newsdavid reynolds civil war ii

David Reynolds: Civil War II


If there is to be a war, let it begin here. Or in twenty-two other right-to-work states, including Virginia. Or, best of all, in South Carolina. The reasons we will go to war again is the same reason we went to war 150 years ago – freedom.

Wars are about freedom. For Civil War II the question of freedom goes beyond the color of a worker’s skin. It goes to where the worker’s employer can set up shop. Civil War II is being fought over economic freedom.

Yes, we have made some progress in this freedom business. We no longer enslave workers in the cotton fields – we only tell the master where he can have his plantation.

Civil War I determined that the first word in the name of our country really meant something. That we were united. Now we have become divided between 23 right-to-work states and 27 union-shop states, between the free and the less-than-free. Ohio University economist Richard Vedder found that between 2000 and 2008 4.8 million Americans moved from forced-union states to right-to-work states.

That’s why there is second civil war going on. There are desperate men who have resorted to desperate measures in order to maintain their power and influence. This war is not taking place with shots fired from behind trees killing one soldier at a time. It is being staged on a worldwide battlefield with shots being fired from Washington. If Washington wins, it may be all quiet along the Potomac that night, but not along the Thames and the Seine. In London and Paris they will celebrate in the name of Airbus. And America and Boeing will no longer be competitive in the global aerospace market.

So, will you join in our parade to bring back America, to make it again the envy of the world, to continue to have the world’s most productive workers, or as I heard MLK shout at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, “Let freedom ring!”

It is up to the President of the United States whether freedom will ring. He can continue to sit on the sidelines – and be a one-term president. Or he can split with desperate union leaders – and we will extend his four-year lease on a certain large white house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Which shall it be, the union label or four more years?

As every private or charter school kid knows, Civil War I began in Charleston Harbor at Fort Sumter. Civil War II started just 15 miles inland in North Charleston, where Boeing has built a $1 billion-plus, state-of-the art, 1.2 million square-foot airplane assembly plant. A thousand new workers have already been hired. The first new 787 Dreamliner is scheduled to come off the assembly line in July.

But none of this seems to matter to the federal government and its National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB has told Boeing to pack up and go to a union-shop state, preferably the State of Washington. Or shut down! Translation: We don’t mind making the Dreamliner a nightmare, as long as it serves our interests, forces Boeing to go to court and intimidates others thinking about relocating to a right-to-work state.

I know why the unions are scared. I (a former union member) recently toured a modern BMW plant. It was not in Germany. It, too, was in South Carolina. Between Spartansburg and Greenville skilled and satisfied non-union American workers are building German designed cars. (The tour guide informed us that the robots are also non-union members.) But, don’t feel sorry for the UAW. Think of the Federal Republic of Germany. They lost 7,500 jobs to us!

On November 6, 2012 there will be a vote on whether organized labor will live or continue to slowly drop in numbers. You and I already know what happened in Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio at the hands of Republicans. But did you know that Massachusetts Democrats have also tied union’s hands? And next door, New Hampshire may soon be a right-to-work state. (The governor vetoed the right-to-work move by the state legislature.) Union leaders know every member can not be a public school teacher. That’s why the National Association of Machinists and the Aerospace Workers are taking desperate measures to unionize all those who make “Made in USA” planes.

Look at it this way. An American company in excellent standing, one of our largest employers and one of our most successful exporters, a source of national pride, must go to court to carry out a well-researched business decision to expand its operations in one of our united states — a union that was finally formed at a cost of 600,000 lives during Civil War I!

Mr. President, think it over. Divorce your union friends and consider a renewed marriage contract with the American people. Sure, you will take on a few new enemies, but you will also gain millions of new friends – and they vote. America can not let the rest of the world make our planes and we can go back to sewing shirts. It’s your call.

Column by David Reynolds



Have a story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.