Letter to the Editor: Goodwill Is a Necessary Ingredient

It takes goodwill for elected leaders to work together. Their basic obligation is honest deliberation with colleagues of all political parties for effective and fair government. 

In Wisconsin, this, sadly, is not the case. Three times the governor has called for special sessions of the Wisconsin Legislature to deal with the COVID-19 public-health crisis, to respond to the urgent problem of gun deaths, and to consider using part of the budget surplus to fund education.

Three times, the Republican leadership literally refused by gaveling the sessions open and closed within a matter of seconds. What an arrogant message to their Democratic colleagues, rejecting their participation in vital issues that matter to many Wisconsinites.

This is an absolute denial of goodwill – quite different from legitimate differences in governing philosophy. Instead of honest disagreement and respectful argument, we see hostility and scorn.

As a lifelong Wisconsinite who loves my country and my state, I’ve lived through many Democratic and Republican Party eras. Never before have I seen such bold, outright ill will.

This high-handedness of the Republican legislature in Wisconsin is a consequence of gerrymandering. By manipulating the voting maps, Republicans have kept control with a minority of votes cast. With continuing Republican control, expect to see even more voting restrictions, in addition to actions such as outlawing drop boxes and minimizing early voting. 

I believe it’s not too much to say that the November election will determine whether we continue to have actual democracy in Wisconsin. Whatever our party preference, we’ll have to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats to overcome the Republican gerrymandered advantage. (Don’t think that voting for a “good” Republican will make a difference. Recent history shows that the current “leadership” keeps them in lockstep.)

By sending more Democrats to Madison, we could finally establish nonpartisan redistricting in Wisconsin. With goodwill, it can be done.

Karen Wilson

Fish Creek, Wisconsin