The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the union for Federal workers, produced and aired a radio announcement in support of Democrats recently. I heard it for the first time today on a conservative talk radio station here in Lexington. As a retired Federal employee, I felt strongly compelled to say something about this commercial and to explain why I find it offensive and distasteful.
I worked a total of 30 years for the Federal government, eight in the U.S. Air Force and another 22 working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I retired from the Federal Medical Center for Federal inmates in Lexington, Kentucky, in 2007. I never joined the union (the Council of Prison Locals, which is a branch of AFGE) while I worked for the Bureau of Prisons. I never saw a need to join. The only thing I ever really saw the union do was fight with management over any changes the union did not initiate, defend people who blatantly screwed up in an effort to prevent them from having to take any responsibility for their actions, and take monthly dues from their members. Oh, I did see them stage a protest against a Warden once that they just didn’t like. They invited the news media and made it sound like they were being sorely mistreated when, in reality, they just weren’t getting their way.
As I said, I never saw a need to join the union. I went to work, on time, did my job to the best of my ability, didn’t complain or ask for a handout, didn’t abuse my sick time and vacation time, and didn’t expect anything more from my employer than I was due. And on those occasions when I made a mistake, I admitted it and suffered the consequences of my actions, none of which was ever bad enough to warrant my termination.
AFGE’s commercial basically says Democrats are wonderful and will do everything to help America and keep her strong, saving and creating jobs and doing what’s best for the people and union workers. And while it doesn’t tell people who to vote for, it says the Republicans are responsible for all of the problems we have right now and that Democrats are the ones who can save us – a bit less than honest. What bothers me most, the one thing that stands out in my mind more than any of the others, is that in the commercial they, the AFGE , representing Federal employees, call Tea Party members “teabaggers”, which is a derogatory, sexual term that has been coined by several pundits and activist groups on the left. The leadership of AFGE should be above this type of derogatory assault on people who have a different political opinion than theirs but apparently they believe this type of verbal assault is OK.
I’m even happier now that I never became a part of AFGE because I would be embarrassed by their leadership at this point. They come across as looking out for their members when, in reality, they want Democrats to remain in power because the union, all unions, will get a very large increase in funding from the Democrats they won’t get from Republicans. And that’s the bottom line for AFGE and unions in general – money and power. For the most part, members are merely a source of funds.