Farewell, Labor Day! The end of summer!
We just recently celebrated a holiday now mostly associated with barbecuing and retail sales. Now, let's get the clue hidden in plain sight for this holiday's real importance.
It was originally intended to celebrate workers and labor unions (and assuage labor's anger at the federal government's blood-drenched busting of a railroad strike). The Republican Party would be smart to claim for itself the cause of workers, really meaning it ... rather than the standard practice of paying lip service to "working families."
Blue collar workers now are defecting from the Democratic Party, finding a home in the "MAGA" GOP. The GOP's embracing policies welcome to workers would accelerate that healthy trend.
Establishment Republicans, antagonistic toward labor unions, seem purblind to the political opportunity of playing to workers. Pity.
It's the right thing.
It's the smart thing.
It's the fitting thing.
Labor Day was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland, a Democrat, a president so inspiring for fighting corruption and elitism and for unflinching support of the gold standard that he inspired Republican mass defections to his reelection.
Why is being pro-labor the right thing? Most vividly, "The Communist Manifesto" is the wrong thing. It promotes class warfare. Communism pits workers, the "proletariat," against the middle class, the "bourgeoisie."
Communism — and its attendant class warfare — ushered in multiple genocides, national insolvencies and mass misery of unparalleled scale. The American Dream of workers is to join, not destroy, the middle class.
Why is being pro-labor the smart thing? Workers, unlike corporations, vote. Elections are all about winning more votes than the Other Guy. There are a lot of votes in supporting workers.
As for labor unions, most of which have let themselves become shills of the Democratic Party, the smart thing is to court their members, and, thus, the unions themselves, out of their role of Democratic Party shills by representing them better than the Democrats do.
I, a notorious arch-conservative, am a proud dues-paying, card-carrying member of the AFL-CIO. Does courting organized labor flunk the libertarian purity test? So be it.
Wake me when the libertarian wing of the Republican Party produces a massive Corporate Suffrage Movement. Until such a fantastical time, it's politically foolish to denigrate rather than compete, for the loyalty of labor unions.
Why is being pro-labor the fitting thing? Unions can be great.
John L. Lewis, head of the United Mine Workers and chief founder of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (the CIO half of the AFL-CIO), was a supply-side Republican. He persuaded mine owners to share the prosperity engendered by new technology with the miners. Capitalism at its best!
Jack Kemp, the quarterback of supply-side economics that doubled real per capita GDP in America from $30,000/year to $60,000/year, was co-founder and first president of the American Football League Players Association, a labor union of which DeMaurice Smith said, "He laid a great foundation for our players to organize their efforts to protect their rights and privileges as professional football players."
The great Ronald Reagan served seven terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild, a labor union, where he "staged a showdown with studio executives — and won the creation of the residual payment system that lives today" ... by engineering an industry-wide strike.
As I've pointed out before here at Newsmax, at Forbes.com, The Economic Standard, Townhall, The Western Journal, The American Spectator and The Transpartisan Review, the left is not monolithic. Splitting the left by actively appealing to labor is smart politics.
The progressives, the big-mouthed progs (rhymes with trogs), are the loudest force on the left. Also, the smallest. They are alien to the Democratic Party base of blue collars and people of color, both of whom trend conservative in values.
Dustin Guastella, the Teamsters' Local 623 director of operations writing (for himself, not the union) at the hard-left Jacobin magazine, nailed it in Everybody Hates the Democrats:
"Consider Elizabeth Warren's campaign, which even the ultraliberal magazine the Atlantic chided for its 'Excessive Wokeness.' Warren combined a popular economic agenda with an often-awkward attempt at courting Teen Vogue-reading radicals. This approach was admired among activists, media commentators, and some professional-class voters, but almost no one else — especially not the oppressed groups she aimed to attract. Warren came in fourth among black voters in her home state.
"Winning the loyalty of the majority of working people in this country will require breaking out of the existing liberal fortresses and appealing to workers across our massive continental democracy. But pairing a popular economic program with alienating rhetoric, chic activist demands, and identity-based group appeals only weakens the possibility of doing so."
Hello GOP? Take to heart the real meaning of Labor Day. Being a true friend of labor is the recipe for endless political victories.
Ralph Benko, co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto" and chairman and co-founder of "The Capitalist League," is the founder of The Prosperity Caucus and is an original Kemp-era member of the Supply-Side revolution that propelled the Dow from 814 to its current heights and world GDP from $11T to $94T. Read Ralph Benko's reports — More Here.
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