Tuesday afternoon I was among the one hundred patriotic Iowan’s that attended a counter rally on the Iowa State Capital grounds. We were there to counter the propaganda driven rally held by the AFL-CIO and their membership. In attendance were Iowa’s from all walks of life. We had the elderly, we had the young, we had successful businessmen, we had average laborers, we had non-union members, and we had past and present union members. We were a true representation of Iowa’s population. These Iowan’s drove themselves from all corners of Iowa, not as a part of a highly organized drive, but as a loose collection of individuals that truly represented a grassroots movement in action.
We weren’t bussed in. We didn’t have fancy pre-printed signs. Each sign held aloft by these patriots were handmade, designed to drive home the same point. Our state can no longer afford to continue to engage in contracts that provide lavish benefits far above what the general public enjoys.
Early in our rally we allowed one of the union presidents to have an opportunity to speak with us. After all, what we really want is to have a civil discussion about what the proper role organized labor has in public service. Among the many platitudes that this president mentioned was that they too wanted to have a civil discussion. Unfortunately he seemed to forget to tell the union membership this. For as the union members debarked from their chartered transportation it was common to hear curses, rude comments, and generally uncivil phrases hurled at us. Another frequent sight was the rude gestures emanating from the union members climbing the steps on their way to the propaganda rally at the top of the hill. And while we did not hear it ourselves, some members of the media overheard the union members at the top of the steps mention that they wished that they could shoot us. Once again, the left’s desire for civility only means that they want us to be civil, not their own supporters.
Here is a short video shot by one of the members of our rally as some union members step out of their chartered bus. Pay close attention to the African-American woman near the end of the video. Apparently she is telling us that we are number one.
Upon reviewing the media coverage of the “dueling rallies” I find a lot to be desired. For instance O. Kay Henderson, a reporter for Radio Iowa, commented that she witnessed union members yelling at our assembly. On the other hand Jennifer Jacobs, reporter for the Des Moines Register that I have openly criticized for overly biased reporting, apparently was wearing blinders. In her article detailing rallies makes no mention of any sort of uncivil discourse. I am absolutely positive that she would have included it if it had originated from any member of our rally.
By the end of the rally there were a number of things that were plainly clear. It was extremely clear that if it had not been for the union members that arrived by bus, our little rally would have outnumbered theirs. It is also supremely clear that it is our side, the side that wants fiscal responsibility, which has the desire for civil discussion. Without any encouragement from anyone the counter protesters that comprised our group were civil and respectful from the beginning. And it is supremely clear that despite the claims of the union leadership, they have no desire to speak openly and honestly to discuss our differences. It appears that it is their desire to shout down and threaten anyone that voices dissent for their positions. Makes me proud that I am no longer part of a union.