I am first and foremost a political
scientist. The fiasco of the debt limit debate has caused me to look beyond what is normally acccepted as political realty. The debate seems laden with code words, political posturing, and the blind allegiance of the Republicans to the super rich. In Johnson's day, Everett Dirksen (I believe he was known as the "Golden Throat") was the Republican Senate Minority who knew what Loyal Opposition meant: forging consensus or compromise. When the time came for LBJ to sign the Great Society legislation, Senator Dirksen would be present with a broad smile knowing that he had helped craft the biill and deserved the signing pen that he would receive. In Nixon's day, Spiro would say "block voting" and we know he meant "black voting." As a political activist and a DFLer, I felt Nixon breathing down my neck. Though there was undeniably a very evil side to him (he was obstensibly addressing a Pepsi-Cola meeting in Dallas) at the time JFK was assassinated. At least he was competent in foreign and domestic affairs. I opposed most of what he stood for, and watched him crumble because of Watergate with the keenest observation and attention. He sought to hold on to power by whatever means necessary and was convinced that was his mandate. Except until the very end when, he was making his plans to make get-away by helicopter the country had an effective government. Nixon and Reagan both proposed legislation that would make them Republican pariahs, though they raise high Reagan's banner whenever it suits them. As a historian, I see Reagan's victory over the air traffic controller union as a turning point in US history. Unionism, in numbers and power began to decline. If you are capable of stepping back, ridding yourself of your ideological preconcetions, and objectively analyzing the situation, you will see the negative chain of events that flowed because of this union-busting.
I think a good argument could be made that it is the most stressful job in the world: more than an airline captain who worries only about the plane he is on.
This union-busting had many ramifications the two greatest being: the chilling of unionism and the weakening of the national
defense with less qualified individuals in lower numbers monitoring US air space.
It is getting late and I have to close. I would like everyone who reads this to consider a corporate structure that would supplant the prevailing corporate structure of today (given human form by a distastrous Supreme Court decision. [Was there a gun pointed at their head?) Worker control of the means of production without a parasitic management class. The term for this is syndicalism. It is not a wild-eyed socialist imaginary theory. It is a practical, concrete corporate organization: one already in existence in the US, including highly placed national defense firms.