The first clue there’s something wrong with your ideas is being afraid to defend them in a public forum.
Freedom Foundation Labor Policy Analyst Maxford Nelsen, who testified numerous times before Washington’s 2014 Legislature on labor issues and has also been the organization’s point man for the ongoing minimum wage debates in SeaTac and Seattle, was invited last month to participate in a May 7 panel discussion with union leaders sponsored by the City Club of Tacoma.
Or at least that’s the way event organizers envisioned it. But when the invited labor leaders discovered their policies would actually be challenged rather than accepted uncritically, they decided discretion was the better part of valor and backed out of their commitment.
On April 3, Nelsen received the following e-mail from the City Club:
So much for having the courage of your convictions.
“I’m disappointed we won’t have the opportunity to have an honest and open exchange of ideas,” Nelsen said. “I was under the impression that was the whole point of the event. Apparently they thought it was something else.”
“We’re not surprised,” added Tom McCabe, Freedom Foundation CEO. “Union leaders are, by definition, bullies. They bully people into joining and then try to bully management during contract negotiations. But like all bullies, they run back down when someone stands up to them.
“They’d have looked ridiculous trying to debate Max—or anyone else who understands the crooked game they play,” he continued. “How long can you try to defend the indefensible?”