Grit NW - Built Union Strong

Disinformation and the War for Truth - Mark McDermott

March 21, 2021 Season 2 Episode 29
Grit NW - Built Union Strong
Disinformation and the War for Truth - Mark McDermott
Chapters
Grit NW - Built Union Strong
Disinformation and the War for Truth - Mark McDermott
Mar 21, 2021 Season 2 Episode 29

Today I talk with nationally recognized public speaker, lifelong worker rights activist and friend of the show Mark McDermott

We’ll open todays conversation by learning about Marks efforts to combat the war of misinformation that is being waged daily in American in order to undermine our faith in the democratic process as well as deter union members from electing government officials that truly understand and value what organized labor unions provided for this country. 

Next, well investigate the origins and tools of misinformation campaigns and why they have proven to be so effective in manipulating not only the minds of the masses, but their emotions as well. 

Later we’ll dive into why it is so easy to push facts aside when you are passionately invested in something and how important it is to rely on reputable sources with proven track records when doing your fact checking.  

And we’ll end our conversation by understanding the importance of having respectful, thoughtful and caring discussion when talking with others who have viewpoints different than your own. And how this investment can help build the bridges needed to better all of our lives as union workers.

The Show Notes

Mark McDermott
http://www.markmmcdermott.com/

NW Carpenters Union
https://www.nwcarpenters.org/

Join Grit NW Nation here:
(could this be any easier?)
https://forms.gle/WEKcA76y3Wegmv8z7

Grit NW is a proud member of the Labor Radio / Podcast Network
https://www.laborradionetwork.org/

For comments, questions or suggestions about the show send an  email to:
[email protected]

You can also share this link to the Grit NW webpage with friends, family members or co-workers and score good karma points, you'll be a better person for it, I promise:
https://Buildnw.org/podcast

Grit NW is now on the Twitter!!
https://twitter.com/GritNw


NW Carpenters Union
United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Regional Council in the Pacific NW 6 states + 29k members strong!

The Grit Nation
Join The Nation and spread the word on how unions are building lives and careers to be proud of.

Labor Radio / Podcast Network
Discover shows to learn more about organized labor movements across our nation and around the world.

Tihsllub Industries - Gavle Sweden
Innovators of self-drive nano technology construction fasteners, coming soon to America!!

Show Notes Transcript

Today I talk with nationally recognized public speaker, lifelong worker rights activist and friend of the show Mark McDermott

We’ll open todays conversation by learning about Marks efforts to combat the war of misinformation that is being waged daily in American in order to undermine our faith in the democratic process as well as deter union members from electing government officials that truly understand and value what organized labor unions provided for this country. 

Next, well investigate the origins and tools of misinformation campaigns and why they have proven to be so effective in manipulating not only the minds of the masses, but their emotions as well. 

Later we’ll dive into why it is so easy to push facts aside when you are passionately invested in something and how important it is to rely on reputable sources with proven track records when doing your fact checking.  

And we’ll end our conversation by understanding the importance of having respectful, thoughtful and caring discussion when talking with others who have viewpoints different than your own. And how this investment can help build the bridges needed to better all of our lives as union workers.

The Show Notes

Mark McDermott
http://www.markmmcdermott.com/

NW Carpenters Union
https://www.nwcarpenters.org/

Join Grit NW Nation here:
(could this be any easier?)
https://forms.gle/WEKcA76y3Wegmv8z7

Grit NW is a proud member of the Labor Radio / Podcast Network
https://www.laborradionetwork.org/

For comments, questions or suggestions about the show send an  email to:
[email protected]

You can also share this link to the Grit NW webpage with friends, family members or co-workers and score good karma points, you'll be a better person for it, I promise:
https://Buildnw.org/podcast

Grit NW is now on the Twitter!!
https://twitter.com/GritNw


NW Carpenters Union
United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Regional Council in the Pacific NW 6 states + 29k members strong!

The Grit Nation
Join The Nation and spread the word on how unions are building lives and careers to be proud of.

Labor Radio / Podcast Network
Discover shows to learn more about organized labor movements across our nation and around the world.

