The AFT's communist comrades
The American Federation of Teachers, the massive teachers union, just completed its annual convention in Los Angeles. If you didn't notice, that's not surprising, given it wasn't front-page news. I, however, noticed, given that the convention was covered vigorously in a publication I read regularly: People's World.
People's World is the successor publication to the Daily Worker, the longtime Soviet-directed and Soviet-funded flagship publication of the Soviet-directed and Soviet-funded Communist Party USA. It's a horrible publication to page through but I do so as a professional obligation, given my research on American and international communism.
Reading People's World can tell you a lot about the American “progressive” left, especially who and what the left likes. And People's World more than likes the American Federation of Teachers. It sees the union as glorious fighters and partners — comrades, if you will.
People's World devoted three long, excited news articles to the AFT convention. No other event so dominated the Marxist organ's attention the last two weeks.
What was most remarkable was how seldom education was mentioned in People's World's coverage of this convention on (ostensibly) education. The teachers convention was portrayed as an endless rendition of calls for living wages, ObamaCare, gay rights, transgender rights, LGBT rights, women's rights, immigrant rights, voting rights and “social justice.”
One speaker did at least manage to mention education, as did some of the other activists. To that end, the AFT apparently doesn't like President Obama's Education secretary, who isn't “progressive” enough. “The American Federation of Teachers' convention has a blunt message for Obama administration Education Secretary Arne Duncan,” said the lead in one People's World feature. “You flunk the test of helping the nation's schools and kids, so leave.”
That lead ran aside a large photo of AFT women shouting and jumping with placards.
In short, People's World feels an intense solidarity with these brothers and sisters in the education front. The comrades are hailing the AFT as “an energized resistance to ongoing attacks on education.”
It's quite revealing that America's communists are gung-ho for the AFT, that they are so elated by the proceedings at the AFT convention. They are portraying the union to fellow communists as kindred souls marching forward to the same fundamentally transformed America.
A friend of mine who's a public-school teacher in Maryland once shouted at me: “The AFT is filled with a bunch of commies!” Well, that's certainly an exaggeration. But I can affirm that a bunch of commies — particularly at the flagship publication of the Communist Party — adore the AFT.
If I were a dues-paying member of the AFT, that would bother me.
Paul Kengor is a professor of political science at Grove City College. His latest book is “11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Goalie prospects push each other amid friendly competition
- Classical music crisis: Author says schools today aren’t building audiences
- Steelers not receiving big returns on their offseason investments
- Monz resigns as Carlynton football coach
- Teen hangouts at home offer privacy for kids, piece of mind for parents
- Tourism contest lets Pittsburghers ‘Steel Away’ to Bahamas
- Steelers notebook: Defense sags in NFL rankings because of struggles against the run
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- Podlucky mansion in Ligonier Township will go to sheriff’s sale
- Washington County man found dead in car over hillside
- Woman killed after car hits tree in Norvelt