There is an interesting schism developing on the American left between unions, suffering declining membership, and the broader American population. The recent public fights in Wisconsin, and more generally across the nation regarding education reform, have put unions in a position where they are not seen favorably by many Americans. According to a study by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, “[t]he favorability ratings for labor unions remain at nearly their lowest level in a quarter century….” This creates a particularly difficult quadary for the Democratic Party, traditionally the beneficiary of the vast majority of union support in elections. As the public moves further away from a positive opinion of unions, the Party necessarily moves away from strident pro-union positions. This leads in turn to less enthusiastic support by unions for the Democratic party, and some significant frustration from the unions, as expressed most recently in the on-stage behavior of the newly elected President of the AFSCME, Lee Saunders, in Charlotte. According to BuzzFeedPolitics: “Saunders isn’t the only frustrated labor leader at the Democratic National Convention this year. American unions, in the throes of a long slide, have had perhaps their worst run ever facing not only the usual declining membership rolls, but also a public repudiation in a Wisconsin recall vote that centered on the place of public sector workers. Adding to that, the Democratic Party’s choice of Charlotte as the convention was a slap in the face: North Carolina has right-to-work laws and virtually no union presence. The fact that unions couldn’t influence the Democrats’ decision on location a testament to their less-than-omnipotent position.” You can read the whole thing here.