Unions have been on the decline for some time now. In 2010, about 12 out of every 100 Americans held union membership, down from just over 12/100 the year before. Some say this is a good thing, as unions have continued to grow fat on ballooning pensions and passing the costs on to taxpayers or fellow junior members of their organizations. Others say this is a sign that workers’ rights are being more and more threatened as union protection shrivels.
Those of the latter opinion are a fickle bunch. Not only did they excuse President Obama for calling for a temporary freeze in union wages while viciously condemning WI Governor Scott Walker for passing state union cuts that were far less harsh, but they seem to be only for “unions” in the official sense of the word: the sense that implies Democrat loyalty, receipt of pensions and benefits regardless of cost, and “solidarity” with those of the same stripe. Any other type of union constitutes a threat, an enemy, a bought-and-paid mouthpiece for an evil corporation, or…. Just something really sinister, even if they can’t really explain why.
Late into the Bush 43 administration, the workers of main street, Wall Street, and a hodgepodge of others in between began to unite. It was a national movement but strangely had no substantive nucleus. Loose bonds linked groups across the country but centralization was kept to a minimum, and this helped make it the quintessential union: anti-establishment, pro-rights, advocacy for economic improvement, and demanding those at the top play fair.
The inauguration of President Obama galvanized this grassroots organization into decisive action. When it became clear on the campaign trail that our first black President-to-be would further the agenda of the Washington elites (the target of this union’s activism), the group’s rolls swelled exponentially. People who demanded responsibility and accountability from their federal and state governments flocked to the meetings of local chapters.
There were no membership dues; no one made unilateral executive decisions; and only general principles tied the wider movement together with loose bonds. The name of the game was localized solutions to national problems. The group has probably been the most dynamic union ever formed. Its action to reform the establishment to create a better America came in all shapes and sizes, from efforts to minimize voter fraud; to educational seminars on civics, the Constitution, history, and many other subjects; to vetting candidates in local races.
But ever since the organization hit its zenith during the passage of Obamacare last year, traditional union members (you know, the ones from whom you expected to have the most support, considering the popular rallying cry of “Solidarity”) and several Democrat politicians have come out in force to blast the young, unorthodox union. Yes, the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and other populous unions have waged a continuous assault on fellow American workers, almost solely because they were in an independent union that refused to blindly proliferate Democrat power.
By now, you have probably ascertained that the union of which I speak is the Tea Party. Yes, this most polarizing of all unions bears the brunt of mockery and vitriol in today’s political climate, and not just from other groups of workers in the Democrat-philic acronym-sporting organizations. Virtually every committed leftist hates – no, abhors – the Tea Party, despite its resemblance to their own faithful card-carriers. This leads to an obvious hypothesis: Maybe American unions exist primarily to feed a codependent Democrat party and don’t actually care about the long-term well-being of their members or others who use similar tactics. Just a thought.