Grover Norquist, the hyper-conservative anti-taxer, has penned an outline for how President Trump and Republicans can “still win big in 2020 – despite everything.” Bottom-line: destroy unions and you destroy the progressive movement (from conservation to social justice issues to workers’ rights).
Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in 2016 did not lay the groundwork for Republican political dominance. But the March 2011 signing of ACT 10, a dramatic reform of public sector labor laws, by Wisconsin’s Scott Walker certainly did. To understate it: If Act 10 is enacted in a dozen more states, the modern Democratic Party will cease to be a competitive power in American politics. It’s that big a deal.
It is the model for all Republican legislatures. Iowa enacted similar legislation this spring after the GOP captured the state Senate. Newly minted unified Republican control in Kentucky and Missouri, led by Govs. Matt Bevin and Eric Greitens, is committed to enacting Act 10 as soon as possible.
Today, there are 14.3 million union members in the U.S. … They take in annual dues of more than $8 billion every year — $32 billion over the course of a four-year presidential cycle.
Wisconsin, which had not voted for a Republican candidate for president since 1984, voted for Trump five years after Act 10 passed and re-elected Sen. Ron Johnson, whom Democrats and Republicans believed to be the second most likely Republican to lose in 2016.
Trump’s tweets attract attention. Act 10 moves forward. Quietly. Inexorably. Changing the political landscape like a glacier.
We don’t agree with Norquist’s policy, but he’s right when it comes to the conservative playbook. If you care about progressive issues — any progressive issue — you need to start caring about the assault on unions, organized labor, and workers. Otherwise, things are about to get a lot worse.
Just one more time:
If Act 10 is enacted in a dozen more states, the modern Democratic Party will cease to be a competitive power in American politics. It’s that big a deal.
Progressives of all stripes and elected officials in the Democratic Party would do well to take notice.