The Right’s Race to the Bottom Illustrated

So are you among those who doubt that the Republican Party and the conservative movement have been radicalized in recent years? Check out this passage from Ronald Reagan’s famous “Statue of Liberty” speech which opened his 1980 presidential campaign and see what he says about unions and collective bargaining:

Compare that to the remarks made last month by one of Reagan’s self-styled heirs, SC Gov. Nikki Haley, at a “U.S. Manufacturer’s Summit” put on by the WalMart Corporation:

I guess having served their purpose in the Cold War, unions are supposed to shuffle off to the dustbin of history like communism itself. But even putting aside the obvious devolution of GOP rhetoric on labor, Haley’s happy celebration of the maximum exploitation of her own people is remarkable.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.