Let me take you back to Labor Day 2005 when a handful of passionate volunteers, still angry over the questionable election, and re-election of an unpopular George W. Bush launched the first iteration of The Rick Smith Show, United for Progress.
Our goal was, and remains, to add balance to the airwaves while focusing on working class issues and telling the stories of everyday working people. We were the beginning of the resistance, talking about important topics like privatization, trade policy, outsourcing, inequality, equality, and austerity before twitter was invented.
Since that first show we have worked tirelessly to live up to that founding principle. We have traveled the country from Blair, WV to Vancouver, WA to tell the violent and bloody stories of Labor’s history, from Durham, NC to New Orleans, LA to share the tragedies of the Civil Rights Era not found in history books, we slept on the cold marble floor during the occupation of Wisconsin’s capitol in 2011 as the mainstream media ignored the story, we were in Ohio for the SB 5 fight, Michigan for the No Rights at Work fight, and much more.
We have been able to do all of this without having to continually hound our audience for donations because of our friends and sponsors in Organized Labor understood how important our work is to democracy and help us to grow and survive. Unfortunately, that sponsorship is getting harder and harder to maintain as the attacks on Unions intensifies.
On February 26, 2018 the United States Supreme Court is going to hear Janus vs. AFSCME Council 31. This case, if decided as virtually everyone who follows the issue foresees, will overturn decades of decided law. The result of this ideological decision by conservative corporate justices will starve unions of resources to advocate for workers, fight for better wages, hours, and conditions, and ultimately severely hamper our ability to maintain our high-quality worker centric programs.
Understand, the attacks against organized labor are not new. The wealth and employer class, through their well-funded think tanks, state policy network, talk radio and media echo chamber, and euphemistically named “grassroots” astro-turf groups control virtually everything we see, hear, and read.
This is not by accident.
This is a well-planned, well-funded coordinated attack on the 20th century and the New Deal policies that created the most prosperous working class in globa
The only real comprehensive look at the talk radio divide was conducted by the Center for American Progress back in 2007. Not surprisingly, they found that 91% of talk radio were conservative voices with a significant number of cities having no alternative voices on the airwaves whatsoever.
In 2014, I was interviewed by Politico’s Mackenzie Weinger for her article, “The growing silence of ‘union radio’” about the silencing of working class voices. Sadly, half of the programs she interviewed for that article have since gone dark.
Right now, more than ever, working class voices are needed over the radio and television airwaves. We here at the Rick Smith Show provide a platform for working class voices to be heard.
If the election of 2016, and basically every single news cycle since has taught us anything, it’s that liberals, progressives, or just the sane and rational need to build and fund media infrastructure to get our message out and compete in the arena of ideas.
Conservative spin machines like Fox News and their talking heads fabricate, obfuscate, distract, deflect, omit, and just plain lie to fit their ideological narrative. Everyday new conservative outlets are springing up to mimic their ideological forefather driving the truth and reality further and further in oblivion.
We need you to turn back this tide of conservative dominance of the message. We need you to get involved and active in building a power infrastructure to magnify a message of an America that is more egalitarian, honest, fair, and just.
With your help we can continue to follow our founding mission of working to add balance to the airwaves while focusing on working class issues and telling the stories of everyday working people. Our stories. Stories of the people, for the people, and by the people.
Won’t you join us and become a petrean member? Join us as we defend the American Dream our grandparent dreamed for us and help us to dream big for our grandchildren.
Visit www.Patreon.com/RickSmithShow to join up and become part of the solution that saves that America Dream.