When an election is close and a political campaign is faced with defections in the ranks and is on the wrong side of an issue it will often resort to the big lie to instill a little discipline in the ranks.
The rescinding of the United Mine Workers of America’s endorsement of Gatewood Galbraith and subsequent endorsement of Steve Beshear is an example of how it works.
Here is the big lie:
Gatewood Galbraith is a spoiler in the general election and David Williams will beat Steve Beshear if you vote for Gatewood.
This lie is based on some pretty thin assumptions:
First assumption, there is no way Gatewood can win. Obviously, I don’t believe that. At this point in time there are a huge number of undecided voters and they are getting angrier and angrier by the day. When David Williams wins the Republican nomination the party will be fractured. This election is wide open.
Second assumption, that all the Republicans will follow the party leaders and line up and march lock step behind David Williams. The election of Rand Paul casts some doubt on the assumption that Republicans will automatically vote for the party pick. If you don’t believe me, ask Trey Grayson.
Third, that most democrats won’t realize that Beshear has abandoned the core principles of the Democratic Party such as;
“Natural resources of our country and the world are held by individuals and institutions, public or private, in stewardship. As a democratic society, we must conserve and maintain the natural environment as a sacred trust owed to those now living and those to follow.”
How Beshear lives up to this principle by joining the Coal Barons and suing the Environmental Protection Agency eludes me. I sincerely hope that democrats will vote for what they say they believe in and not blindly pull a D lever in November.
Fourth, the election is so close that the one percent or less of the vote controlled by the UMWA will swing the election. I do think this election will be close, but the UMWA or any other single group will not decide the outcome.
Bottom line is that the UMWA leadership bowed to the pressure of the Beshear machine and other unions.
“We need to speak with one voice and act as one movement in our elections whenever possible, that’s how we win. Our members understand that.” – Steve Earl, UMWA Vice President.
They are under no illusion where Beshear’s loyalties lay whether it is siding with the Coal Barons or picking an anti-union running mate. However, they did not want to be blamed for costing Beshear the election if he loses, nor did they want to be left out in the cold if he wins.
They know Gatewood will support Kentucky workers regardless of what their leadership does and that David Williams will do everything he can to destroy the unions, so they feel safe in making this move.
They did the politically “smart” thing, they bought the big lie.
We need to recognize the big lie for what it is; partisan political maneuvering. I sort of agree with Steve Earl. But I think that more than just the unions need to speak with one voice.
Now is time for our collective voice to say that no political party or partisan politician has a corner on the right answers. Now is the time to say enough, give us a governor that will work with everyone, democrats and republicans and TEA party members, unions and business, liberals and conservatives.
Give us a Governor that is more interested in working for the people than scoring partisan political points.
No one has all the answers, but together, people of good faith can move the Commonwealth forward.