When we purchased our property in 1998, Wisconsin elicited an air of fairness and progressivism in government that had become a national model. Education, health care, infrastructure and recreational assets were exemplary. There was an understanding and an underlying philosophy that evolved from the University of Wisconsin System’s Wisconsin Idea: that government should operate to benefit the quality of life of all people.
I believe that idea began to erode in 2011 with the election of Scott Walker. Our state legislature, emboldened by the antics of that administration, has only become more entrenched in dismantling the Wisconsin Idea and the reputation of our state.
Fast forward to today. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, shortly after the election in November, Wisconsin Republican electors (one of whom is on the state Elections Board) met to file forged paperwork, claiming to be the actual electors and to cast votes for Donald Trump, even after it was acknowledged that Joe Biden defeated him in Wisconsin.
Add to that, Sen. Ron Johnson called for local officials to ignore the state bipartisan Elections Commission that his own party set up six years ago.
In order to appease Trump, and after an Arizona “audit” turned up nothing, state Republicans began a partisan review of the election, which will cost taxpayers $676,000.
More than 60 lawsuits nationwide, multiple recount efforts (including in Wisconsin’s Dane and Milwaukee counties), a Wisconsin legislative audit and a conservative group review have shown only miniscule and typical voter irregularity. To quote the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “There was no steal and nothing to investigate. Just lies.”
The time has come to demand that our Wisconsin Republican elected officials publicly and clearly repudiate actions that jeopardize our democracy.
Per Robert Reich, so many are looking for someone “to deliver [them] from despair. Trump filled that void. To be sure, he filled it with bombast, lies, paranoia and neofascism. The challenge ahead will be to fill it with a democracy and economy that work for everyone.”
We need to find and elect legislators who are willing to work first for our democracy, not their party.
Gills Rock, Wisconsin