Have we forgotten the struggles for our rights?

“How’d he get on the Daily Show?”

I often ask myself this. No matter how much I try to pretend there isn’t, there is some bitterness in the thought. Some, “I wrote a book that’s serious and funny about a subject very relevant to now, and I didn’t get on the Daily Show.” Hrmph!

Last night Philip Dray was on the Daily Show talking about his 784-page book on the fight for worker’s rights: There is Power in a Union. Last night during the show I checked Amazon. The book was ranked 35,000-something. This morning it is in the hundreds. After my five-second pity party about “that shoulda been me” I got to thinking about this.

Is a book on unions good for ratings? Probably not.

Wouldn’t it be great if more folks with a spotlight like or brighter than Stewart’s actually made an effort to focus on a subject, not because of the ratings it might gain, but its importance?

Back when GM was getting bailed out from the government, union bashing was all the rage. It still is. And maybe there was a point from which unions went from getting an inch to taking a mile. On Tuesday, the Daily Show did a feature on Waiting for Superman which largely condemns the teacher’s unions for the current state (near the bottom of a list of 30 developed countries) of our educational system. I think the selection of Dray’s book was meant to balance the views and remind us of all the things that we take for granted that unions gave us.

Here’s an edited Monty Python clip responding to “What did unions ever give us?”


And here’s the Dray interview.

Philip Dray – There is Power in a Union
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