“Welcome to Nazi Germany!” howled Communication Workers of America boss Christopher Shelton, at a protest in Trenton, New Jersey, yesterday. “We got Adolf Christie and his two generals trying to make New Jersey Nazi Germany!”
Those two “generals” would be State Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, who are both Democrats. At least, they used to be, until Shelton drummed them out of the Democrat Party and marched them into the National Socialist German Worker’s Party. “Any politician who stands up against collective bargaining, in this state or any other, is not a Democrat,” railed Shelton. “They’re Nazis, goddamn it!”
What brutal act of genocidal cruelty prompted this outburst from Shelton? He’s angry about a bill that “would increase pension and health benefit costs for public workers,” according to a report at NJ.com.
Shelton eventually apologized for his tirade after the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants complained that “his remarks trivialize the horrors of the Holocaust, and are an offense to all victims of Nazi crimes, Jew and non-Jew.”
What’s the deal with all these Nazi slurs being thrown around by union guys these days? They called Wisconsin governor Scott Walker “Hitler” as well.
The obvious answer is that calling someone a Nazi, much like calling them a racist, is the lazy slander of a pinhead who doesn’t have a real argument to make. Union boss Shelton requires the people of New Jersey to submit to his demands and provide lavish benefits to his organization. There is no logical way to make a persuasive case for this, so he’s pretty much down to screaming insults until his veins pop, to keep his troops motivated.
Consider the substance of a Nazi comparison. What was bad about the Nazis? They were militaristic, genocidal, and totalitarian. Not even the most brain-dead union thug thinks Chris Christie is militaristic, and he’s never harmed anyone. Therefore, the insult is meant to convey the idea that he is a totalitarian, brutally using absolute political power to oppress the unions. Shelton says as much when he rails against Christie’s Democrat “generals.”
This is generally what lazy liberals mean when they toss around the Nazi slur, although they do like to entertain each other with fantasies of being locked in concentration camps by gun-toting Christian fascists. The irony is that unions are entirely dependent on coercive political power for their success. The benefits they demand, especially in the public sector, have gone far beyond anything that could conceivably be justified in fair competition with non-union workers. That’s why they need renegade government agencies, like the NLRB, to go after companies, like Boeing, which attempt to escape to right-to-work states, like South Carolina.
Christopher Shelton has no intrinsic objection to authoritarian power. In fact, he needs it to stay rich. Public-sector collective bargaining is completely premised on denying taxpayers a seat at the table. No amount of anti-democratic activity – from ordering bought-and-paid-for Democrat legislators to flee the state in fear of tough votes, to instructing friendly judges to flagrantly abuse their authority with injunctions – is off the table for the modern union boss. No competition with unions is to be allowed, and neither is refusal of their demands.
Do you really want to talk about the Nazis, union-loving liberals? Let’s begin by discussing why they were wrong, and work our way from there to what made them horrifying.