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View Diary: Hard Hat Riot: Tea Party of yesteryear (14 comments)

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  •  The reward those in Organized Labor (6+ / 0-)

    got for being Archie Bunkeresque pre-Reagan Nixonites, and then Reagan Democrats, was an even more rapid erosion of unionism under Movement Conservative assault.

    The Right says 'thank you, oh, and fuck you'.

    My father used to come home from Boston Local 40 Carpenters Union meetings during the Reagan years despondent. We need more work, cutting back on Federal contracts is killing a lot of jobs, but, at least somebody is finally standing up to the Commies/bon-bon eating welfare queens. It was my introduction to people voting against their best interests because the con was long and the resentment of 'the Other' was deep. He said the leadership had one line, and half the audience was going to then go vote for a Right-to-Work, Privatize, anti-Union future because of the big swinging dick factor.

    The same kind of guys who would then be voted most likely to embarrass themselves at any Thanksgiving table by talking about 'the blacks' and how 'those people' are why times are tough for the working man.

    My dad has always been proud of the fact that he never did ugly shit like this. Ever. Because he thought that it was wrong, thank goodness, but also because he looked at college kids as possible future carpenters, pipe fitters, and steel workers. Not everybody who goes to a "big" school ends up wearing a white collar. He didn't Other people because they had long hair.

    "The next thing you know, that kid drops out of BU and he is an apprentice". Life happens. People change their minds about their futures.

    So sad to remember this.

    Because of the hate, and the people who were hurt.

    But also for something else.

    You wave the flag, scream the jingoistic bullshit, and beat the shit out of some hippy college kid one day, not so many years later you live in a Right-to-Work world where you are a 'Socialist' for wanting to be able to collectively bargain a contract at all.

    "Real journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." -George Orwell

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu May 08, 2014 at 11:13:48 AM PDT

    •  It staggers me, lefthandedman (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gjohnsit, METAL TREK, Dirtandiron

      how swiftly the fortunes turned ugly for union construction workers.

      One year, a construction union officer is sitting in the President's cabinet. Six years later, the President's administration is smashing unions on every front; arresting PATCO members, stacking the NLRB to produce biased decisions, and outlawing any effective union tactics.

      “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

      by 6412093 on Thu May 08, 2014 at 12:06:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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