The cover from this month’s edition from my teacher’s union magazine:
Minnesota, like many other states, is about to become a “Right To Work” state, and it is the unions themselves that are unwittingly helping it to happen.
The unions and the democrat party have long had a nearly exclusive, symbiotic relationship. As long as the democrats remained in power, the unions were protected by the democrats; and in turn, the unions were free to act in a blatantly partisan fashion and be an unrepentant, militant arm of the democratic party.
Because of this relationship, the unions never had to worry about public relations. They could afford to be as-in-your-face-nasty-as-they-damned-well-wanted-to-be. Conservative rank-and-file members were summarily ignored. They didn’t care what the average non-union person thought. They didn’t care about winning the hearts and minds of the average American voter. They were quite comfortable in their roles as the enforcement/thug/footsoldier arm of the democratic party. But now that the democrats are largely out of power in Minnesota, as well as in a host of other state legislatures, the unions are suddenly finding themselves in the precarious position of being the toady left on a street corner whose protector has suddenly left the scene.
Now, given that “Right To Work” will no doubt make it on the ballot this November as a Constitutional amendment in Minnesota (and other states) , one would think that the unions’ very survival would depend on improving their public image. One would think that the unions would be running a full court press on public relations, running ads 24/7 extolling their virtues, and the services that their members provide to the public.
But instead, the public unions, including the teacher’s unions (of which I’m a member) have doubled-down on their self-serving, narcissistic thuggery. They haven’t yet awakened to the fact that with Right to Work going to the ballot this fall, it will no longer be the legislators (whom they used to have in their hip pocket) that they’ll have to convince. They’ll have to convince the very voters of Minnesota why they should remain a viable, omnipotent, political force.
Ergo, when the union leadership organize angry demonstrations like so many 60s hippie throwbacks or cadres of Bolsheviks running roughshod in near-riotous mobs, they’re not doing themselves any favors. At the same time, they just don’t seem to have a clue as to just how precarious their position is, or how to fix it.
Up to this point, Minnesota’s teacher and other unions, having had the luxury of being able to act like spoiled teenagers; largely without consequence, have been virtual one-trick ponies in terms of defaulting to in-your-face, thuggish tactics to get demands met.
But as Minnesota native Bob Dylan once crooned, “Oh the times, they are a changing.”
If Minnesota’s unions want to survive, they better damn well change with them.