It started in earnest with Ronald Reagan’s firing of the air traffic controllers union. He doubled down by permitting an unregulated influx of cheap, unregulated foreign labor. He let employers set up factory and farm sanctuaries where they could hire non-citizens with virtual impunity. Occasionally they would bust a meat packer, particularly if some workers got killed, but mostly our wonderful entrepreneurs (Republicans call them job creators) would pay cheap wages, intimidate these people and do what they pleased.
The primary excuse was that Americans won’t do that kind of work that Mexicans and Salvadorians would gladly do, like hanging drywall, handling cement and being carpenters, mechanics and welders. This myth was only partly true, of course, in that no American could afford to work for the same wages that a non-citizen would, with no benefits, sub-living wages and exposure to ag chemicals and industrial hazards. So this managed to shoot a big hole in the building trades unions. These entrepreneurs didn’t like immigrant worker permit programs because those people had easier access to sympathetic government agents and didn’t have to live entirely in the shadows under their thumbs.
The efforts continued by the long range Koch initiatives to collaborate with other right wing oligarchs to get their bought and paid for politicians to pass “Right to Shirk” Laws around the country. Make it more difficult for unions to exist. The weaker unions got the less their economic progress benefitted other Americans, spawning a big crop of the dissatisfied, future Trump voters. Then these folks were told that the illegals were the cause of most of their ills, rather than the invisible hands of the Koch class. They pitted non-union and union workers against one another. They crushed the political power of unions by exporting their jobs overseas. Outfits like Wallmart even cancelled construction projects for new stores when it looked like they may risk having their labor forces unionized.
Now comes Betsy DeVos, a woman of corrosive ideology, and little empathy, who wants to take things to the next level: kill the teacher unions. Her wealth comes from a Ponzi scheme originally called Amway, that was hatched in Ada, Michigan, right in the heart of intolerant, Christian evangelical-land. She would like to be the Minister of Propaganda for the new fascist state. The unionized teachers are in the way of her charter empire. They want both the teachers (non-union) and the curriculum in their right wing hands. Textbooks are already generated in volume with select pieces of American history deleted which detract from their fascist cause. Right wingers hire scores of people to re-write Wikipedia pages to select facts more friendly to their cause, and delete facts that don’t.
This is all very Orwellian. Orwell saw the future because he understood how creeping evil works in the human brain. History almost always repeats itself. It’s happening. In the end they will own the cops too, but for now they need them on their side to control the peons.