Robert Reich (The Republican Party’s Worst Nightmare…)

The Republican Party’s worst nightmare

Republicans have been trying to crush unions for decades, but American workers are fighting back with a vengeance.

Many GOP leaders wink and nod as they talk about “Make America Great Again,” as if the country was more prosperous when they were in power.


Yes, there was a time when the American economy worked better for workers than it does now, but not because Republicans played any role in making it that way. And certainly not because of the bigotry, misogyny, and racism they were pitting the miners against each other to distract them from the amount of wealth being robbed to the top.

Indeed, the Republicans were waging a relentless war against what had been one of the greatest engines of prosperity for the working class—the labor unions.

Now, it’s important to note that this prosperity has not been shared equally with women or people of color, but the main reason so much of the workforce was better off decades ago than it is today is the power of labor unions to organize and fight for workers’ rights. And their dignity.

Republicans have fought the labor unions tooth and nail. They enacted deceptively-named “right to work” laws, all about weakening unions rather than giving workers more rights. And they have voted against bills that would allow workers to unionize by a simple majority up or down the workplace.

This is the great irony of the MAGA movement. And it would be funny if it were not so tragic. If Republicans really care about American greatness, they are He will support the unions – one of the main tools at our disposal to actually combat inequality and uplift the working class.

Fortunately – despite the efforts of the Republicans – labor unions are starting to rise again. So are pro-labor Democratic politicians.

These Democrats won the 2022 midterm elections in a big way — especially in the Rust Belt. They took over the governors of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan as well – flipping both chambers of the state legislature. The last time the Democrats had complete control of Michigan’s state government was in the 1980s.

And look at the impressive victory of John Fetterman – the new US Senator from Pennsylvania. He defeated a wealthy Republican snake oil salesman and flipped a Senate seat, while running on an unabashedly pro-labor platform aiming to increase the federal minimum wage, An end to corporate price gougingand facilitating the organization of trade unions for workers in their workplaces.

It wasn’t just pro-labor politicians who won in droves during the midterm elections, but also labor-friendly ballot measures—which Republicans almost universally opposed.

Illinois voted to enshrine collective bargaining rights in its constitution, effectively banning right-to-work laws from ever being passed in the state.

Washington, D.C. voted overwhelmingly to eliminate the minimum wage for tipped workers.

Voters in Nebraska and Nevada chose to increase the state’s minimum wage.

Forced labor has been banned in prisons in Vermont, Alabama, Tennessee and Oregon.

Republicans, along with their wealthy and powerful patrons, had always feared that working people would realize their collective power, whether through unions or at the ballot box. So the wealthy do everything they can to put pressure on the working people.

But the midterm elections and the rising labor force movement should give us hope that a more just and equitable America will be built through labor unions.

It’s not just about making America great – it’s about making America better. Not just a bigger economy but a fairer economy. Not just more wealth for the wealthy, but a better and safer life for all.


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