Those Who Built the Democratic Party Are Homeless: Time for a Labor Party

() wisecatThis is a true story. I asked a young woman lawyer who had gone to high school, college, and law school what she knew about a place called Pearl Harbor. She looked blankly at me but finally said she thought it was a place in Japan. “Aaagh,” I wanted to shout; I didn’t. I just smiled ruefully thinking how little was being taught. That incident was 20 years ago. Since that time as best I can tell things in education have continued down hill.

What kind of education do those who have not graduated from high school, or graduated from high school, or even graduated from college have about our history or anyone’s history? Many in our society are illiterates when it comes to the history of the American labor movement . That, I suggest, accounts for Socialist Sanders and Billionaire Trump having such support in the recent election.

How many people do you believe know that at one time the main supporters of the Democratic party were White Immigrant Laborers; on the other side were the supporters of the Republican party who were White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Those two groups hated and fought with each other for many decades. The WILs were on the outside. The businesses were all controlled by the WASPs. The latter had a certain idea about government which has persisted to this day which is to keep it tidy and cost effective.

The WILs knew their only chance of reaching the American dream that brought them to this land was through their numbers who could parade to the ballot box. The WILs idea of government was to use it to provide jobs and good schools to the people.  Barred from getting ahead in the WASP controlled industries and businesses, they turned to politics to make their way.

One interesting fact that few know about this battle is that the women’s suffrage movement was motivated in part to offset the heavy WIL vote. it was believed that WASP women would be able to go to the ballot and outvote the WILs.

Barred from industry jobs those WILs who were unable to get a government job had to work as laborers. Many became involved in the labor movement. Unions and WASP business owners locked horns for decade after decade. In the late 1800s and early 1900s strikes were an everyday occurrence in the country. Many were put down by the use of company police or state militias or federal troops. Our government in the hands of WASPs had no problem with crushing strikes and bringing charges against union leaders.

Workers and labor eventually gained the ascendency. In the Fifties of last century labor membership in the private sector comprised about 33% of all workers. The existence of unions helped other workers to gain better wages. Now unions in the private sector represent about 5% of workers.

In the Fifties about 1/3 of workers were employed in manufacturing. Now it is about 8%. Our nation’s manufacturing base is at its lowest point in 100 years. It was those jobs that paid the blue-collar workers the substantial wage that gave America its large middle class.

The reasons for the decline in unions are many but the most important is the that the Democratic Party has ceased to care for the workingman; it has become a party of the aggrieved pushing more and more civil rights issues while ignoring the rights of the working people who are now on the outside of both parties. Even though the Democratic Party has little concern for unions the unions are stuck having no where else to turn.

Wage stagnation is a result of the union’s lack of clout. Even more so are the actions by the Democratic appointees with no understanding of the history of their party. One appointee, Boston U.S. attorney Ortiz, who happens to be married to an IBM executive who may have an inordinate amount of influence on her actions, has launched an all out attack on the Teamsters and other unions in an attempt to take aware their bargaining tools. She is criminalizing normal union activity in the same manner that it was done at the beginning of the 20th Century by the WASPs.

The progressives who run the Democratic Party have no concern that the unions are ignored, investigated and prosecuted. They only deal with civil rights. These are fine but without a decent job all the civil rights in the world amount to little. It was the working class from the WILs that made America into the nation that was great. It was the WILs who made the Democratic Party strong.

Strangers to America’s success have taken control of that party. They have little regards for the working class and less for the unions. Without having a party that represent a strong working class and powerful private sector unions the future of America is bleak.

America needs a Labor Party to fill the vacuum between the Democrats and the Republicans.

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13 thoughts on “Those Who Built the Democratic Party Are Homeless: Time for a Labor Party

  1. In terms of public perception, it behooves the private sector unions to get rid of union leaders whose demeanor consists of coercion, violence, destruction of property, subtle threats and entitlement (as in ‘we get 100% of jobs on this project – nothing less!’). Martin F. Walsh , the Mayor’s cousin, comes to mind (“F—ing piece of s–t,” he yelled at a citizen, at a community meeting, who dared question union motives related to the project under discussion.).

    As for public sector unions, well, they are too cozy with elected officials. Favorable collective bargaining agreements and votes go hand in hand. The union tail wags the political dog. Pity the nonunion taxpayers, who are the third party in the bargain (i.e., no real voice at the negotiation table, even though they are the ones who pay the salaries). Even FDR and JFK were against the whole idea of public sector unions (though I believe JFK made some kind of (forced?) deal that resulted in his allowing for the creation of public sector unions).

