The United Mine Workers Association vs The Republic

by Adam N. Light L.S…….General Manager…..LBL & Associates PC…..Richlands VA

So, what kind of government have you given us?” asks the woman.

A Republic,” replies Dr. Franklin. “If you can keep it.”

Recently I had an interesting debate with some folks with the UMWA. I was working with the Morgan- Griffith-for-Congress campaign, and Morgan had been invited to speak at the Central Labor Council’s picnic in Coeburn, Virginia. When we arrived, we were met at the gate by two gentlemen wearing UMWA shirts that informed us that they’d endorsed Congressman Boucher and that we were no longer welcome. It seems that the UMWA doesn’t trust its membership to hear from both candidates, and then make and intelligent choice. Apparently they must censor one side in order to lead membership to the decision that the leadership thinks is proper.

I asked these men how they could represent coal miners, while at the same time support a candidate that voted for the cap and trade bill. They asked me if I would prefer the EPA regulate CO2 as opposed to Congress.  (Where have I heard that argument before)?  I told them that I’d prefer both keep their nose out of it. They seemed a little taken back by this, and only offered this argument: “That’s not going to happen.”

After that, it was obvious that we were at an impasse, and we then left, but his comment keep repeating itself in my mind, and it brought up several interesting questions.

By saying “That’s not going to happen,” and not arguing the merits of CO2 regulation, my UMWA friend basically acknowledged that the best case scenario for coal was that the EPA and Congress both stay out. One question that I kept asking myself is why then is the UMWA not fighting this? This was once a proud organization that had a reputation as a group of fighters. It would appear now though that they, like Congressman Boucher, are only interested in bartering for the best deal. Their fight is gone. They’ve become lap dogs for the Democratic Party.

It’s not just the UMWA, though; it’s the mentality of the American people as a whole. When did we begin taking orders from Washington? If we say no, isn’t the answer no? Why isn’t “it” going to happen? If we say it’s none of their business, to what higher power do they answer besides the American people?

The American people don’t want this, and in a recent Institute for Energy Research poll, 70% of respondents said that they were opposed to a federal cap and trade system. How much longer will we continue to act like the subjects of royalty, as opposed to the heirs of a republic? Once upon a time, we the people decided what went on in this country, not a bunch of elitist politicians who think they know what’s  best for us.

Upon exiting the Constitutional Convention. Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman, “What kind of government have you given us?” Franklin responded with one of the most famous quotations in history: “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

What did Dr. Franklin mean by this statement? It’s obvious that even at the infancy of our union, the framers were concerned about this fragile experiment in self government that they’d just created. They knew that the foundation of a republic is representative government. If the government is no longer responding to the people, then it has morphed into something other than a republic, and has taken on dictatorial qualities. We as citizens can not accept no as an answer from our representatives. If we do, then we’ve lost our republic, and Dr. Franklin’s statement becomes a prophecy rather than a warning.

Adam Light is a SWVATeaparty Patriot and member of the 10th Amendment Foundation.  He was a Republican candidate for the 2010 congressional primary.

One thought on “The United Mine Workers Association vs The Republic

  1. Melanie Barton

    Mr. Light, thanks for the insights. I especially appreciated your question: “How much longer will we continue to act like the subjects of royalty, as opposed to the heirs of a republic?”

    That is, perhaps, one of the most critical questions. When indeed?


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