The Right Opinion

Unions Take a Swing at Democracy

Left-wingers get violent when they lose

By Edwin J. Feulner · Dec. 18, 2012

“This is what democracy looks like!”

That's a popular protest chant among liberals. It could be heard at many “Occupy” gatherings. It's a staple at union-backed protests.

We all know that in a democracy, sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don't. The big question is, how will you react?

For example, many conservatives were disappointed by the results of last month's elections. Despite high unemployment, sluggish economic growth and an unpopular health care program, a majority of voters returned a staunchly liberal president to office.

Just as there are no permanent victories, there are no permanent defeats. The only sensible option in a democratic society is to make corrections and keep trying.

See, for example, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin at the Dec. 4 Jack Kemp Foundation Leadership Award Dinner. Both men are already finding ways to explain that a society based on opportunity is the best way to lift people out of poverty. The liberal welfare state, meanwhile, is all too often a trap, as New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently conceded.

Contrast that approach with what some of our friends on the left are up to.

In a statewide election in Michigan last month, voters soundly defeated Proposal 2, a measure that would have made union collective bargaining a right and given collective bargaining agreements the force of law. Voters shot down the union-backed measure 57-43 percent.

This, too, is what democracy looks like.

Last week, the Michigan legislature, perhaps inspired by the vote, passed a bill to become the nation's 24th right-to-work state. This simply means that workers will no longer be forced to join a union. They will still be free to do so, if they wish.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed the bill because, he says, he wants Michigan to remain competitive. When nearby Indiana became a right-to-work state earlier this year, businesses scrambled there to create jobs. “They've had 90 companies in the pipeline for economic development say this was a factor in deciding to look to come to Indiana,” Mr. Snyder said of that state's right-to-work law at a news conference earlier this year, citing statistics from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “That's thousands of jobs. We need more and better jobs in Michigan.”

Union leaders realized they couldn't overcome the challenge legislatively, so they turned to threats. “We're going to pass something that will undo 100 years of labor relations, and there will be blood,” warned Democratic state Rep. Douglas Geiss when it was obvious the vote would go against his side. “There will be repercussions.”

Mr. Geiss was harkening back to a 1937 incident in which Ford security employees beat up United Auto Workers organizers. But there's no reason automakers would use violence this time. Pro-union supporters did, though.

Protesters tore down a tent filled with activists from the group Americans for Prosperity. A protester punched Fox News contributor Steven Crowder as he covered the protests, leaving him bloodied. State troopers in riot gear swept the area clear.

Meanwhile, many teachers abandoned their classrooms, forcing some schools to close while the teachers traveled to the capital to protest. Many Democratic state senators weren't even there – they skipped out before the final vote approving the right-to-work bill.

Is this what democracy looks like?

Workers should be able to join a union. They should be able to opt out if they don't want to join the union.

Conservatives have been down before and have come roaring back. After Barry Goldwater's resounding defeat in 1964, for example, who would have envisioned a President Reagan? Those on the right just kept working to persuade the American people about the strength of their ideas. That's what they're doing now.

After the violent protests last year in Wisconsin and now Michigan, it's past time for leaders of the union movement to vow to do the same thing. Or is it democracy only when things go your way?

7 Comments

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

The union thugs have no clue what democracy is. Their democracy is based on if I don't get my way I'll turn to violence. They could care less if more jobs are created because they don't lke losing control of workers. The main reason unions leaders and Demorats are against right-to-work is it takes money out of the unions coffers to support Demoratic candidates. That is exactly why Rep Geiss made such a statement because he knew he might lose some of his union campaign money. The entire group is nothing but greedy job killing idiots.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:21 AM

wjm in Colorado said:

"Demonic", is Coulters work describing the liberal marxist and totally incohent idea of Democracy, which is really mob rule. A great read.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:40 AM

billy396 in ohio said:

I work at a huge company that has forced union membership. The union takes my money, BY FORCE, against my will, and instead of using that money to "represent and bargain for the workers that fund the union", they take that money and buy political power. They support leftist, Socialist, racist, and unamerican causes, with MY money. EVERY STATE SHOULD BE A RIGHT-TO-WORK STATE. It really is that simple. Over 100 years ago, we had mine owners who weren't willing to take the necessary measures to make coal mines safe for the miners. The United Mine Workers was formed in 1890. They fought the good fight for many years and were ultimately successful in their cause. When Cooper Tires went on strike ( http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/01/coop-j06.html ), they were all too ready to break the legs of people who crossed their picket lines, people who were merely trying to feed their families, people who were glad to get a job, any job. Yet, this is the statement of one of the strikers: “The local union says we have to go back to the USW International to ask for more assistance. We shouldn’t have to ask for anything—we’ve been paying into the union FOREVER. You can’t imagine how many billions the USW must be sitting on in their banks.” The USW (their union) had given all "excess" funds to DemoRats and other leftist causes, just like ALL good Socialists, working in lockstep with their handlers in government. Unions are the very definition of Organized Crime and they're the antithesis of a free America. They're all Commies, whether they know it or not. They even use the vernacular, calling each other "Comrade", and "Brother", and "Sister", as if there were any real solidarity promoted by the unions. They'll be your "friend", as long as you do whatever they say, and vote however they tell you to vote. Without that, you merely have another "protection" racket. Organized crime, indeed.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 12:29 PM

billy396 in ohio replied:

It's somewhat ironic that when Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. says "We're going to kick their a$$", that's perfectly OK. When Democratic state Rep. Douglas Geiss says "We're going to pass something that will undo 100 years of labor relations, and there will be blood," "There will be repercussions.", that's all ok. Yet, if a Republican had made ANY sort of statement that "there will be blood", or even "There will be repurcussions", in relation to ANY bill, the 24/7 Commie news loop would have run with the ball, calling the radical Republican every sort of wild-eyed bloodthirsty, evil, uncivilized creature. If they didn't have double standards, Leftist Commie DemonRats wouldn't have any at all. They jump at every chance to call for blood, yet their thoughtless hypocrite lackeys in the Leftmedia won't allow the opposition to even call for a response of any kind.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Bill, They treat the unions the same way they treated Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and the New Black Panther party. When the Black Panther leader put a price on Zimmerman's head of $10,000 where was the lamestream media? That was an outright terroristic threat. If a member of any white group had made such a statement about blacks it would have been headline news for days. The lamestream media has the same standards as the unions, none.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

Phat Kat Unions have one mantra: "I want, I want, Gimme, Gimme!" When the owners of Oneonta frieght asked its Union membership for extra work, they always answered with a resounding NO! After a few years of NO, the owners packed up , and moved to CSX-Canada!This was circa 1995.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 6:51 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA said:

What? I'm stunned, the vote in Michigan 57-43 for Proposal 2 hasn't been litigated and overturned, Yet.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:36 PM