The Koch Brothers, Scott Walker, and other anti-union Republican governors are losing the battle for public opinion.
This may come as a shock to Fox News and others in the corporate media, but out in Wisconsin, you can tell that people respect union rights.
You don't get thousands of people demonstrating day in and day out for two weeks straight over something that is of little importance.
Now a poll by the New York Times confirms what I've been sensing in the cold Wisconsin air: a huge majority of Americans opposes the weakening of bargaining rights for public sector workers. The margin in the poll was 60-33.
By almost as wide a margin, the American public opposes cutting the pay and benefits of public workers.
This runs exactly counter to the propaganda that the rightwing has been generating.
But it makes sense to me.
People know their kids' schoolteacher. They know the firefighter or the EMT down the street, or the nurse at the hospital who takes care of their parents.
Here in Wisconsin, they may know the farmer whose spouse has to take a state or county job just to get health insurance.
They know all these people are working hard, and not getting rich.
And they know that they themselves are working hard, harder than ever, but are barely standing in place.
They don't want themselves, or people like them, to take more of a hit.
And if they have any experience in trying to form a union, they know how stacked the deck is against them in the private sector.
There's a reason only 7% of private sector workplaces are unionized, and that's because employers routinely violate the labor laws by firing organizers and intimidating workers.
Almost 60 million workers would join a union if they could, according to Peter D. Hart Research Associates. But it's not easy to do so.
According to Cornell University professor Kate Bronfenbrenner, employers over the last decade have escalated their illegal tactics. In "No Holds Barred: The Intensification of Employer opposition to Organizing,"
she shows that a majority of bosses illegally interrogate workers about their support for unions and illegally threaten them with retaliation if they are union sympathizers.
The Department of Labor and the Justice Department almost never impose a harsh penalty on employers for such violations. In one egregious case, Bronfenbrenner reports that all the employer had to do was cough up some back pay.
The study also shows that there is a stark difference -- or at least there used to be -- between the difficulty of forming a union in the private sector and the relative ease in the public sector. In the latter, workers used to face much less coercion, intimidation, and retaliation, the study says.
Obviously, Scott Walker and the Koch Brothers are trying to change all that now.
But they aren't getting away with it.
Because people woke up, saw what they have in common with each other, and decided to fight back.
There is, at last, a kind of solidarity. And a triumph of reality over ideology.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "The New York Times Plays Into Gov. Walker's Hands."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.