  2. Matt,
    How different things might have been for unions, if not for the shady “hanging chad scandal” in Florida in 2000. (I wonder what old Jebster’s true role was?)

    We endorsed Gore (union backer)……and got “Bush-wacked” with “Dumbya” for eight years….union work dried up and we hit the biggest recession since the Crash of 29 and Great Depression.

  3. Who were smarter the blue collar whites in Dixie or the urban blue collar whites in the North? The Rebels saw what was happening to the Democratic Party and left. The Northeners stayed. Your analysis is correct. The Democratic party no longer represents working men and women. Urban blue collar types are powerless in today’s party. Hollywood, the media, Wall St., academia and government unions run the show. 2. Norman Podhoritz said decades ago that he wasn’t surprised that the counter culture took over the media and Academia but was stunned that they could take over the Democratic Party. What Trump has shown is that the Republican Party is an empty vessel. A total outsider can come in and snatch the nomination. All working people should take over the Republican Party. Chop the welfare state down to size. Get the Feds out of the education business. Have no foreign wars. Don’t assume the security responsibility for other governments. Cut the DOJ in half. Eliminate the income and payroll tax for everyone making $40 thousand or less a year. Impose a business tax comparable to what Paul and Cruz proposed. Reward work and effort. Impose a fiteen year term limit on all judges ( SCOTUS excepted) and Congress.

  4. Matt, unequal wealth distribution is a major problem. Whether Union or Non-Union, everyone’s stuck in the middle. According to the NYT: in 2012, the top 1% in US controlled 33% of the nation’s wealth. A recent report also showed that the top 1% showed a 35% increase in income from 2009-2012, while the bottom 99% showed less than 1% growth, flatline. (data from Emmanual Saez) Justin Wolfers showed further that between 2009 and 2012, inflation adjusted INCOME for top 1% (excluding capital gains) rose from $871,100 to $968,000, and for everyone else, average income actually fell from $44,000 to $43,900. “Calculated this way, the top 1 percent has captured all of the income gains.”
    The billionaire Trump will run against the Clintons with their $150 millions and whoever wins all their rich buddies will get richer, while the middle class will stagnate. If Hillary wins, open borders and amnesty to millions will further drive down wages, federal spending will skyrocket, expansive, intrusive federal regs will crush small businesses, more people will become dependent on the feds, the national debt will deepen. If Trump wins, who knows?
    2. Rather Not: Every recount of Florida in 2000 shows Bush won.

  5. a pickpocket standing in a group of
    saints
    only sees their pockets

    the role of unions and corporations
    symbiotically entwined
    who are the greatest purveyor
    of “things” for American consumers
    have become the raison d’etre for
    the death spiral of planet
    earth from Global Warming.

    Google George Carlin YouTube things

    in other news

    Ross Gelbspan reporting from Jamaica
    Plain

    Taking Five to Think Big on Global Warming
    05/23/2016 02:53 pm ET

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ross-gelbspan/taking-five-to-think-big_b_10108724.html

    Ross Gelbspan
    A writer and former journalist for the Boston Globe and Washington Post who maintains the website heatisonline.org
    Climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity. It requires all the countries of the world to work cooperatively to limit its progress and manage its increasingly disruptive impacts. It demands our very biggest commitment. But first, let’s take five to think big about it.

    No nation can address the warming individually or manage its impacts single handedly, with

  6. Matt,

    Thank you for this post. I have also bemoaned the decline in the quality of education, especially with respect to history. Somewhat related but also unrelated to your post, I recently published a piece at The Good Men Project about the complicated legacy of Andrew Jackson, the original founder of the modern Democratic Party. I wouldn’t mind getting your feedback if you have a moment:

    http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/defense-andrew-jackson-sort-wcz/

    Jon

    1. I enjoyed reading you post. I learned much and plan to go back over it again for it contained much good informatin. As usual you did a thorough job investigating and setting out your thesis. You reminded me I had not posted the article I did on old Hickory. Good job and I look forward to reading it again and if I can I will give you more feedback. I’ve told you before you have a talent for writing.

  7. Matt,

    Thanks for reading and for your nice reply. Just read your post on Jackson. Well done. Reads almost like a long free verse poem. Strange as it may seem in our world today (though not when I was growing up in the streets of Providence), it makes me sad to see there is no longer any intolerance for a good fist fight anymore (either by the elites who, as you said, can even tolerate a shove; or among kids, who either complain about ‘micro-aggressions’ or, on the opposite side of the spectrum, resort to guns and knives). I guess we still have mixed martial arts and boxing.

    Jon

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