by Art Francisco
A Union Ironworker named Randall Bryce, @IronStache who is Local 8’s political coordinator and a member of the E-board, and a member of the elected board of directors of the Milwaukee area Labor Council; is now running a campaign against Paul Ryan. He was catapulted by a campaign ad that’s gone viral. The ad is actually quite vague, pointing to the pathetic state of the healthcare system and Ryan’s attacks on it–suggesting Randall “can do better.” But the real questions remain regarding this man. What does he stand for? How is he different?
He probably wouldn’t be much different from Hillary Clinton in a lot of ways other than she is a card carrying member of the ruling class with a bank full of cash and he has 20 years of experience working on iron, but Randy’s politics are only a crude interpretation of Clinton’s.
Other than being a trade unionist, Bryce has not made any indication that he is any different from any moderate in the Democratic Party. He’s a nationalist, supports the military, gives at least lukewarm support for the usual “progressive causes” and unions–but he has no plan or program written, no principles listed, literally nothing concrete said that one can point to in order to hold him accountable other than the party he proudly supports–a party of our employers.
Bryce hasn’t made any statements about uniting the unions in their own party independent from the Democrats, nor has he made any statements suggesting that the interests of workers are opposed to that of the Democrats and Republicans and the capitalist class.
Will he be an political improvement to Ryan? Likely yes, but its also important to note that Bryce supports the same government and ruling class as Paul Ryan. Ryan supports gross austerity, Bryce, so long as its on the right track to a little less austerity.
Its important to note that Bryce might be a small improvement in getting workers to think about the need to take power. It wouldn’t be quite right to label Bryce a union leader–he never took a high level salary in the last 10 years of his regional council’s LM2’s (unless the elected board of directors provides a salary, there is no disclosure on that). The problem however, is that Bryce is telling workers that the way to take power is through the Democratic Party, the party of the employers–but that is just a dirty LIE. The working class will never gain power this way and it will never build the confidence and consciousness that it needs this way.
The union leaders will certainly try this path in THEIR quest for power (and in the coming years we will see more Randy Bryces feathering their nests for power from the union leadership)–but we all know that they look out for us only to a degree, and usually only when they feel they need to, to keep their little power–or to leverage their little power against the wealthy capitalists they envy.
Workers need their own party, with real leaders and a real plan, and real principles. Their loyalty must be to a workers party not a bosses party. They don’t need to fight politically for a seat at a bargaining table in DC–they will be offered many seats if they can learn to flex their muscle. We as workers need to think about the long term: to smash the government of the class of parasites and build a government to be ran by and for all workers.
Only a Worker’s Party for Workers!
FOR OUR UNITED POWER!