Often times, a speaker trying valiantly to make a point or to rouse his supporters will allow his reach to far exceed his grasp. Yesterday that happened to a gentleman named Christopher Shelton. It was that or Mr Shelton is woefully ignorant of 20th century American history or he just doesn’t care what he says is it makes his point.
Mr Shelton is the District 1 vice-president for the Communications Workers of America and spoke at a rally in Trenton, New Jersey yesterday. The purpose of said rally was to protest New Jersey Gov Chris Christie’s pension deal that would cut pensions and benefits for public workers. Mr Shelton apparently was so focused on firing up the crowd that he employed the most hateful imagery he could imagine and then made it worse.
He compared the governor to one Adolph Hitler, yep that guy, as my grandson might say. Warming to his task as any speaker will do when faced with a cheering crowd, he went on to compare the New Jersey pension fight to WWII and to say that there was a need for WWIII to get rid of Adolph Christie. Rally attendees responded in what way do you think? Believe it or not they wildly cheered Mr Shelton’s remarks.
Now, of course since this information became public Mr Shelton issued an obligatory apology to the governor and anyone else he offended but also stressed the affected workers had every right to be angry. Not really much of an apology from my perspective.
I am unsure what bothers me the most about this. It could be the analogies Mr Shelton made, the cheering response or the half-hearted apology. I think it probably r is all three. Besides, how many members of his audience even heard the apology or paid any attention to it. Perhaps he still accomplished what he set out to do . But it just seems he really damaged his own cause and gave more credence to those who think union leaders always “demagogue” issues or people to make their case. I certainly that the leadership of my union never resorts to such tactics. The whole incident gives me a very negative feeling and sounds like it could have come from the playbook of a Saul Alinsky. Unions need friends to make their point, they certainly need not create any more foes.
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