"Once you get to Wall Street, no matter how you got here, you give up your right to say you are a man of the people." (BBC: The Last Days Of Lehman Brothers)
Does Phil Murphy have any empathy with New Jersey's working class at all?
During the campaign, his professional spinmeisters made much of his college job washing dishes but let's not confuse that with having a perspective that understands the needs and wants of the working class majority of the state he now leads. Murphy spent decades in board rooms dedicated to increasing profits at the expense of working men and women. Murphy fully embraced the globalist philosophy that places profits before all else.
Conservatives -- traditional conservatives -- are conservatives of place. As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's great advisor Arthur E. Morgan wrote, the small community is the foundation of democratic life and the source of civilization. The preservation of the small community -- whether a town or a neighborhood -- and the families and individuals within it, is the highest duty of public policy. This stands in stark contrast to the Darwinian view taken by Phil Murphy.
In Murphy's world there are winners and losers -- and somebody must lose so that people like him can grow monstrously rich. Murphy views government as an agency by which those in power can choose winners and losers. It's called crony capitalism. Murphy doesn't see communities, he just sees consumers -- individuals to be categorized and placed into silos -- the better to market to and to control.
Like most modern Democrats, Phil Murphy elevates social distinctions above economic ones. Seeking to divide the working class majority, Murphy and the Democrats focus on such things as the color of your skin, or who you sleep with, and they try to convince you that this is more important than having a job or keeping your home out of foreclosure.
When a police officer is sent into a community to enforce a law made by the Democrat-controlled Legislature -- and someone is shot during the enforcement of that law -- people like Murphy tell you that it is the fault of the blue collar police officer, not the white collar Legislature. They tell you it is about race, so that working class black people will distrust working class white people. Getting people with the same economic interests to distrust each other is a trick that has been used to govern many times over.
From his years at Goldman Sachs -- and especially from his time in Hong Kong, at Goldman Sachs Asia -- Phil Murphy understands the uses of cheap, often illegal, labor to drive down costs and drive up profits. The fact that these practices destroy small communities and cause economic migration means nothing to someone with homes in Germany and Italy, as well as New Jersey. Phil Murphy is a citizen of the world, not a person of place.
Once upon a time, there was balance in America. The Republican Party was the party of business and represented the interests of business at the bargaining table that is the Legislature. Back then, the Democrat Party represented the interests of Labor. That day is long gone. The Democrats do not nominate labor leaders to statewide office in New Jersey -- they nominate Wall Street millionaires and white collar professionals. With its record of electing Democrats to the United States Senate, both Senators could easily be of blue collar vintage, but decidedly, they are not.
Apart from a few individual legislators in both parties, the working class does not have an advocate in New Jersey. No party is going to place the interests of class above those of the fashion statements and virtue signaling of the day. The pussy hat brigade are largely professional women and the wives of professional men. Check out the hands of all those "resisters" and you will find few with indications of ever having done honest labor. Bring back the draft and the ANTIFA crowd would scoot off to Canada, for few could face the controlled menace of a drill instructor. The "revolution" is an inverted one -- of, by, and for the Elite (and, as Phil Murphy said of Wall Street: "We are the Elite...").
That's not to say that there isn't a populist Left. But it gets stepped on and ignored. Nobody speaks to its needs. It says "jobs" and the reply is "more condoms." And if it doesn't go along with the program of "more condoms" it gets ostracized.
Labor must pick through the remains of both parties to find people for whom their home town or county still means something. People who want to see their neighbors and community prosper. People who understand that charity begins at home and that the false narrative of the "global" community is bullshit marketed to people so that they will welcome the slave labor that will take their jobs. That narrative destroys two small communities -- that of the migrant willing to work at slave wages and of the neighbor who must agree to work for less to compete.
As the Democrat Party starts down the path of Governor Goldman Sachs 2.0, it is incumbent upon Labor to hold this phony to account. Labor can do it. Labor has been in worse places before and had to fight every inch to gain a place at the bargaining table. It lost its place by not paying attention. It is time then, to pay close attention.
The Cause of Labor is the Hope of the World.