Democrats Must Fight Back Or Lose
Wisconsin is ground zero for Republican scorched earth tactics. How will Dems respond?
It is the time of year when prognosticators offer lists of what to expect in the coming year. But instead of questionable predictions, I offer Wisconsin progressives one iron clad guarantee — we will lose every single time that we don’t fight back.
We all know what’s coming. We’ve seen the playbook already here in Wisconsin when Republicans took complete control of state government.
Times have been hard for progressives as we’ve seen the most ruthless, relentless and irresponsible Republican majorities in state history run amok. Wisconsin has been left behind after a record-setting 81 straight months of private sector job creation under President Obama amounting to nearly 16 millions jobs across the country.
Wisconsin Republicans give billions of dollars in tax breaks to the rich and corporations and at the same time our state can’t pay its bills and Republicans can’t fund simple road construction in areas across the state. Wisconsin public schools have been stripped of badly-needed resources while the unaccountable private voucher school cartel takes more and more money with less accountability.
Wisconsin is in the top five in the nation for percentage of university graduates saddled with crippling student loan debt. Wisconsin continues to be ground zero for state sanctioned voter suppression and disenfranchisement. And Wisconsin Republicans have seen to it that women, minorities, LGBTQ persons, poor people and workers are treated like second class citizens.
But the good news is that we can fight back, and we can even win.
Just look at the fight to protect voting rights and free and fair elections. A federal lawsuit in which we at One Wisconsin Institute were the lead plaintiff and worked with partner organizations and activists resulted in a judge invalidating numerous Republican efforts to manipulate the rules on voting intended to give themselves an unfair partisan advantage.
Do you think it was an accident that right off the bat Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives attempted to gut independent ethics oversight of their activities? Are you surprised we still haven’t been informed about how Donald Trump will prevent the appearance of, if not actual, conflicts of interest between the welfare of the people of the United States and his personal business interests?
So here’s what we need to do: get informed, get involved and speak up.
Sticking our heads in the sand won’t stop Republicans from embarking on an effort to take our tax money and give it to their friends while decimating things like healthcare, education and environmental protections. Standing by silently won’t protect our rights in the workplace or at the ballot box. And staying home on election days isn’t going to help people who want to represent progressive values in government.
There is no doubt that 2017 is not going to be a banner year for people who care about progressive politics in Wisconsin and our nation.
As hard as it will be fighting against the agenda of Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker and their cohorts the view isn’t going to be any better from the sidelines, folks. And not speaking up and making your voice heard will only ensures that it won’t be.
So let’s resolve to get to work in 2017.