The Right’s Crass Attempt To Steal Labor Day
Maybe someone needs to tell Eric Cantor that this is NOT what Labor Day is about:
Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.—
Eric Cantor (@GOPLeader) September 03, 2012
I know that for Cantor and the GOP it gets hard to separate Labor Day from unions; and I know that since unions typically support Democrats over Republicans, that must hurt. But that doesn’t change history.
Attempting to redefine Labor Day to fit the frame of the current campaign (celebrating the titans of industry who built this country on the backs of millions of exploited workers) is like trying to reframe slavery as a popular jobs program for African immigrants.
If Cantor were the only one saying such things, we could laugh it off as just another gaffe by an out-of-touch politician. But he’s not alone. The entire Republican party is not only pushing fealty to the “job creators”, they’re simultaneously attacking unions and worker protections. Every time a Republican politician or business executive talks about “burdensome regulation”, they’re not just aiming at the environment — worker protections are square in their sights, as well.
There is even a piece in the Wall Street Journal today entitled “We’ve Got Labor Day. Why Not Corporation Day?” I’m pretty sure it was meant to be published in The Onion, but somehow got mixed up with the WSJ. A taste:
We’ve kicked our corporations around long enough. Like returning Vietnam veterans, corporations have been tormented and harassed. They are routinely referred to as callous, uncaring, heartless profit-mongers. They are regular targets of protests, boycotts and media exposés.
Some are wrongfully accused of polluting, discriminating and illegal profiteering. They are taxed, surcharged, regulated, audited and generally hounded by all levels of government. Isn’t it about time to pay our respects to the corporations that have made our country great?
Corporation Day would be a joyous celebration of capitalism, a three-day national holiday honoring the great industrialist pioneers, business barons and tycoons of our nation. We would pay grateful respects to the Mellons, Carnegies, Gettys, Fords, Rockefellers and, yes, the Kochs, for their contributions to our country’s prosperity.
Corporation Day? What would that look like for workers? Perhaps an unpaid day off, for which they’ll have to make up the time, sans overtime pay, later in the week? That would be glorious.
Here’s an idea: check out friend of the blog Richard Allen Smith’s Twitter feed (@rockrichard). He’s doing a Labor Day Tweet-a-thon with the hashtag #WhyLaborDay. Maybe you’ll choose to retweet a few of his posts — maybe you’ll even choose to send a few to Eric Cantor (@GOPLeader) to remind him what Labor Day is really all about.