Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ending the New Deal (Why Union?)

In response to the post "Why Union?" Aldesko wrote . . . "Read the article from the Washington Post [Public Workers Under Fire] and then tell me why public employees--who are suported by tax dollars--deserve to have it better than private sector employees."

I am as usual, moved to despair by our fellow citizens who have internalized the right-wing notion that "Class warfare" means to deligitimize any attempt to rein in the excesses of Bush's corporate patrons. Yet at the same time "Class warfare" means it's okay to step on the fingers of those beneath us on the economic ladder.

The flipside of the "class warfare" coin is revealed in Aldesko's phrase "why public employees--who are suported by tax dollars--deserve to have it better than private sector employees."

To the question: "What is Swing?" Fats Waller once answered, "If you have to ask, you ain't got it." To the question, "Why do any employees 'deserve to have it better?'" I can only say, "If you have to ask . . . "

Yes, all employees are in trouble. Let us again ask ourselves, how has the GOP managed to get the chickens to vote for Frank Perdue?

The answer is this: the GOP has constructed a compelling, overarching narrative that has swept away the weak efforts of the folks who are remnants of the New Deal to reach the American voter. Well, actually, the Dems got 48 percent of the US voters to pull the lever for the "most liberal man in America," John Kerry. It was a good effort, but not enough to save the country from a right-wing take over.

The reason the GOP is so successful is because they are selling an irresistible story that has the squares wrapped up in knots. Grover Norquist and Karl Rove play their siren song for the suckers--"Don't restrict the rich, this is America and one day you may be rich too." The Orwellian lyric is rewritten every week by Frank Luntz and distributed to a disciplined cadre of gauleiters who will not deviate from the bullet points of received right-wing orthodoxy.

It's high time organized labor got up from the canvas and defended itself.

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