Tihsllub Industries - Gavle Sweden
Innovators of self-drive nano technology construction fasteners, coming soon to America!!

Joe Cadwell:

Welcom to another episode of Grit Northwest. I'm Joe Cadwell, the writer, producer and host of the show. Today I talk with nationally recognized public speaker, lifelong worker rights activist and friend of the show, Mark McDermott, will open today's conversation by learning about Mark's efforts to combat the war of misinformation that is being waged daily in America in order to undermine our faith in the democratic process, as well as deter union members from electing government officials that truly understand and value what organized labor unions provide for this country. Next one, this to get the origins and tools of misinformation campaigns, and why they have proven to be so effective in manipulating not only the minds of the masses, but their emotions as well. Later, we'll dive into why it's so easy to push facts aside when you are passionately invested in something, and how important it is to rely on reputable sources with proven track records when doing your fact checking, and wonder conversation by understanding the importance of having respectful, thoughtful and caring discussion when talking with others who have viewpoints different than our own, and how this investment can help build the bridges needed to better all of our lives as union workers. After the show, be sure to check out the Episode Notes to find out more about mark and his message. And now on to the show. Mark McDermott, welcome to the show.

Mark McDermott:

Thank you, Joe. It's great to be back on your podcast. Again. I think it's a great series. I want to talk about a new issue today, which is in keeping with my lifelong commitment to fighting for organized labor and working people and trying to build a better future for all of us. It's about what I call the war on truth. And I've developed a new webinar that is called we must win the war on truth to preserve and strengthen our democracy.

Joe Cadwell:

Well, that sounds like a fantastic topic of conversation today, Mark. And I know this is your third time on the show. And I know some of my listeners are definitely familiar with who you are and and what you stand for. But maybe for our listeners that have never heard you before. How about a quick backstory on Mark McDermott?

Mark McDermott:

Well, I was a working machinist in 1982, I lost my job and a union bust. in suburban Seattle, when the company was bought, they walked in with full force. And by the end of the day, we'd all been fired, our union was broken. I spent 15 months out of work. last six years on a union pension had to switch careers. And I swear that Navy day I'd never shut up and never stop fighting for working people until either I can't think talk or I'm not alive.

Joe Cadwell:

Well, I'm glad to see that you can think and you can talk and that you're still alive, Mark, because the work that you do is so important. And I really interested in hearing about this new webinar that you've put together. So why don't we get into the meat and potatoes of it?

Mark McDermott:

Yes, we need to come together as an American people in agree on how we go about determining what the truth is. And we may disagree about what the truth means. But we shouldn't be arguing about whether or not there is a truth about certain critical facts about what has or has not happened in our country. If we can't agree on how we go about determining the truth, we're not going to be able to work together very well at all.

Joe Cadwell:

So who is waging this war on truth?

Mark McDermott:

I would argue that corporate america and their political allies have been warring they have been waging a decade's long war. I call it disinformation wars. It used to be called propaganda. One of the foundational lies that they have been telling big lies, as they're called, is that we have an endless problem with widespread voter fraud and stolen elections. There is no credible evidence that that is true, but it does not stop powerful interests for continuing to push these big lies for their own political purposes and political gains.

Joe Cadwell:

Where did it all begin?

Mark McDermott:

