8 September 2011

On Labor Day, President Obama told cheering union workers that now is the time to put the nation’s idle hands to work repairing American highways. Obama receiving applause from labor is an image his opponents can’t stand. It’s just one more example, they say, of how this Socialist-leaning president panders to his union cronies. Cronies – there’s a word that conjures up a fraternity of sinister bedfellows hatching nefarious plots to cheat and abuse the innocent. And maybe Obama’s opponents really do believe their own mythology. But the truth of the matter is, that’s really not what’s bothering them.


The impulse that drives these labor opponents comes from way, way in the back of their minds. They’ll hardly acknowledge the thought to themselves and they’ll never say it out loud, but they don’t like working people. Union members who drive trucks, repair airliners, fit pipes, wire circuits, clean office buildings and pick broccoli just aren’t the kind of folks these labor opponents prefer. Maybe it’s because they suffered too many wedgies in junior high at the hands of the shop jocks. For whatever reason, they’re much more comfortable in the company of hedge fund managers, bank CEOs, investment house executives and market speculators – people who never, ever wear overalls on the golf course or at a power lunch, and who probably didn’t excel in shop, either.



Opponents of labor aren’t satisfied to just avoid the working stiffs they don’t like – they express their aversion to labor in the policies they advance. They believe that truck drivers, iron workers, pipe fitters, electricians and janitors make too much money, have too many benefits and generally have things too easy. They spend their political careers making things tougher on working Americans while they enrich their own kind of folks, the folks who really matter, the playboys of high finance.



Labor, with the dirty overalls she wears, is the wellspring from which American greatness arises. Those who proudly weld, rivet, repair and haul this nation are denigrated as “cronies” by people who love American greatness less than they love opulent portfolios. If American greatness is a drag on their opulent portfolios, then too bad for American greatness.




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