Many interests within the body politic continue to tell us all there’s a necessary dividing line between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, progressives or constitutionalists. Indeed, if you were to force yourself to watch any number of hours of current news punditry you’d probably walk away with the same understanding.
However, I come here today not to showcase our difference but rather to highlight our common cause.
Throughout the course of my life you and I have each found value in our mutual interests; each serving the other with a clear understanding that we both can benefit from a relationship based on mutual respect and appreciation for the value of labor.
In a larger sense there is a connection that binds us beyond the threads which connect your well-earned individual federation patch to your jacket. Each person here today is a single member of a larger construct aimed to benefit the group by raising the tides of all ships with as much equality as possible.
But beneath the patches and affiliations there is a larger connective tissue; a connection which flows deeper than economics; a connection that exists larger than the value of our labor; a patriotic connection which binds us all as – Americans.
In a recent presidential debate my friend, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, interrupted an exchange on the stage.
Chris asked a question to the larger audience targeted to draw attention to the economics of an unemployed 50-year-old construction worker; and what positions each candidate carried to reconcile the concern amid the middle-class family.
In essence Governor Christie was saying “what about you guys”.
Unfortunately, a 30 second soundbite doesn’t quite fit the bill for a decent response. However, as the only person on the stage who is actively engaged to improve the life of a 50-year-old construction worker, I found a particular level of irony amid the chattering class who seek to tell us, you and me, how to get it done.
No-one needs to tell us, those of us here today, how to get it done. We know how to get it done.
We know full well how to unleash the spirit of labor and determination evidenced within this room. This room is filled with the best git-r-done assembly in the history of modern economic enterprise.
The problem is not within the “getting”.
The problems lies within the “getting out of the way”.
Each of you here today know exactly what it means to work with and within a system of bureaucratic double-speak filled with words, and perhaps filled with learning, yet short on knowledge for how exactly to “get it done”.
How many of you have to deal with a little worn hard hat who draws and designates the best of plans, only to find out between the drawing board and the actual construction the blades of the turbine miss the size of the housing by more than six inches.
From my perspective any average hard-working person inside this room could eat every one of these politicians’ lunches, all of them. And if they want to go down a superiority path… well, they are going to dead end in a place where that stuff is just plain useless; because eventually you’ve got to get it done.
Allow me to prove our point:
- Florida Power and Light won the prestigious International Edward Demming award for excellence in multi-platform engineering and efficiency superiority.
Now, those field engineers didn’t blow every Chinese, Japanese and European PhD intellectual out of the water with slide rules, CAD programs and engineering acumen. They did it with hard hats and dirty fingernails.
Because they lost the award, the Japanese spent 6 months studying FPL and later published a 1,000 page dissertation essentially saying FPL “wasn’t really good, they were just lucky”…..
FP & L field leadership laughed, took out markers and wrote on the back of their hard hats: “WE’RE NOT GOOD, WE’RE RUCKY”….
- When every single Kuwaiti oil field was blown up by Saddam Hussein, they said it would take 5 years to extinguish the fires, cap them all off and restart their oil pumping industry. The Kuwaitis and Saudis called Texans, Americans, our people, who had them all capped and back in working order in 8 months.
We are a nation that knows how to get shit done.
- When a group of Northern Chile mine workers were trapped two miles underground, they said no-one could save them. Who did they call for help? A bunch of hick miners, Americans, our people from USA coal country who went down there, worked on the fly, engineered the rescue equipment on site, and saved everyone of them….
That’s our America. That is the connective tissue that binds us and makes us more powerful and consequential than any nation on earth.
That spirit is what runs through our DNA; that spirit is what’s being held back; that ability is what we need to unleash and use to bring back our economic engine and manufacturing base.
That spirit is what’s going to keep our 50-year-old construction workers employed and able to provide a strong and stable life for our families.
That, my friends, my brothers and sisters, is why I’m here today asking for your help in restarting this engine.
When any business or industry fails to show you their respect and appreciation for the value of your labor, you have a tool to force those in ownership and management to the table of recognition.
When any business refuses to properly assign respectful valuation to your efforts, you have a process to push-back.
That tool, and that push-back, in its ultimate form is a collective strike against those who refuse to properly value you, respect your labor, and reward your efforts.
Within any strike, you form a line – a position not to be crossed. A gathering of brothers and sisters united in common cause to force the enterprise from a position of self-interest and into a position of mutual benefit. You block anyone from crossing that line and compromising your position.
In many large and consequential ways that reason you cast a picket line is why I have demanded a wall, a barrier, an unfortunate -but necessary- picket-line-of-sorts, on our southern border.
What you seek to protect with the formation of your economic boundary is a line in the sand; so too do I wish to protect another common interest with the formation of a similar common boundary. My interest is this great country.
Either we have a country, or we do not. It really is that simple.
Either being an American means something, or it does not. I believe it does.
I am here today, in front of you, to ask you to support me as a candidate for President of The United States, and I am also here to make a pledge to you.
Regardless of whether you join me on that picket line, I will not stop fighting for you. I will not stop fighting for you, because something much more important than the patch on our national jacket connects us.
We are a family of Americans.
We will always share a common cause.
I hope you will join me.
God bless you and your families and may God continue to bless the United States of America.