Let me let me start with a quote because I think it's important for us to figure out ways to, to disagree and try and work on finding the truth in in in a more civil and respectful way. Maya Angelou, an American poet once said, people don't always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you make them feel. And the issue that we're talking about today didn't start in 2016. It didn't start in 2020. It's been going on for years. But November 2020, was a pivot Point in American history. We had the highest voter turnout in 120 years, a deeply divided country. A huge disagreement among the American people about whether or not joe biden's victory was legitimate. Almost all democrats said yes, in national polling. Two thirds of independence said he won, and only a third of Republicans. How can we all experience the same reality and have such radically different views on what has happened? There were 60 lawsuits that were filed alleging voting fraud of various types. All of them were tossed out by the courts. state election officials across the country, Republican and Democrat said there wasn't any meaningful voting fraud. And despite all of that evidence, which is typically what is used to determine the truth, if you will, there is endless and repeated claims have continued voter fraud. And there's increased efforts in the states now to make voting more difficult to basically undercut our ability for people to vote. Now in Washington and Oregon, we don't have this problem, because we offer all mail voting, but in critical states around the country, which determine who's going to be elected president and who's going to control Congress. There are efforts being made right now to rollback the voting rights that were won in 2020. And as I said, Trump didn't start this. It's going to continue after he's gone. And we can not let the people who want to undercut the way we determine the truth and undercut the truth for their own purposes, which is to weaken our democracy, and reduce people's rights and make it more difficult for them to vote and determine who should run our country.

Joe Cadwell:

I'd like to step back just a bit mark, you said that, you know, the majority of Americans and as we realize it's it's roughly a 50/50 split within this country on what you believe in where you get your your news sources from or what you base your reality off of in regards to the outcome of, say these elections. So where's the difference between, say, the, the democratic news sources and the and the more conservative news sources or the republican say, based news sources?

Mark McDermott:

Well, let me be clear, the national polling shows that about two thirds of the American people believe that Biden's election was legitimate. It was almost 100% of Democrats, basically two thirds of independents and even a third of the Republicans. So it's not a 5050 split. It's basically a two to one split. But I think the difference is, is when people make claims, then they are challenged with what is your evidence to prove this, as opposed to just making a claim. The typically the way one of the ways we do it in this country is somebody says they're stealing the election in the state of Alabama. Okay, we're gonna go to court, and we're going to show our evidence and battle it out in court. And when you lose 60 court suits in a row, the idea of you have evidence to back up your claims of voting fraud, become non existent. So then forget the facts. And just keep repeating your big lies. And I'd like to talk about where does this disinformation system come from? And I want to I want to give you three quick quotes. Edward Bernays was an American who in 1928, wrote a book called propaganda. And he was he's called the father of modern public relations. He was a genius. And he said in the book opening sentence, the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses, is an important element in democratic society. Let me repeat the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the opinions of the masses. The Nazis picked up on what Bernays had developed. And Joseph Goebbels, who was the Minister of propaganda for Hitler said, propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they're acting on their own free well. That's the beauty of it if it works well. And then a Russian dissident who's been fighting Putin forever said, the point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda, it's to exhaust your critical thinking to annihilate the truth. And so if you bombard people endlessly and endlessly with lies, that are not true that are not fact based. People become mentally exhausted and kind of throw up their hands and go, I have no idea what to think. Oh my god, I mean, they say this and they say that like who can possibly Well, that's actually a strategy. That's not just me, we make many people may end up feeling that way. But it is intended to produce that. And this system of disinformation strategies has been developed over the past 90 years. And it's being used today. And I can show you that I can give you a couple of examples of how it worked in Germany, and then how it works in the US, if you'd like me to go into that.

Joe Cadwell:

It sounds very familiar to the Orwellian thoughts that that George Orwell put down in 1984. When I read that book, I'm drawing a lot of similarities, a lot of parallels to that campaign of misinformation. So yeah, please continue,

Mark McDermott:

