Thursday, June 7, 2012
Governor Palin has always readily described herself as a former union member and wife of a union member. While she has taken union bosses--union thugs, if you will--to task, she continues to show support for union brothers and sisters.
Via The New York Sun:
Though we have disagreed with Big Labor on most public policy issues of the past generation, it happens that we don’t think of ourselves as anti-labor. We watched the central role that the AFL-CIO and other anti-communist labor unions played in the defeat of the Soviet Union. It was a huge thing. It led us to the conclusion that a free and democratic labor movement, invested in the riches that only human intelligence and work can create, is less a fifth column than a pillar of strength in a free society. But for the same reason that communism didn’t work, public sector unionism is a zero-sum game that pits labor against everyone else. It’s a fight that labor, like the communists, can only lose.
In this respect, Wisconsin can be a teaching moment. It puts at a premium politicians who, like Mr. Walker, have the grit for the fight. It also puts at a premium leaders with ability to reach out to labor and make this argument. This is one of the reasons we’ve been savoring the strategy of Sarah Palin, who stepped onto the national stage by announcing that her husband, Todd, was a “proud member of the United Steel workers” and who herself is a one-time union member from her days as a telephone company dispatcher. She is the only Republican who has pointedly reached out to labor and bid its rank and file to join the commonsense, conservative, constitutional cause.
We don’t mean to suggest this struggle is about Mrs. Palin, only that this is a moment to think about where the true interests of labor lie and about the possibilities of the labor movement. The Cold War taught that there can be hinges in our history when free labor and free enterprise are on the same side. Government is a zero sum game for organized labor, as for the rest of us, while in the private sector the possibilities are wide open. There is no natural limit to growth in private enterprise, in the creation of wealth by human ingenuity and effort. One of the things to watch for after the victory in Wisconsin is the one who can make that case to labor itself.
Read the full piece here.