Editor’s Note: This column originally appeared in The American Prospect
Daily flirtations with nuclear war. Suspending freedom of the press. Fifty-nine people executed during a country music concert. Neo-Nazis and white supremacists marching openly in the streets. American citizens begging for their government’s help after a storm wiped their hopes and dreams off the map, only to then be threatened with revocation of that aid because Wall Street wants its money. Foreign powers sabotage our elections; our leaders sabotage our health care because of an ill-conceived campaign promise.
Saying “This isn’t normal” has become clichéd, but finding solutions to get us back to normal isn’t yet commonplace.
… At their best, labor unions provide the stability that allows democracy to flourish. When working people organize, they can call out corruption and inequality without fear of reprisal. Union members raise standards for non-union workers in everything from wages to benefits to time off. So if we want to get back to normal, strong unions are key.
That is why some of the rich and powerful—authoritarian people and institutions intent on sowing chaos and dismantling our democratic foundation—are targeting unions and the values they represent.