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Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels gave the response to President Obama's SOTU address last night. Really smart GOP insiders wanted Mitch Daniels to run for president against the Dark Knight, however, Mrs. Daniels said no. No biggie, really.....Daniels is an unknown. But what Mitch Daniels is doing to the state of Indiana is kind of a big deal.
Like John Kasich in Ohio and Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Daniels knows that crushing unions takes away Democratic assets...making it easier for Republicans to win elections and hold onto power at the same time that Americans are turning away from the divisive, intolerant and rich-serving GOP.
So, Daniels and his GOP legislature are right now trying to force a "right to work" law onto the citizens of Indiana. As we have learned in Ohio and Wisconsin, right-to-work laws are, in reality, union disintegration and destruction bills.
But right-to-work laws pushed by Republicans are much more than just attempts to finish off 30 years of conservative war against unions. Right-to-work laws are a frontal attack on democracy. In Indiana, Republican state legislators just defeated an amendment to the proposed right-to-work bill that would allow voters in Indiana to vote on whether or not they wanted such a new law. The vote was 59-39 to keep such a decision away from being made by Indiana voters...proving once again that the will of the people and right-to-work...have nothing in common.
In Indiana's not-yet-passed bill, the goal is transparent....
Under the bill, companies and unions could no longer negotiate contracts that require employees to either join a union or pay fees for representation.
In other words.....if Indiana's bill would pass, democracy and the democratic process would be totally eliminated for workers in that state. Workers would no longer be permitted to organize a union in their place of work...unless those workers first rejected the democratic, majority-rules provisions of any such process.
The majority rules, with rare exception, in our American democratic republic. Republicans want to make one more exception. Republicans in Indiana are pushing to eliminate majority-rules democracy in the workplace....and what's worse....replace it with a new entitlement program, a new welfare program. The cynical irony here is that while these same Republicans claim that "freedom" and "liberty" are at the core of their right-to-work legislation......nullifying the democratic process inside the workplace is their real goal.
Anti-union conservatives are telling us if a majority of workers vote to unionize a workplace, that vote doesn't apply to any workers who disagree with the vote. That's modern GOP "liberty" in action. If we applied this undemocratic thinking to, say, bills passed by a majority of the U.S. Congress...then any citizen who didn't like those bills, could feel free to violate any and all provisions of said bills.
That would be the active nullification of the democratic process....not "liberty", but total chaos. Every citizen could choose, cafeteria style, which laws applied to them and which didn't. The Confederacy tried this undemocratic approach to the U.S. republic.....and it didn't work out all that well.
What Republicans describe as "freedom" and "liberty" in the workplace...is simply the nullification of democracy and the spawning of an "every man can do as they see fit" form of chaotic tyranny.
The kicker about this new push by anti-democratic Republican governors, like Mitch Daniels, is the fact that "right-to-work" is a conservative welfare program. The same political party that prides itself on bashing liberal welfare programs they say creates "brainwashed" dependency, are pushing for the power to establish a brand new welfare program for, I guess, anti-democratic misfit workers.
Mitch Daniels longs for the time when a new employee at a union shop in Indiana is entitled to all the benefits of a union agreement...without having to be a part of that union. All gain, no pain. That sense of workplace entitlement is what Daniels, and others, deem as "liberty" or "freedom." That seems odd, especially when you consider how Republicans constantly berate Americans who receive some form of government "entitlement" as hopeless dependents "enslaved" to government dependency.
Wouldn't anti-democratic, right-to-work misfits in Indiana be taking something for doing nothing should they be granted the "liberty" to benefit from a union contract while rejecting any union provisions? Wouldn't right-to-work employees simply be cowering behind the same government fiats they criticize for making the poor and minorities hopelessly dependent on government handouts?
Of course right-to-work is anti-democratic. Of course right-to-work, at it's core, creates a new anti-democratic form of government dependency....a reliance on government power to create an entirely new exception to majority rule in the workplace.
Mix all of that stuff in with the Republican Party emphasis on American workers needing to work for less money.....and it's relatively easy to see why today's GOP is seen as the Party of the 1%.