Let me lay out six elements. The first thing is you start by telling a big lie, a huge lie, and you keep repeating it endlessly. The lie creates big fear, great fear, oh, my God, if this is true, then we need to know well, who are the enemies who are doing this to us, it's going to stir up a tremendous amount of anger, we better get these people and stop them before they finish what they're trying to do. When you push these big lies with the endless enemies and fear and anger, you attack the press, you want to discredit the press, okay, so that they're not legitimate, and you want to get around them and go directly to the people with new technologies, like Twitter, or Facebook, in the 1930s, it was radio, where you could go directly to the people. And then last, as I said before, a goal of it is to exhaust our ability to think critically and to annihilate the truth and more for when you become mentally exhausted. You want a strong leader who will tell you what to do, so that you feel safe and secure. Okay, those six elements, let's let me explain the Nazis. The Nazi story was this. We were never defeated on the battlefield in World War One. We were sold out by the Jews, by the communists, by the bankers, and by other traders in our country, enemies from within. Okay, they sold us out. And the misery that they experienced for the next 15 years was because of these traitors, people who had destroyed their country. What did they do? That was not true, they were getting the hell beat out of them on the battlefield, and their army was close to collapse. Okay. So they told the big lie. They had the enemies, they had the big fear, they had endless anger, they harness the power of radio, so that Hitler could talk to 10s of millions of people at the same time for the first time in human history. And eventually bent the German people's minds and Will's to that of Hitler and the Nazis. That's, that's the method. Okay. Let's take those six elements and look at what is going on in the United States around voting rights, voting fraud and stolen elections. I'll be blunt, the Republican Party since the 1980s, have been claiming widespread voter fraud and stolen elections. They never produce any meaningful evidence. They blame undocumented immigrants, immigrants, people of color, big city democrats and other corrupt people who were collecting votes voting illegally. They tell that story over and over and over again. They're stealing our country. They're stealing our elections. They're stealing our future, producing anger, fear, resentment, and a desire to lash out. Now, when they're confronted of will show me your evidence. Forget about it, with Twitter. And with Facebook, there is no intermediary to say that's a lie. That's a lie. That's a lie. And that's a lie. So if you if you want to listen to it unfiltered, you can. But that produces a situation where you're being told these big lies over and over. Without any without you being able to go, well wait a minute, where's your evidence? It's the same methods that were used in the 1930s. with newer technology. Donald Trump issued 23,000 tweets in four years. There was never a reporter there standing there going. That's not true. That's not true. That's not true. And when the question becomes where is the evidence, you just turn up the volume and say the elections are stolen. Elections are stolen, and the elections are stolen. That method that was originally developed in the United States export it to Germany and perfected, has been brought back into the United States is being used to this day. And it's being used in 2021. Right now, there are multiple states where their legislators are talking about making it more difficult to vote because of alleged widespread voter fraud. So the problem hasn't gone away, because Trump is not president. But if we want to have national labor law reform to make it easier to form unions, and you have elections that are being essentially stolen by making it more difficult to vote, then we're more likely to get anti union politicians who are going to continue to attack organized labor. So as working people and as unionist, we need to care about the fact that these voting rights are being attacked across the country based on unproven big lies that have been repeated endlessly.

Joe Cadwell:

So when we put enough evidence in front of people, why are they believing it? Why where's the disconnect there?

Mark McDermott:

This is, this is the big question. Okay. But as I said, one of the goals of this is to exhaust critical thinking. And when you become fearful, your mental rational, mental thinking goes down, and you get more into kind of a fight or flight situation, okay. And when you get into that fight or flight, you know, fear based situation, your critical thinking tends to shrink, because it's like, I gotta do something, I gotta defend myself. Okay, and your heart becomes closed. And it began, so the facts alone won't necessarily move people. Okay, so what I say to folks is that there are millions and millions of people who disagree with me about whether or not the elections are stolen. I don't want to assume that they're all my enemies, that they're all evil, or wicked, or stupid, or hopelessly bigoted, or whatever. I don't want to go there. I want to say, I bet there's way to find some common ground with you, and have a more calm civil dialogue. And maybe we can come to more agreement than we can right now. But it has to start to repeat my Angelou quote, people don't always remember what you say, or even what you do, but they always remember how you make them feel. If somebody feels heard, and respected, and taken seriously, they're more likely to lean into a discussion about, well, maybe I should rethink some of the things that I've been thinking about what's actually going on here. It isn't just a Let me repeat the facts one more time show one, you'll finally get it. Or let me just be 10 decibels louder. And now you'll get it because I'm talking really loud.

Joe Cadwell:

It makes it makes a lot of sense. Mark. And, you know, I've I've often heard it's, it's easier to lie to someone than to convince them that they've been lied to. And I think it really takes a lot of soul searching to admit that perhaps you had gone down the wrong path with your thought process. And that you have to backtrack or admit that possibly you made a mistake or that the what you believed at the time was not exactly what was what was happening. I think it's very difficult for people to do. So you're proposing opening up conversation that again, is respectful and inclusive and and actually tries to build bridges as opposed to building walls?

