Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The View From the Local Democratic Party


We know that Social Security, the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, the American Rescue Plan and many other pieces of legislation are all part of the Democratic Party’s ongoing commitment to families and small businesses. In years past, these kinds of initiatives were large bi-partisan efforts to address the needs our country and state. But lately, these kinds of efforts are made only by the Democrats.

Most of the leaders of the GOP are working hard on dismantling the machinery of American Democracy by promulgating the “Big Lie” that the last Presidential election was stolen. And in Wisconsin and in other states with Republican-dominated legislatures, Republican leaders are busy with legislation to make voting more difficult, to lock-in Gerrymandered voting districts, and stripping whatever state-wide elected Democratic officials of the usual powers of their offices.

To understand why economic opportunities in Northern Wisconsin continue to decline one need only to look at the decisions coming out of Madison over the past 10 years. Cutting K-12 educational funding, allowing roads and communication infrastructure to deteriorate, and insulating lawmakers who choose to favor the folks who fund their campaigns over the needs of the folks they represent.

And what are the leaders of the Democratic Party doing? In Wisconsin they are trying to expand Badger Care, fix the roads, improve broadband, address mental health issues, improve education, and protect water supplies. While Democrats continue the work of governing, the leadership of the Wisconsin GOP toils at partisan gridlock and blocking efforts to address real problems facing Wisconsin families. And it’s not just in Madison that we see this situation. In Washington there is not one Republican vote to improve gun safety, no help from Republican legislators to control medical costs, and not one vote to address climate change.

Wisconsin’s Republican Senator has recently proposed fundamental changes to the funding for social security in yet another attempt to hand profits to large corporations and tax savings to billionaires at the expense of people who have contributed to Social Security and are entitled to be paid for their life-long contributions. And while Tony Evers has proposed increasing funding for police in Wisconsin, Republican leadership is now calling to defund the FBI. And our own Representative to Congress is a proud member of the “sedition caucus” and a major promoter of the “big lie.”

Here in Rhinelander, the Oneida County Democrats work to support Democratic candidates even though we know the game is stacked against us by gerrymandered districts and a thoroughly politicized Wisconsin Supreme Court. We know the game is rigged by the Republican legislature, and yet the Republican leadership is trying to persuade electors that we stole the election from Donald Trump.

Nothing could be further from the truth.