OPINION: Big Labor Agrees The ‘Green New Deal’ Would Crush Workers
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) penned a letter to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the sponsors of the Green New Deal, opposing the proposal to “stop” climate change.
Big labor rarely breaks stride with the Democratic Party machine. What gives?
Even the AFL-CIO knows the Green New Deal would kill jobs. The federation of 55 labor unions claims to represent 12.5 million workers in the U.S. and worldwide. If the Green New Deal ever became a reality, the elimination of fossil fuels would turn America’s lights off and send thousands of workers in the natural gas industry to the unemployment line.
Increased production of natural gas has been key to lowering our nation’s carbon emissions, while also creating hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs. Unsurprisingly, a group representing labor unions is now taking issue with a plan to put its own members out of work.
The Green New Deal has made an enemy of organized labor, traditionally a cornerstone of the Democratic coalition. But it’s not like Ocasio-Cortez seems interested in forming relationships within the Democratic Party. At a recent event, she told attendees her critics must present an alternative to her plan or step aside. “Until you do it, I’m the boss,” she said, to nobody.
Rather than defending the specifics of her plan, Ocasio-Cortez would rather attack the critic. By that logic, I wonder if she will now dismiss the AFL-CIO, and the millions of unionized American workers (likely registered Democrats) they represent, as just another “climate denier.”
Working class voter support is supposed to be a socialist layup. American conservatives and libertarians can be expected to oppose the Green New Deal, but organized labor’s response is a damning rebuke of the socialist ideas that are overtaking the modern Democratic Party. While AOC’s plan to implement the provisions of the Green New Deal remain murky, one thing is becoming crystal clear: The Democratic base is not on the same page heading into 2020.
The AFL-CIO’s opposition to the Green New Deal is part of a growing trend concerning the Democratic agenda today. In recent weeks, the American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) penned a similar letter in opposition to H.R. 1, the so-called “For the People Act,” which seeks to fund political campaigns with taxpayer dollars.
The ACLU voiced valid concerns over the H.R. 1’s restrictions on free speech and privacy, namely its intent to publicize the names of donors to 501(c)(4) charitable organizations. H.R. 1 is an assault on the First and Fourth Amendment and would subject Americans to harassment for their political beliefs. Like the Green New Deal, H.R. 1 is so radical that it even has staunch liberals worried.
The Green New Deal and H.R. 1 are power grabs that forfeit economic prosperity and civil rights for the sake of political expediency and government control. It seems like the Democratic base is finally taking notice. The AFL-CIO’s letter demonstrates just how tone-deaf today’s Democratic Party has become.
Today’s “progressives” want control at any cost. They don’t care about the values of free enterprise, free speech and individual liberty. The don’t acknowledge the failed experiments of socialism around the world that show the true costs of an overreaching and abusive government.
President Trump’s victory in 2016, which saw traditionally blue strongholds flip red, shocked pundits and talking heads who had for years taken working class America for granted. When 2020 rolls around, the growing disillusionment with this radical new generation of Democrats might deliver another wakeup call.
Adam Brandon (@Adam_Brandon) is president of FreedomWorks, a nationwide grassroots organization dedicated to lower taxes, smaller government, individual liberty and the American rule of law.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.