reality.
Boss Michael Mulgrew and some other labor leaders don’t see themselves as citizens of New York with a stake in its future. They’ve gone radical, bonding with the Occupy rabble in an anti-social binge that aims to kill the golden goose. Left unchecked, they’ll poison the well and salt the land to finish off Gotham for good.
Theirs is a race to the bottom, without rules or restraint. They denounce wealth, but their greed makes Wall Street look like a gathering of Mother Teresas.
Aren’t there any adults left in New York? Won’t somebody stand up and scream, STOP?
Apparently not. Like much of America, the city has lost confidence in its values and history. Spoiled by success, too many now threaten destruction if they don’t get what they claim to deserve.
They forget how New York got here, how close it came to absolute ruin. The brush with bankruptcy, the stampede for the exits, the crime wave that almost sunk the ship of state — these are recent events that must not be ignored.
Those who survived it know “The Rotten Apple” was real and the city was saved only because enough people and the right leadership refused to let it die. Yes, there were scum among us, and always will be. But they were marginalized by an establishment that had the courage to fight for its convictions.
The real change, the loss, is in the quality of that establishment.
The political class now only panders to the lowest common denominator, the leaders of the business community are too busy cutting deals for themselves, and advocates sell their souls for a government contract.
There is no center to hold, so the playing field is dominated by agitators from the margins, including hustlers and their elitist enablers, some of whom still think graffiti is art.
These are the types who once celebrated the Black Panthers, and who now believe Occupy Wall Street is a legitimate protest movement and that the arson, looting and gunfire in Ferguson, Mo., reflects grass-roots anger.
Grow up. Genuine protesters don’t smash a culture they care about or a city they want to improve. It’s the anarchists who loot and pillage and try to kill cops because they destroy, therefore they are.
They don’t want to fine-tune society. They want to burn it down.
The distressing part is that too many supposedly smart people can’t tell the protesters from the anarchists and honest people from criminals. So, against all good sense, New York is actually having a debate about whether crime is really crime and whether we should really enforce the law because doing so ends up snaring too many people of a certain race.
In the process, we’ve made the best and most professional police force in America bear the brunt of our lunacy.
Mayor de Blasio hasn’t figured out yet which side he’s on, so the city goes wobbly under a leader who looks to Sharpton for direction. His latest gee-whiz theory for preventing crime without cops involves paying people to hug a thug. Good luck with that.
It seems odd to say, but maybe the last, best hope for New York involves the rank and file of the unions. Their bosses are fat cats already, but the members’ collective future depends entirely on the city’s health. Their jobs, their children’s schools, their retirement depends on whether the city thrives or dies. As New York goes, so go the men and women who work for it.
In that context, The Post report that hundreds upon hundreds of teachers are rebelling against the Sharpton-Mulgrew axis is reason for hope.
But do these unionists of good will have the guts to lead? Can they tell the bosses that, hell, no, they won’t destroy the city that gave them and their families a foothold in America?
Heaven help us if they don’t.
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but rather he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” Samuel Adams, April 16, 1781.