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Trump Did Not Cause Chaos – Chaos Caused Trump –


Karl Rove’s (The Architect) masterful use of party partisanship is a political game that few in Washington can play. His plan was to build a permanent R Majority in the Federal Government. What he understood was that the majority of U.S. citizens gravitate towards the center, with most tilting right or left but not far from center! That seems like an eternity ago.

The point here is that Rove knew that by keeping all Republicans acting on sharp partisan votes, the perception that the Democrats are also a partisan party would emerge. We are talking about developing citizen partisanship in the “extreme”.

Turns out Rove was far too nice. His version of “extreme” was still “establishment Republican” and not really all that extreme. However, who was paying attention to this strategy was the Tea Party, which started in early 2009 and the House Freedom Caucus started in 2015 – funded by the Koch Brothers, et al. The Tea Partiers concluded that the Newt Gingrich Contract with America failed in part because the political partisanship was not extreme enough! Enter the Steve Bannon’s of the world, who are no fans of Karl Rove. Breitbart News was founded in 2007 by Andrew Breitbart. Upon Breitbart’s death in 2012, Bannon was named editor continuing the opening of the flood gates to a new style of governance. [Thanks to Brother SWS of the IBEW for a correction to these details].

Along with the increasing extreme partisanship that the Tea Party used in saying NO to both D’s and establishment R’s, these disrupters masterfully infused fear-based politics. “Primarying” establishment R’s and vetoing any legislation that is not 100% consistent with their narrow agenda is their MO! Primarying has been around since the 70’s and even before; however, in the 2004 – 2006 election cycle both D’s & R’s cranked up aggressive primary campaigns. The R’s found yet another gear in using primarying as an effective tool for ideological groups to threaten any moderate/reasonable R’s types!

The Club for Growth started in 2000, providing increased funding for alt-right candidates. The D’s, with a far bigger tent of constituents, could not compete in the corresponding far left campaigns of primarying.

Ironically, if the D’s had developed a similar or identical strategy, the U.S. would still be in the exact same position – HUGELY POLARIZED! The D’s have many self-interest groups that just cannot get it together.

Our political environment is one of neighbor against neighbor, using hyperbole, extreme rhetoric, flat out lying, etc. to get a super narrow agenda passed. How narrow? As an example, approximately 150 R Federal Judges thus far and counting – to serve for life! And, yes, the D’s would do it too given the chance. Who really should be pissed are the young R’s, D’s & I’s inheriting a Justice Branch without any input? They have been locked into a life of laws not of their own choosing. Also, they inherit debt, roll back of regulations & rules across the board – all done while we watch the shiny objects. Our country’s Founders screwed up by not writing into law that 2/3 vote is needed in ALL judicial lifetime appointments. Well, they kind of did, but Harry Reid found a way around it (going nuclear) and Mitch McConnell has perfected it. Poll after poll measure positions that are increasingly extreme. Nearly 40% – 50% disengagement of the electorate tells the story of the citizen voter. Voter disfranchisement is a close second. The R’s are particularly good at this. It is fine with the extremes that approx. ½ of our citizens sit out or are pushed out of voting! So, we end up with a government in the extreme either to the right or left (currently alt right), a Trumpian Party – which is a true minority government.

Far too few voters and even many trades Brothers & Sisters do not use true Fact Checking services as they want to believe that which validates their fears. They are only a click or two away from solid news. Not fake news – cited and sourced facts in context. Both far left and alt right wing have many sites that create a lot of misinformation. For those who see President Trump as the second coming to those that see him as the anti-Christ, not much can help them. For the rest do some homework and post it!

Hence the title of this blog. Chaos -structured chaos has been building for decades. With the trades on the sidelines, along with much of labor for decades, fear-based politics has grown almost in direct proportion to labor’s loss of market share.

The coronavirus did not break America. It revealed what was already broken.

Tolerance of each other IS NOT acceptance. But in this hyper-state we are told it is. Most issues that affect the average citizen have a consensus, compromise, or pragmatic solution available if the parties would work to achieve it. For the last few decades this has been nearly impossible because of political fear replacing integrity. We are now at a point of either/or in a country of realists who instinctively know that such dualistic thinking creates impossibilities in a nation of 330 million people with 40 religions and 140’ish nationalities.

The Trades, whose members politically represent American voters probably better than any other group, have been sitting on the sidelines for approximately the same length of time. Why? Because of a strategy of concession and appeasement to get any crumbs they can get, along with the totally failed strategy of Value on Display!

The Trades have ceded their role as a MOVEMENT and as champions of workers. The trades have abandoned being a bulwark to organized capital in the U.S. and Canada! If Labor and the BT narrow the divide between the haves and the have nots, right and left can close towards the middle.

The trades, being absent in the fight for so long, and in fact working with management, has helped the extremes take root and empty the pockets of workers! Organizing is taking management on – directly, and in some cases in a no-holds-barred fashion to force management to come to the table for consensus or compromise. The trades and labor are that important. Workers’ rights, pay inequity, racial inequity, safety being transferred to the worker, building in unsafe working conditions, limitations and destruction of benefits, collapsing market share and density numbers, which are all measurable, rest on the shoulders of current and recently former trades senior leadership abandoning the roles the FOUNDERS built!  

When WORKERS’ pockets are full, along with the self-esteem work provides, and they see a balance of labor and management, they don’t fall for the extremes but talk in much more measured tones. We all benefit. The extremes, whether right or left, can go jump in the lake! When workers see lives collapsing around them, including those of their kids and other family, they are susceptible to fear.

Our International Presidents have settled for being a temp agency, except maybe the UA, which is on the fence. The trades find bodies and do what they are told by management. The trades are in fact losing market share even in record years of construction, hoping that the millennials who have polled strongly in a pro-union direction are taking a flyer on joining the trades in any kind of numbers. This group is growing strong in their beliefs. As they mature into activists (and stay the course as our Founders did) they will not want to be a part of “union” with old, stale, and pale businessmen leading them – not happening!

A MOVEMENT is energy in an organic form: Knowing right and wrong. Built on fairness and transparency. Being part of something bigger than ourselves. Providing the balance of ORGANIZED workers to take on organized capital. TAKING ON – NOT CAPITULATING!

As we emerge from COVID-19, we can take advantage of an opportunity to reignite workers! But, many organizers are furloughed to save money. Or they are studying Labor Law, which is ALMOST a complete waste of time in the current environment. And, while much of the country is effectively learning and working from home as they shelter-in-place, I have only found 19 organizers who are new to the group that has learned to effectively use cyber-organizing.

We in the trades are soon approaching the point of considering: “Is it better to let the existing trades die (go out of BUSINESS) and be reborn?” It is on you – senior leaders – history is a harsh judge!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo


Labor Rising/Labor Combat


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