Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dilettantes

In the show Madam Secretary the other night a father is speaking with his son about the son’s political position. He asks about the outcomes and implications, questions for which the kid has no answers and then tells his son that, “Your political knowledge is a mile wide and in inch deep, and that makes you a dilettante. Until you study enough to know what you are talking about you need to keep silent.”

I thought of that phrase when watching on the news of the “march of a $15 minimum wage” last night. A bunch of dilettantes, blocking traffic for one midweek evening. Where is any real commitment?

If you don’t want to work for $9 per hour then don’t work for $9 per hour. Walk off of the job and stay off until they offer a better wage. Do you think they are impressed or intimidated by you blocking traffic on Tuesday evening and then on Wednesday you are right back there still working for $9 per hour? They’re not. While you were out there on the street freezing your ass off, they were at home ignoring you.

Oh, I get it, you weren’t targeting employers, you were targeting politicians because you want them to pass a law. You don’t want to exercise your own power and take care of yourself, you want someone else to do it for you while you take no risks and endure no hardship.

Well, as a former union member I’m certainly not impressed by that. I froze my ass off on a picket line for weeks at a time. I stood up to law officers with guns and riot clubs. I did not ask for someone else to do it for me, my brothers and I exercised our own power, and we earned what we got.

We were grownups. We knew that once we left the shelter of Mommy’s apron there was going to be no one there to keep us from falling down and skinning our knees. We knew that people were going to talk to us in ways that we didn’t like; that Mommy was the last “safe space” that we would ever know and that she wasn’t hovering over us any more.

We knew that if we wanted anything better than what we had, that we had to earn it with hard work, retries after disappointment, sweat, tears and sometimes blood, and we did what needed to be done. We didn’t go block traffic on one midweek evening and demand that someone else pass a law giving it to us.

1 comment:

bruce said...

I'm not sure your mother ever hovered over you.

But, some of those tactics might have worked. There have been some laws passed to raise the minimum wage (albeit slowly).

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