Fighting The Smears

The hardest thing about debating the issues that face us is that it’s so easy for the opposition to put us on the defensive. They can put out a piece of information that is not true and have those who are trying to change the status quo spend most of their time trying to correct the record.

The Animation Guild Blog posted about a recent decisive loss at organizing Rough Draft Studios. I was curious to hear the reasoning behind why members voted no and there was quite a bit of back and forth. After finally getting down to actual distinct reasons, I realized their opinions were mostly based on misinformation:

  • The Guild does nothing for me

This is an easy one. There are a ton of benefits.

  • The healthcare plan does not cover some emergency room visits

Simply not true.  All covered services when medically necessary are available anywhere in the world from any licensed physician, surgeon or general hospital  – $50 co-pay (waived if admitted). This is on page 30 of the healthcare plan.

  • The guild isn’t even allowed to strike, they have a no-strike clause.

I have to admit that I fell for this one also. It wasn’t until I took the time to see if this was true that I realized that every guild has a no strike clause. SAG, WGA, and other guilds are required not to strike while a contract is in effect. However when contracts are up and negotiations break down, The Animation Guild is allowed to authorize a strike as they have in the 80’s.

  • I didn’t have a pleasant experience dealing with the guild rep

So people are going to go home and explain to their families the reason they took a lesser deal was because they didn’t have a pleasurable experience with a business rep? I’ll admit to have meeting Steve Hulett when I was a member of the guild. Could he do a better job in servicing individual member needs? Absolutely. I had issues with an employer and Steve and I talked on the phone about it. He was cut and dry with the facts and while he offered to file a grievance, the employer was not violating any contractual agreement. That doesn’t mean we should get rid of the guild though.

It perplexes me. I thought about it a lot during the recent debate on health care. So many smears about death panels and socialism. None of these were true. How could so many people who stood so much to gain would be so strongly against something that was genuinely good for them?

The BBC wrote an article about this matter and I thought their conclusion was interesting:

If  people vote against their own interests, it is not because they do not understand what is in their interest or have not yet had it properly explained to them.

They do it because they resent having their interests decided for them by politicians who think they know best.

There is nothing voters hate more than having things explained to them as though they were idiots.

As the saying goes, in politics, when you are explaining, you are losing.

I’ve traveled the world and have been to some shitty places. I’m not comparing communist countries to being similar to the facilities out there but many of their citizens were treated badly and accepted their fate because they refused to gain knowledge and education. As Steve Hulett says:

Knowledge gives you power.

And knowledge can only be attained when we properly explain our positions and educate ourselves.

Soldier On.


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