Mark McDermott:

Absolutely. Number one, we need to understand that we're in this disinformation war. And this is how it is affecting a lot of people. It doesn't make them bad people, but they are being I would argue, adversely affected by the war on the truth. We have to approach them with open hearts and open minds. And we have to be willing to listen respectfully and patiently even when somebody may be saying some stuff that would cause me to want me to tear my hair out like oh my god, what how could you possibly think that way? I don't go down that road. Train, understand how did you get there. And of course, you need to pick and choose who you're going to try and do this with. Some people are sort of lost causes, if you will, but you can have family members or friends or brother or sister union members or co workers, you know, that you feel some closeness to, and it's a struggle, because it's hard to talk to them right now, right across all this tension. And be in, as you say, building bridges looking for common ground, we probably share concerns about our families, and about our kids and how they're going to do and is our community healthy and is the future going to be okay for all of us, we share all that common ground. So let's see if there's some things that we can acknowledge about our common humanity, and our basic goodness. And, of course, critically important not to lash out in anger or with contempt. You know, I've said to many audiences, I have never changed anyone's mind by calling them a stupid, ignorant bigot. Now, if anybody has ever changed anybody's mind doing that, I hope they give me a call. So I can learn how at work, it does not work. And so whatever feelings may come up of like, Oh, my God, I can't stand this, it's, this is another human being, just like I am, just like you are. And then hopefully, we can find some issues to work on. Like raising our standard of living, or making sure our healthcare is in good shape, or that we're going to have a secure pension or social security is going to be there for the long run, or we're going to get the pandemic under control, or there's multitude of issues that we need to be working on together. But if we're yelling at each other, we won't find the space to work together. And therefore it's less likely that we're going to be successful in working on issues that would improve all of our lives.

Joe Cadwell:

And I do believe so most of this just comes down to your own personal communication style. The listeners of this show, obviously, we're blue collar, we're crafts people we're union people. And when we interact with folks that may have opposing view could be on the job site. But the the one thing that does connect us all is that we do belong to an organized labor union. So we have to be able to agree that those are good things for us to have, yet were diametrically opposed at some point and how we get there in regards to who we feel we are we are trusting to look out for the best interest of our labor unions when it comes to government and governance. So how do you approach a conversation with someone who is on the other side of the fence that you work with? that just does not want to hear what you have to say?

Mark McDermott:

I would start from a place of let's see, what do we have in common as human beings above and beyond? We all like our wages, hours and working conditions? Are you concerned about the future for your kids? Are you worried that they're going to get a chance to get a good career? Find other issues that we have similar concerns about and begin to build some trust with each other? Yeah, well, I'm concerned about my 23 year old son, too, who's living in the basement is having a hard time getting his career started. Yeah, I got a nephew like that, too, that that is really tough. Hi, how you doing with that? That's got to be really hard. Well, there aren't any good paying jobs out there. Well, okay, so aren't any good enough good paying jobs out there, then we need to be figuring out a way to maybe raise the wages of people so that all of our relatives and our family and friends and our kids, when they do get a job can pay their own way. Now? Well, we got something to work on together. I mean, you look for what do you have in common? And the other thing, of course, is who's attacking you? Now, I'll be blunt, the republican national platform in 2016, which they adopted again in 2020. Call for the repeal of federal Davis bacon, which is federal prevailing wage. I can't imagine that there's any member of the carpenters union, who would be in favor of having that law repealed. If they do, they're weakening your ability to secure work. Why would you be voting for somebody who's in favor of that? Well, they're probably the same people who are claiming that there's widespread voter fraud. Now, there's a link here. Okay. And they're, they're clearly politicians in the country, and federal judges who were trying to undercut our labor rights and undercut our movement and creating these divisions amongst the ranks. In an organization such as the carpenters or any type of organized labor union, right begins to erode the base and erode the solidarity in the unity that is the heart and soul of an organized labor unit. Right? These disinformation campaigns, at their most foundational level, is about how to divide the people up so that they can't unite around their best interests. Because if I, you know, you're wearing a yellow shirt, and I got a black shirt, I can't trust people who wear yellow shirts. What you know, I mean, you can always find ways to split people up. And if we go there, then we're not going to find the unity to move forward and improve conditions for ourselves. And so, anytime I hear someone preaching, division, and hatred, I want to put a big time out and go, is this in our best interest? both economically, but also morally?

