When was the last time you saw a picket line?
I know: on network TV. I mean locally. When was the last time you went shopping, and you had to cross a union picket line?
It has been decades for me.
It’s a shame, really. I always enjoyed crossing a picket line when I was younger. It was my way to stick it to the National Labor Relations Board. Conservatives had so few ways of protesting the federal regulatory system when I was younger. Crossing a picket line was one of the few opportunities we had to say no to big government.
You could burn your draft card in 1967. But that was said to be illegal. I suppose you could have used a Xerox copy of your draft card. But what was the point?
Crossing a picket line was a low-risk way to say no.
Today, the trade union movement is down to 10% of the American work force, and most of these unionized workers are employed by the government. If the American Federation of Teachers struck the public schools, I might join in solidarity. Anyway, I would be with them in spirit. But they never picket. “That would not be professional.” Sad.
We just don’t see picket lines these days. We have lost an American tradition.
I suppose this is a sign of progress. The NLRB has little to do these days. But there is a heavy price to pay: no more picket lines to cross.
About all you can do today is wear a T-shirt. “The only good rain forest is a dead rain forest.” “You see one redwood; you’ve seen them all.” But nobody really cares.
Back when there were picket lines, people cared.