Reactionary Extremism in Wisconsin and Ohio - by Stephen Lendman
It's spreading nationally under Republican and Democrat administrations, but Wisconsin and Ohio are key battleground states. Wisconsin especially - ground zero to save organized labor, on the chopping block to be weakened ahead of eliminating it altogether, returning America to 19th century harshness.
Already a shadow of its peak strength, it's been gravely harmed under corrupted union bosses, betraying rank and file members for power and self-enrichment. Short of real change, working Americans face stiff headwinds for their rights fast eroding.
Nonetheless, Wisconsin public employees show heroic stamina, 17 days after protests began, rallying in cold and snow, sleeping on Capitol floors, staying the course for rights too important to lose, facing off against extremist governance wanting them stripped of everything.
Fascism is rooted in Washington under Democrat and Republican rule, America's one-party system with two wings, each as corrupted as the other supporting money and power, not beneficial social change. It's also virulent in Wisconsin, Ohio, and other states. Merriam-Webster calls it:
"a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation(s) and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition."
Mussolini endorsed "the Corporative System (that's) destined to become the civilization of the twentieth century."
Hitler in Mein Kampf wrote enthusiastically about the "National Socialist corporative idea."
Others say it incorporates authoritarian rule, revolutionary change, messianic faith, autarky and corporatism. Combined, it represents right-wing extremism, concentrated power, masculinity, force, racial superiority, imperialism, war as a means to spread it, and intolerance of opposition or dissent.
In Wisconsin and Ohio, these elements are deepening under two reactionary Republicans, Scott Walker and John Kasich, neither giving ground in their crusade to destroy unionism and public worker rights in their states.
On March 2, New York Times writer Sabrina Tavernise headlined, "Ohio Senate Approves (Anti-)Union Bill," saying:
By a 17 - 16 vote, six Republicans voting no, Ohio's Senate passed extremist "legislation that (will practically eliminate) collective bargaining rights for public sector workers by banning strikes" and weakening union power overall in labor-government negotiations. Easy House passage is expected.
Kasich not only endorsed it, he played hardball for Senate passage with Republican Tom Niehaus, the chamber's President. Together they perhaps staged an unprecedented political coup by removing two GOP committee dissenters for supportive ones to get a full floor vote for passage.
The bill redefines collective bargaining terms. Wage negotiations are permitted, but not entirely. Disallowed are others for healthcare coverage, pensions and other benefits. Strikes are also prohibited under threat of fines and incarceration. New pay rules will be based on merit, not seniority.
Overall, a new labor dispute resolution system will be established, empowering government at the expense of workers, heading for losing all rights.