Joe Cadwell:

Yeah, it makes a lot of sense.

Mark McDermott:

It, I say, we need to build a growing army of nonviolent, loving, empathetic, listening, truth tellers, who engage people in constructive ways. And we persist at it, I would add persistence to this of, I may not be able to move you today. But maybe over the next six months or a year, we keep talking and finding more things in common. Maybe some of these ideas are going to surface in a way that we can hear each other.

Joe Cadwell:

It definitely sounds like soon investment in the long, the long term, the long term strategy to be an effectual communicator and a long term strategy to educate yourself on the issues, the long term strategy to be patient with other people's viewpoints. It's again, your nothing's going to change overnight. But if we begin to invest in these long term strategies in order to bring our organization together, it does seem like it will pay off to push back against these misinformation campaigns that you're talking about.

Mark McDermott:

Yes, and, and, you know, one year, I had a, I did a training, where somebody got up and started yelling at me. Because I quoted Donald Trump saying he was in favor of right to work. And I quoted the National Republican platform that call for the repeal of prevailing wage and post project labor grants. These are well documented facts, and the person starts screaming at me, and he was a big guy, and I thought he was going to jump over the table or something and come after me. And he said, You're your God, blank, mother, effin liar. And I was like, whoa, I'm not a big guy, okay? And I'm thinking, why better thing quick here. So I looked him right in the eye. And I said, Brother, I understand that you're really angry with me. And I understand you're saying that I'm not telling the truth. But it would be very helpful if you would give me and the audience a specific example and your evidence, so that I could respond to it. And if I've made a mistake, I will correct it. And I will apologize to you and the audience and the union that brought me here. He started yelling again. And then the leader of the Union came up and said, you know, you need to stop this, Mr. McDermott is a guest in our union hall. And if you don't have any evidence, and you won't give him an opportunity to respond to a concrete charge of lying, how can you possibly respond to your claim that he's a liar? Well, this was a micro example of what is happening 10s of millions of times in our country right now. People make claims. And this is where I couldn't reach him at that moment. But there were people in the audience who came up afterwards and said, that was really helpful because you were being very specific and said, I'm willing to be self critical. I may not be right. And if I've made a mistake, I'm going to admit it. They said, we appreciated that. And I said, I've got all the evidence here. If somebody wants to look at my evidence and see if I made it up, that's okay. But at least it's well documented, but just a general claim that I'm lying. How does someone respond to somebody by saying you're a liar? Well, show him the truth. Right? And that's what you do in a courtroom. Right? You bring it in and go. Mark is claiming that there is no voter fraud and we say there's a bunch. And so Okay, show us your evidence. And then when you don't have any and they trust the case out, well, it doesn't look like your, your claim was true. That's how rational people, when they're being reasonably calm, can talk with each other. But if if the anger is so high, because this guy was so angry, he couldn't see straight. He just he left.

Joe Cadwell:

And I think it does come back down mark to where you get your information from. And if you're not actively seeking out opinions or viewpoints that maybe are even contradictory to what you're believing it's a disservice, because you seem to revolve in an echo chamber. And that self confirming, you know, spin cycle that that develops when everything is is in agreement with what you believe in. And anything that's a challenge to what you've been led to believe is a threat. And unfortunately, people begin to just create these these echo chambers and and nothing new. No new thoughts ever seem to come into their head because of that?

