What Do We Do Now?

November 11, 2016 § 2 Comments

In my last post on this blog I argued that re-energizing and redesigning the American Labor Movement should be a top priority for the Democratic Party’s response to the disaster of this presidential election.  After that rant I found a lengthy article in American Prospect magazine about that subject.  I believe it to be an important article with some new ideas entitled to consideration.

Here is a link  prospect.org/article/if-labor-dies-whats-next

During the past few days I have listened to several spokesmen on TV saying that the Democratic Party’s neglect of the white working class in states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan led to Trump’s triumph.  Here is a picture of that triumph:

http://www.politico.com/2016-election/results/map/president

Here is a list of states which enacted Right to Work laws and the years when they did so:

Indiana 2012

Michigan 2012

West Virginia 2016

Wisconsin 2015

I don’t think it is a coincidence that these four states switched to being Right to Work states during the four years leading to Trump’s victory, especially Michigan and Wisconsin.  My daughter, a lawyer in Indiana, contends that Indiana was hopeless even before the adoption of the Right to Work law.   I accept her analysis, but Right to Work laws are like anchors preventing a state’s freeing itself from GOP domination.  Electoral  mistakes can only be corrected with a shift in strength from one political organization to its opposing political organization.  So, when organizational strength is crippled by weakening labor unions , the recapture of political success by the Democrats becomes more difficult.

Here is a map of the states who now have Right to Work laws:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-to-work_law#/media/File:Right_to_Work_states.svg

Notice the overlap with the states Trump carried.

I urge my readers to take time to read the American Prospect article.  I hope this subject will, at last, attract the attention of the leadership of the Democratic party.  It contains some creative ideas for strategies for the resuscitation of the labor movement.

I suspect I am, like most of you, like a passenger on the Titanic, sitting quietly in his cabin, pecking away on a Corona portable typewriter, when, suddenly his world became a frightening nightmare, from which, even after he was pulled into a lifeboat and realized he was still alive, continues to haunt him with a new awareness of the fragility of life and a temptation to lose faith and hope.  I am struggling to banish that feeling and reach for some plausible reason for the renewal of that faith.

Bob

 

 

§ 2 Responses to What Do We Do Now?

  • Thomas Laing says:

    Bob:

    You do remember the admonition of Pogp Possum “We have met the enemy and they are us”.

    Tommy

    Like

    • Bob Hall says:

      No, Tommy. I agree we made some mistakes during this political contest, but I do not consider myself a member of or sharing attitudes with the coalition who have chosen to ally themselves with Donald Trump. Most of them may have the same skin color as I do, but I long ago realized that skin color is not a reliable basis for judgment about anything. I do admit that, during the ’60’s I became so angry and stayed that way for years, that I often muttered and sometimes shouted, “White people are no damn good!” But I now realize those were just an angry outbursts, not seriously held beliefs. That was over 60 years ago and I’m older and (I hope) wiser now. I have posted a link to a very intelligent article by Bill Moyers entitled “Farewell to America”, which contends that our country has undergone a fundamental change from which it will take decades to recover. About half of our neighbors, most of them white, have embraced a set of attitudes that closely resemble those which transformed Germany in the 1930’s and they are apparently so enthralled with those ideas that no amount of argument or exposure of the grossly false and dishonest basis for them is likely to change their minds. What you write does have some validity. The ideology now accepted by about half of our neighbors is not imported from abroad. It is home grown right here in our towns and cities. I guess in that sense, Pogo was right in his mocking judgment.

      Like

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