Labor, Socialists and Immigration
9 hours ago
September 14, 2015
Moyers & Company
Trump’s announced intention to deport 11 million “illegals” while building a wall from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico at no cost — details conveniently not provided — is simultaneously savage and ludicrous. Even more disturbing is the sluggishness of the response from Republican and Democratic opinion makers. Where is the outrage? Why is the counterattack left largely to Hispanic organizations?
It has so far annoyed but not really surprised me that Donald Trump, despite being an obnoxious bully, has defied expectations with a steady rise in the public opinion polls. It may be that his buffoonery and megalomania are simply more attractive to some early voters than rival candidates, with their solemn professions that what pushes them into the grind of campaigning is their dedication to promoting the public welfare.
But I am considerably more than annoyed when Trump puts himself at the head of the armies of the new nativism by using his bullhorn to echo the warnings of the movement’s Cassandras against the supposed “hordes” of undocumented immigrants pouring through our “open southern border.” His point of attack is the so-called “anchor babies” — children of pregnant mothers who supposedly sneak into the United States so that their children will be born here and automatically become citizens.
When Chris Christie said that our union deserves “a punch in the face,” I was appalled but not surprised. When Scott Walker compared union members in Wisconsin to members of the terrorist organization ISIS, I was disappointed but not shocked.
It’s no secret there is a well-funded operation out there whose only mission is to destroy unions and strip workers of our rights and dignity. Over-the-top comments from politicians are just more examples of how brutal it’s gotten.
But our unions aren’t faceless buildings. Unions are our members—our brothers and sisters who are out there every day working to improve our communities and provide for their families. That's how this country prospered after World War II, building a middle class through strong unions. And today, as our country wrestles with stagnant wages and growing inequality, Americans’ approval of labor unions is the highest it has been since 2008, according to a new Gallup poll. No wonder conservative politicians—who simply want the status quo—try to score political points by attacking us.
This Labor Day, let’s show the people who want to tear workers down the faces of the hard-working Americans they’re attacking.