Mark McDermott:

Yes, and it takes time and energy to research some of this stuff. And so obviously, some of the sources that I used, I have checked out their facts over the years and kind of gone well, I checked them out 20 times, and they've been right 20 times in a row, the 21st time they tell me. I mean, I'd have time to go check that one out. But I've got a track record of their unbelievable, right. And so to go back to the example of right to work, and the tax on prevailing wage and project labor agreements, I went to the Republican National Committee's national website, and I scrolled through the pages until I found a section on labor. And I read the sections with the page number, where they talked about repealing federal Davis bacon and banning project labor greens now unless somebody created a fake, National Republican committee website, okay. Now we're now we're getting way into conspiracy. That's fact based. That's what they said. And then we can argue about whether or not that's good or bad for workers. But we shouldn't be having an argument about whether or not this is true. If that guy had gone. If he'd had his computer there, I could have said, Go go to this URL to type it up, look at page 64. What does it say?

Joe Cadwell:

And I think that's the difference between you and a lot of people, myself included, we don't have the time or we don't make the time to actually do a lot of fact checking, it's much easier to flip on the station on the way to work on the way back from work that we've always lived. Listen to the news source that you're most comfortable with, perhaps the news source that your parents have on their home. And it really does take an investment in time and patience to actually, you know, fact checked a lot of this. And I think that's where a lot of people, it's it's a convenient, easy way to get your information by just turning to a comfortable source. And that's something that doesn't necessarily challenge you. So I think, Mark, I hate to say it, but you're kind of like in, you know, the one end of the spectrum from the majority of of blue collar crafts people and for that part of a lot of Americans.

Mark McDermott:

Right, and so then I guess the point I would make is that when you trust a particular source, at least ask yourself the question, why do I believe what they say is true? Okay, not just because it confirms my worldview. But do you have any basis in why you believe them as opposed to someone else, particularly if someone challenges what they say? That's why this struggle for the truth. This is why to use the example of when there were 60 court cases about fraudulent elections, and the people making the claims lost all 60 of them. That's fact based reality. Okay. That's a case where a lawyer has to bring his or her evidence into court. And the other side gets to rip it up. Right? They directly clash with a judge. If you lose 60 times in a row. What is the likelihood that what you're claiming is really true? It is zero, okay, or almost absolute zero. Then why would people repeatedly get up after all of that and continue You saying the same why's that they could not prove in court 60 times in a row? That's what I mean about. If you can have a calm conversation with someone and go, Joe, do you really believe that the people who made these claims who lost 60 lawsuits in a row, including in front of judges appointed by President Trump, and by other republican presidents, and they all said, you have no evidence? Do you really believe that that is true.

Joe Cadwell:

And I've heard it explained mark, that those those people making those arguments actually weren't trying to win in the court of law, they were trying to win in the court of public opinion. And by again, just propagating the same lie over and over again, you could show that yes, these things were so wrong, maybe you know, your regardless of whether we won or not, we brought the case to court. And that further provides proof that there was a big lie going on at all. I'll take it back to you know, who you quoted earlier, I found something in your PowerPoint presentation here from Joseph Goebbels, quote, If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and this was from the Minister of Nazi propaganda, and I can see the same parallels being drawn now.

Mark McDermott:

The election was stolen, the election was stolen, the election was stolen. It doesn't matter what panned out in the court. We are going to keep repeating this lie until the court of public opinion believes it whether the court cases were won or not. And I think it's a tough, a tough battle to win this war of misinformation for sure. And, and that's why, for the millions of honest trade unionists, who care about a better future for their family and for our union and our movement and our country. Each of us every day, can engage people in a kind, persistent, non antagonistic conversation about, talk to me about why you believe this is true. I'm not calling you stupid, I'm not calling you, you know, I just want to understand your thinking. Because we're friends. We'd like to shoot pool together, we like to ride motorcycles. We know each other. And to tell you the truth, I don't understand why you believe that? Because I can't find any evidence that supports that claim. Could you show me what your evidence is? In a kind in a kind way, in a private space, where it's easier for somebody to kind of go? You know, you may be right, I mean, that know what I'm talking about. But if you do it in front of 50 people and you're yelling at them, you're a moron. Right? They can't they there's no space for them to gracefully back down. And so a lot of this has to be persistent one on one conversations.

