An Orwellian Anti-Union Ad

We get some weird and even disturbing ads fed to the site from the remnant ad networks like Google Adsense sometimes, triggered by keywords and other factors. But this one contains positively Orwellian language after the Walker recall vote:

The ad is from Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-funded advocacy group that pushes for anti-union policies. And how about that dishonest rhetoric? Preventing public sector employees from engaging in collective bargaining is “economic freedom.” And up is down. And black is white. And we’ve always been at war with Eurasia.

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  • Oh, sure, you say that now, but what will you do when the Unions come for you in the dark of night and force you to…to…unionize.

  • Jordan Genso

    Another case of CDE (conseravtive doppleganger english) and the confusion it causes. Since their words have different meaning than real english, those of us that forget to translate their text are going to have a hard time understanding them. What makes the problem so difficult is that their words look the same as ours, so you can be easily fooled into thinking it’s real english.

    Also, what’s with the capitalization of “Economic Freedom”? Has the wingnut grammar even made it into their formal statements to the public?

    As a side note, would we define “swing voter” as someone who is persuaded by such horrible propoganda? I sure hope not, for the sake of those who self-identify as “swing voters”.

  • gopiballava

    The freedom they refer to is the same sort of freedom that would let me punch you in the face.

  • d cwilson

    As Obi-Wan once said, it’s true from a certain point of view. Notice they didn’t say Wisconsin chose economic freedom for workers. It’s the economic freedom of employers to continue to treat their employees like interchangeable cogs their machinery. It’s freedom to squeeze another 1-2% profit out of you by making you do the work previously done by two people. It’s the freedom to outsource your job to Asia. It’s freedom to replace public service employees with contractors who will do the same work for twice the cost. It’s the freedom to raid your pension plan and 401k that you sweated for 40-50 years to earn. It’s the freedom for seniors to replace their Medicare with coupons for private insurance that doesn’t exist. It’s the freedom for Wall Street to gamble with your Social Security benefits and then nickel and dime you with hidden fees.

    That’s the freedom Wisconsin voted for.

  • thisisaturingtest

    Actually, my understanding is that as many, if not more, of the voters voted the way they did because of opposition to recall as a political tool, as to any approval of Walker, or disapproval of unions as such. According to the Chicago Tribune


    The difference, as Slater explained it, is that Wisconsin law doesn’t allow for narrow-issue referendums, forcing unions to go for the nuclear option and try to oust Walker instead. “You can dislike the union bill and still like Scott Walker for other reasons,” Slater said.

    Indeed, the exit polling showed narrow support for Walker’s collective bargaining reforms but overwhelming opposition to the recall concept itself. Among those surveyed, 60 percent said recalls were appropriate only in cases where a public official had been accused of official misconduct, while an additional 10 percent said they were never appropriate.

    So 70% opposed, not so much Walker’s recall, or unions, as the idea of recall for purposes other than official misconduct.

    Further details of the exit polling here.

  • thisisaturingtest

    Re my above links- the second one resulted, for me, in a Yahoo 410 “gone” message; but it’s to a NY Times article detailing the questions, and responses to them, in exit polls taken the day of the vote, broken down into percentages. Dated June 5th, the article is entitled “Wisconsin Recall Exit Polls: How Different Groups Voted”.

  • Skip White

    What about “Economic Freedom” for state employees for whom the unions provide some protection from the political whims of elected officials? Oh wait, how silly of me. Of course, the ultimate goal is to remove all semblance of stability from the government, so that Republicans can say “LOOK! GOVERNMENT DOESN’T WORK!” and get re-elected ad infinitum.

  • Akira MacKenzie

    It’s not really Orwellian when you understand how the Right views “freedom.”

    Back when I was a conservative, right next to “absolute morality” the idea of “economic freedom” was paramount. The entrepreneur should have absolute control over their business. What they make, how they make it, what they did with the profits, and who and under what terms they would hire employees. Unions, especially when they were backed up by the law, were the ultimate threat to this economic sovereignty. “How dare the people I hire try to tell us what to with MY business! Those ingrates should be happy to even have the jobs I create!!!”

    So there is no contradiction, no DoubleThink. Economic freedom applies only to business owners. Everyone else doesn’t have that freedom. They should do what their bosses say, find a job that will freely accommodate their desires (which will “naturally” go broke because to pay decent wages and benefits will bankrupt a company), or starve.

  • laurentweppe

    The freedom they refer to is the same sort of freedom that would let me punch you in the face.

    Assuming you’re richer than me.

    If not, turn the other check, peon.

  • This is America! The only Freedom is the freedom of Capital over Labor.

  • Nemo

    @Akira MacKenzie #7:

    Economic freedom applies only to business owners.

    But why?

    As someone who’s never been a conservative, I’m always trying to gain some insight into their perspectives.

  • I’ve never seen a clear explanation (or much of an explanation at all, really) why it’s good for capitalists to pool their capital resources a corporation (or bank or hedge fund) to gain more market leverage, but somehow bad for workers to pool their labor resources in a union for the exact same purpose.

  • Nice Ogress

    Conservative thoughts on freedom make a lot more sense when you think about their use of the word ‘my’.

    it’s my country. I can do what I want.

    it’s my house.

    it’s my business.

    they’re my employees.

    she’s my wife.

    Us crazy liberals put those last two examples in a separate catergory of my. Conservatives don’t: all mys are the same my. Whether you love your wife is irrelevant. She will do what she’s told, because in order to be your wife she has ceased to be a person. The category of ‘things that are mine’ trumps all other categories of thingness.

  • Nice Ogress

    ‘catergory’. Augh. I meant category, of course.

  • kermit.

    Nice Ogress – I would put that first statement in the second category, also. The USA is my country, but I don’t own it. The word “my” implies a relationship, but as you point out, it doesn’t always mean ownership. And ownership often comes with responsibility.

  • kermit.

    N.O. – don’t mean to imply that you didn’t know that already.

  • laurentweppe

    I’ve never seen a clear explanation (or much of an explanation at all, really) why it’s good for capitalists to pool their capital resources a corporation (or bank or hedge fund) to gain more market leverage, but somehow bad for workers to pool their labor resources in a union for the exact same purpose.

    That’ because to understand the underlying logic, you must think in terms of hereditary class:

    • It’s ok for the nobility to work together to defends their class interest

    • It’s not ok for commoners to challenge the dominance of the nobility.