When I was in high school, we had to read Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle". In that piece, Sinclair depicts the evils of the 19th/early 20th century meatpacking industry and how socialism and labor unions saved the day for the workers. Now there were certainly times such as those when labor unions served a useful purpose in protecting the interest of workers, but...
Those times are past.
Today public opinion of labor unions sits at a historic low, despite having a very union-friendly President in the Oval Office. According to Gallup
While Americans' views of labor unions have held steady since last year, with more approving than disapproving, Americans remain less approving than in the past. Further, there is a greater divergence this year in Republican and Democratic approval of unions.
On Friday, Rasmussen Reports released polling data indicating similar results - about half of Americans "see no further need for labor unions", with 30 percent in disagreement. And they're not exactly knocking down doors to unionize. Rasmussen states that "Among working Americans who do not belong to a union, just 13% would like to join a labor union where they work."
It's fairly surprising that the approval of labor unions has dropped to its lowest point during the Obama presidency. But why? My suspicion is that Democrat control of the White House and both sides of Capitol Hill has given us an unprecedented view of the reality of organized labor. It's not that Obama and his party have necessarily strengthened the unions, although events such as the NLRB interference in Boeing's business has given some hope to unions, but the Democrats seem to have given the unions license to show their colors. Union thuggery has become an everyday event, and videos and stories of the disgusting behavior of union members are rampant.
So, let's look at this new, true face of organized labor.
The most recent incident was that of the f-bombing longshoreman in Washington state. (Video is definitely NSFW):
Lovely. Thankfully this darling person was arrested for several felonies after his assault-laced tirade. But wait, there's more!
It's not just the rank and file - Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa gets into the act:
"Let's take those (Tea Party) SOBs out". And what did our President say? He's "proud" of Hoffa.
Let's not forget AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka's tribute politicization of the 10th anniversary of 9/11
Wealthy CEOs, anti-government extremist front groups and frothing talk show hosts—from the Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks to the Koch brothers, Karl Rove’s American Crossroads group, Americans for Prosperity, the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and the American Legislative Exchange Council—also pushed open the door to hate.
Make no mistake—setting workers against workers is a highly profitable endeavor. How many times during the vilest state attacks on public workers did we hear the question: “Other people don’t have pensions. Why should he?” Prompting that question required twisting the American psyche—which, by its founding nature, seeks to lift the common good. The appropriate question should have been, “Why doesn’t everybody have a pension?” followed by collective action for retirement security.
We’ve seen the costs of hatred in ill-thought wars, in shameful attacks on immigrants and our LGBT neighbors. We saw it in the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. We saw it in the racism that has found overt and covert expression since Barack Obama began his run for office—from outright declarations of people who said out loud they would never vote for a black man to the ridiculously persistent obsession with our president’s birth certificate.
And what about this lovely picketer from Verizon who drops a string of F-bombs in front of his daughter and uses her as a tool/roadblock? (another NSFW one here)
Remember the beating that Kenneth Gladney took at the hands of SEIU thugs at a Russ Carnahan "Town Hall" back in 2009?
Last, but certainly not least, witness the CWA thug who assaulted RedState friend Tabitha Hale
Certainly there are upstanding citizens who are part of labor unions - I have several wonderful people in my family who are or were union members. But the thugs and goons in these videos are today's face of organized labor, and it's more than just a face - this is what organized labor is about in Obama's America. Assault. Intimidation. Threats. F-bombs. It's all captured for the world to see. And thanks to YouTube and other social media sources, it's no longer hidden from view by the leftist mainstream media. So now the public can see the this repulsive face of labor unions....one that is now causing voters to reject unions and the Democrat politicians who are in their back pockets. Jack Kelly, writing for RealClear Politics, says it well:
Labor's problems stem from our massive debt and dismal economy. They are exacerbated by thuggish behavior, and by the unwillingness of unions to tighten their belts as other Americans must.
President Obama is polling in Jimmy Carter territory. Unions are less popular now than in many decades. Mutual weakness will draw Democrats and unions closer, despite labor's discontents. But the closer to each other they get, the more swing voters will recoil from both.
And recoiling they are. In droves.