Joe Cadwell:

For sure. And growing up, I think in my family and as many families to hot button topics, we always were told to steer away from religion, and politics. And unfortunately, in the family that I belong to now, the United brotherhood of carpenters and joiners of America that has been around for close to a century and a half, and is providing a viable pathway to middle class America, through the trades. Politics plays a great part in our organization. Without it, we would be very vulnerable. If we didn't have good relationships with the politicians that support organized labor, we're extremely vulnerable. So unfortunately, it isn't something that we can't bring up, like religion and politics around the Thanksgiving date table. This is something that has to it's uncomfortable for us, but yet it has to be addressed. And I'm in full agreement with you mark that we have to figure out a way as individuals to do this in a respectful and open manner so that we can engage in in conversation and not just in shouting matches.

Mark McDermott:

You know, one of the beauties of your regional council is that you have right to work states like Idaho, and Wyoming. And then you have, you know, states that are not right to work like Washington or Oregon and Alaska. Well, if you were to sip five carpenters from Boise down with five carpenters from King County, and say, you know, these guys over in King County are making, I don't know, 30 bucks an hour more than you are wage and fringe. Probably I don't know the exact difference. It's huge, right? Would you guys in Idaho like to make the kind of money we're making over in Western Washington? Cool. Yeah. Well, you got right to work over there that was done by anti union politicians. project labor agreements are illegal over in Idaho, which makes it more difficult. prevailing wage is been banned over there. Every one of Those were attacks that weaken the carpenters union in Idaho, and undercut our market share. And then at the same time,yes. And so if you don't want to talk about politics in Idaho, then you're stuck with much lower wages, benefits, pensions and working conditions, that a place where the union is much stronger, and it's not moral superiority. It is it's a fact of life. And so you have to talk about it, unless you're willing to accept, you're stuck. And those brothers and sisters over there have to engage their neighbors and go, why do we have a 725 an hour minimum wage in Idaho as opposed to 1350? or whatever? It isn't in Washington? Well, why is that? Okay? You know, and do you really want that? Well, no, because my kids working for eight bucks an hour and living in the basement. That's where finding that common ground of, yeah, they would be better off, but we're not going to get to those better things. If we can't talk about politics, engage people in difficult conversations. But being done in a loving, which is probably not a term that gets used a lot in the building trades. There's nothing wrong with being loving and empathetic. Because ultimately, that's what a union is. We love our brothers and sisters, and we stick together even when we disagree because we have a common goal in mind.

Joe Cadwell:

So the takeaway I'm getting mark is that politics are important to the to the trades. Talking about politics is very difficult. If we are going to talk about politics. We need to have our our conversations based in fact checked realities and we need to be respectful. These are all solid points mark. It's been a great conversation. Where can folks go to hear more about Mark McDermott and your

Mark McDermott:

You can go to my website, MarkMMcDermott.com.

Joe Cadwell:

Mark. As always, it's a pleasure to have you on the show. Thank you so much for taking your time and I look forward to having you back again in the near future.

Mark McDermott:

Great to talk to you Joe. Keep up the great work.

Joe Cadwell:

My guest today h s been Mark McDermott. To he r more insight from mark on t e attacks being made daily again t organized labor unions. Che k out the hyperlinks in the sh w notes. You can also visit h s website at Mark M McDermott.c m Well that wraps up this edition of Grit Northwest. If you'd like today's show, be sure to hit the subscribe button so you won't miss an episode. Grit Northwest is available on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. We're also available on the web at build nw.org forward slash podcast. Refer to the minute content follow Grit Northwest on Twitter. interested in hearing more programs like this. If so visit labor Radio network.org. There you will find over 80 union and labor specific shows designed to educate and empower you to take charge of your future. As always, thank you so much for listening. Please be sure to share the show with anyone you think may benefit from it. And until next time, this is Joe Cadwell reminding you to work safe, work smart and stay union strong