The New "Civil War"

The New “Civil War”

Jim Gschwind PHD

The Despondent Correspondent




            No, I’m not talking about a “shooting war” although to hear Jimmy Hoffa Jr rant about it, I’m not so sure.  Pundits continually tell us we are divided by “red states” and “blue states” depending upon the prevalence of either Democrat or Republican population which confuses me somewhat since latest polls indicate that those Americans who consider themselves “conservative” constitute over 40 per cent versus those who consider themselves “liberal” 20 percent with the rest being “moderate” or “independent”.


            All it takes is a quick glance at that red and blue map to understand that it nicely fits as an overlay over the “old” Industrial North versus the “old” rural/agricultural  South makeup of the population.  The West and North East as well as a swath of the old “rust belt” surrounding the Great Lakes as well as some west coast states constitute the “blue” or “liberal” states while the vast majority of the central US, the entire south constitute the “blue” or “conservative” states.


            The “Civil War” I’m referring to goes back to Hoffa and his “take those son $#$% out” speech.  If others understand the situation as I think I do, it comes down to union ability to recruit and maintain membership versus the more conservative “right to work” states where one does not have to join a union.  There are areas and states/cities where a person can live their whole life and unless they are a teacher or a Government worker they will never come across a union membership application.  In “right to work” states, we may have teachers and Government workers unions but other workers are not required to join these unions in order to obtain employment.  “Right to work” states do not basically have “union closed shops”, while this becomes more prevalent in the “blue” states.  


            The reason I used the term “civil war” is due to the fact that except for states in the West that joined the union following our own civil war of the 19th century the North and its “industrialized” past and the south with its “agricultural” past had diametrically opposing views regarding unionization.  Granted in the industrialized north during the past there was good reason to have unions due to corporate abuse of their workers.  As everyone knows however, history has a way of changing things to the point where instead of companies being abusive to their employees, it has become fashionable by unions to abuse those who hire them and in fact becoming their own bosses.  Unions are actually taking the place of their old corporate bosses.   Instances of this abound in many non-factory settings.  Government workers especially those in the US Postal Service often have supervisors serving as shop stewards; retail and grocery stores that are unionized often have low level supervisors who become shop stewards, so you tell me….what is the need for a union when the union becomes both supervisor and the supervised?   There are countless instances where the union and employees (remember Eastern Airlines?) have actually bought or obtained a controlling interest in the company they work for.  Isn’t that a conflict of interest?  If it isn’t then give me your definition of a conflict of interest.  Basically unions have overstayed their welcome and just don’t know they are terminally ill.  Their benefactors the corrupt Democratic liberal politicians cannot separate themselves from them either but are stuck in a perpetual downward spiral that is causing both union members and leaders as well as their political counterparts to become verbally abusive to others and at times violent such as some of the Occupy Wall street movement which the unions paid individuals to attend.


Unions in “blue” states are finding themselves falling on hard times due to the loss of factories and other similar industries such as automobile manufacturing when the factories either moved overseas or moved to southern “red” state cities such as Birmingham, Atlanta, Greenville, Charlotte, Memphis and St Louis where unions could not find traction in “right to work” states.  After all that’s why those companies moved there.  Unions in “blue” states are running scared due to loss of membership (well below 10 percent of the US population) and have become joined at the hip with “blue” state and generally democratic politicians in order to have the government and especially the Department of Labor, force industries to locate in union friendly states vice “right to work” states such as the Carolinas.   They are getting desperate as shown by Hoffa’s thug like behavior and rhetoric seeing the battles much less the war as getting away from them.


            The opening shot in this new “civil war” between the north and the south (union versus “right to work” states”) was the Department of Labor versus Boeing who was choosing to relocate a major factory into a “right to work state”.  Obama and the union Marxist partners were obviously miffed and lost that battle due to public outcry from non-union citizens.  The OWS movement fizzled out or is in its death throes despite the support of many major unions and that was another battle unions lost.


            The next battle has already been joined and has put our “lead from behind” president in an awkward spot.  By delaying and trying to sink any hope for the new pipeline from Canada which would mean 20,000 jobs in the Midwest where the unions see a desperate last chance to increase their membership in relatively virgin (union wise) states where unions have had very little good fortune in the past.  I hate to break it to them, but most of the workers flocking into the natural gas fields of Pennsylvania and Ohio (former union strongholds) and into the shale oil fields and the pipeline construction in Nebraska are non union off-shore oil workers from Louisiana and East Texas who lost their jobs with Obama’s drilling moratorium.  These “Cajuns” will definitely tell union membership drive workers where to “put it” in no uncertain terms so “good luck”.  I don’t see attempts to unionize “Cajun” oil workers going very well at all. 


            So not only is Obama going against his hard core base of union leaders by denying them the opportunity to recruit for this pipeline deal, but if he approves it due to republican and public pressure he’ll alienate his “eco-buddies” and “anti-capitalist” Marxists who are also part of his only base.  Then he’ll not only have well over half the country PO’d at him during election year but he’ll be caught right in the middle of this countries “right to work” and “union” (the new North and South) “civil war”. 


He’s the “general” on the union side, what does he do?  Lead from the rear again probably as usual or maybe he’ll just “sleep on it”.    After declaring war on the Catholic Church in the US I’m sure he doesn’t need to fight another war on another front.  


Do I feel sorry for him?……I think not……I feel sorry for us because we are going to pay and be caught in the middle of this new “Civil War”.   We would be too lucky if he “slept on it” all the way past November 2012.  Good luck Mr. President!