Citizen United was a Supreme Court ruling, of course, that removed limits on how much a corporation can donate. The average citizen donor can't compete with that; and since most of the corporate donations go to Republicans, it's a blow to the two-party system. This also means more money going to Republican candidates that support the bidding of giant corporations over working families, seniors and the disabled. This eventiablly leads to more power and wealth concentrated in the hands of corporations, and less in the hands of the dwindling middle-class and ballooning lower-class.
Then came the ambush on unions in Wisconsin by Republican Governor Scott Walker. This is the second blow (and perhaps, the knock-out blow) to working families, and to the Democratic party, which is the only viable party to challenge the Corporatist Republicans. For decades the unions have been the fighting force of the middle-class, formed in an era of greedy capitalists. Yet, now that we are in another time of monopolies, giant corporations and greedy capitalists, labor power is at its lowest in history. The bulk of what little power they have left to protect the working man and woman is in the hands of the public employee unions (teachers, fire fighters).
If you put the two together, you have a cynical and ruthless plan to wipe out all opposition to Corporate Republicanism. The Citizens United case seemed to be come out of nowhere and shock us all. However, when Governor Walker in Wisconsin attacked the collective bargaining rights of public unions, after the unions agreed to take cuts in benefits, it betrayed a two-pronged, concerted effort to weaken the Democratic Party to the point of impotence. It seems like something that they must have been planning for awhile now.
Have unions had a checkered past? Sure, but the last few decades or so they haven't been rife with corruption like in the Jimmy Hoffa days. Do I agree with everything the unions do? Of course not, but if you don't allow workers to unionize then you have lost the last protector of the middle class. It's a known fact that unions set a standard in wages in protections that raise the standards for all workers. Regardless, if the unions go, then the Democratic Party will be severely hampered in checking corporate greed and rallying for the workers who often have little to no voice. I don't always agree with everything the Democrats do, or believe, but they do seem the only hope of keeping the middle class from completely being driven into abject poverty.
This is a call to not just Democrats and Liberals, but Independents as well. If we don't stand up now, and fight together for each other, we could soon face the day when there will be a small pocket of the rich and powerful running everything, while everyone else begs for scraps. We can't go back to the days of the Robber Barons. If you think the treatment of working people is bad now, research the days of the Robber Barons of the "Gilded Age." Then you will understand why we have unions today and why they are still needed--if not, now, more than ever.