The Opposition We Need


On “Meet the Press” Sunday morning, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka was asked about the volcano of Nazi comparisons, sexual slurs, racist insults, homophobic language, and physical violence erupting from union supporters at protests in Madison, Wisconsin and elsewhere.  Trumka refused to condemn any of this language or behavior, instead rattling off some clumsy talking points about job creation… which he thinks will somehow happen after unions ratchet up the price of labor to unbelievable levels, and their allies in Big Government have bled the private sector dry.

Later that same day, Fox News reporter Mike Tobin was physically assaulted by union protesters in Madison.  It was just a matter of time before this happened to somebody from Fox, since its name is scribbled in angry red crayon near the top of the Left’s list of enemies.  Tobin said a teacher attending the protests told him “she hates him because it makes her feel good.”

The police had informed the army of union foot soldiers squatting in the Madison Capitol they needed to clean up their junk and move out on Sunday afternoon.  The protesters simply ignored them, and the police did nothing.  Union agitators have been using the Veterans Memorial at the Capitol as a combination message board and garbage dump.

A vibrant democracy thrives on debate and opposition.  Competition between ideas produces superior ideas.  The best mechanism for keeping a politician honest is the tireless scrutiny of an opponent who wants to take his seat in the next election.  But America doesn’t need this opposition.

We have no use for a Democrat Party which indulges hatred and violence from one of its most powerful constituencies.  We don’t need to hear excuses for violent imagery from the people who tried, convicted, and sentenced conservatives for the Tucson shootings before anyone knew the killer’s name.  Our children should not be entrusted to tenured government teachers who like to hate until they feel good.  Our civil laws should not be suspended to give a privileged class of malcontents extra time to express their contempt for the taxpayers who employ them.

Public unions organized nationwide protests over the weekend, with poor attendance everywhere but Madison.  They called it the “Rally to Save the American Dream.”  America doesn’t need an opposition that thinks the “American Dream” equals endless servitude to the State, whose lavishly compensated employees will squeeze until the private sector breaks… and then squeeze some more, refusing to give an inch even as state treasuries are emptied to the last nickel.

We don’t need an opposition that thinks collective bargaining by public employees is a “right” more fundamental than any taxpayer’s “right” to keep a dollar of his earnings.  We don’t want to hear that the spoils of collective bargaining are eternal commitments that transcend democracy itself.  Transforming the relationship between citizens and the government is an ongoing project of the Democrat Party.  Why should we accept the relationship between the government and public unions as chiseled in stone, immune to adjustment even when the system goes bankrupt?  Why are fifty year old collective bargaining privileges more permanent than Constitutional rights which date back over two centuries?  Are we supposed to believe the State can make unlimited demands of its citizens, but must negotiate carefully with its employees?

The results of a democratic election are not subject to dismissal by unhappy public employees.  We the people, through our elected representatives, will tell the public sector what we are willing to pay them, and how many of them we need to hire.  We don’t need to “negotiate” with people who work for us, as if their demands mattered more than our requirements.  If public employees don’t like this new reality, they can quit.  They would be doing us a huge favor, since we need to trim those bloated Age of Obama government payrolls.

We don’t need an opposition that deals in delusions, babbling about how they will spend billions of dollars that don’t exist.  In the long run, Democrats and union bosses are doing public employees no favors, by selling them on a bankrupt fantasy of eternal life, in a utopia that will soon come crashing down around them.  They are prodding public employees to fight for something they can’t have, no matter how passionately they demand it.

 We don’t need a party that views the promises our Founders made to the citizens of their new republic as meaningless antique poetry, while the government’s promises to itself are cold iron chains that bind every citizen of the United States for the rest of eternity. 

We don’t need “representatives” who abandon their duty to American voters when the powerful figures they really represent order them to withdraw from democracy.  Not only should the Wisconsin Democrats be in Wisconsin instead of Illinois, they should be leading the way in denouncing the behavior of the ugly mob ringing the Capitol.  The defense of democracy requires the loyal opposition to champion the legitimacy of their duly elected opponents.  Mere silence would be a failure of civic duty.  Absence is an outrage.

Our system profits from a vigorous political contest between two parties that oppose each other.  We don’t need one party to represent the government and its clients against the taxpayer.