Berry Craig: A big reason the South’s white political and business elite hated and feared unions was that in a union everybody is equal. Thus, they played the race card to divide white and African American workers and keep unions at bay.
Berry Craig: Republican charges that Obama and the Democrats are “socialists” only shows how far right-wing the old party of Lincoln and Liberty has slid.
Berry Craig: It was a tsunami of money triggered by the Supreme Court ruling that corporations could spend unlimited sums to elect or oppose candidates for public office.
Berry Craig: Of course, not all Republicans are bigots. But Paul and his pals are more proof — as if proof were needed — that the GOP is mainly what the Southern Democrats were in slavery and Jim Crow days: the white folks’ party.
“The Party of No doesn’t want the union vote, the working family vote,” AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka said at the AFL-CIO-sponsored Battleground States Conference. “They want us all to stay at home out of frustration.”
Berry Craig: The poll numbers hint at the biggest GOP edge: the U.S. is the most conservative country in the Western democratic world. “Liberal” — which means centrist or center-left in other industrial democracies — is as far left as mainstream American politics flows. The U.S. is the only industrial democracy that doesn’t have a significant democratic socialist or social democratic party.
Berry Craig: A few of the purveyors of this bigoted nonsense might actually believe it. Most of them, however, are merely seeking political gain by inviting white voters to question the motives and good faith of the nation’s first African-American president. This is really about tearing Barack Obama down.
Berry Craig: Generally, the smaller a paper or TV or radio station is, the greater its bias against unions. Their anti-unionism is sometimes as plain as their front doors, which are often plastered with decals or stickers proudly proclaiming chamber membership. The fact that the chamber is openly pro-business and anti-union apparently doesn’t trouble local media owners about conflicts of interest.
Berry Craig: The show featured a slave mother’s explanation of the Declaration of Independence to her young son. “…Freedom isn’t something that these men plan on giving us,” she said. “…All of this talk is about them getting their freedom, or more freedom because they’re already free….I told him, ‘Son, these are the same men that will beat Negroes nearly half to death…They call us, who God has created, their property…No, son, these men will not free you. And my son looked at me and said ‘Well, that freedom ain’t for me.’
Berry Craig: The Republicans of the 1850s were democratic revolutionaries. The Tea Baggers are reactionary counterrevolutionaries. Their movement – not coincidentally almost all white — represents some of the worst traits in the body politic, notably racism, sexism, nativism, militarism, jingoism, homophobia, religious bigotry and greed.
Berry Craig: When Reagan said he was a “states’ rights” guy, “he was elbow deep in the same old race-baiting Southern strategy of Goldwater and Nixon” and “tapping out the code,” Bob Herbert wrote in the New York Times in 2007. “It was understood that when politicians started chirping about ‘states’ rights’ to white people in places like Neshoba County they were saying that when it comes down to you and the blacks, we’re with you. And Reagan meant it.”