Lifelong Republican Voting For Democrats In Wisconsin Midterm Election, James Wigderson Shows Decency And Intellect For Democracy

This week a lifelong conservative Republican wrote an article that made it clear how far the GOP has departed from Constitutional norms, to the point James Wigderson will cast votes for Democrats in the races for governor and senate. I bring this topic to the level of a post, not for a partisan point or to crow over or poke a stick at one political party or another, but rather to call attention to the needs of our democracy. Wigderson writes that the GOP has strayed too far from the Constitution and reason that he can not vote for their top candidates for office in the midterm elections.

But even more dear to me, and more important to the country, is protecting the Constitution. On this, Sen. Ron Johnson and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels cannot be trusted.

Even prior to the assault upon our Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Johnson actively worked to undermine the peaceful transfer of power. Johnson held fake hearings on the election to cast doubt on the result, then announced he would join 10 other senators to vote to overturn the 2020 election, disenfranchising voters in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

On Jan. 4, 2021, Johnson was in a conference with Trump administration officials and Mike Lindell who considered using fake intelligence reports as an excuse for invoking the Insurrection Act. Johnson did not reveal his participation in this conference until it was uncovered by the Washington Post.

On the morning of the Jan. 6 insurrection, Johnson was in contact with Trump’s lawyer Jim Troupis and his office attempted to pass along the names of the fake Republican electors to Vice President Mike Pence, part of an effort to derail certification of the election.

Meanwhile, Tim Michels willingly used the endorsement of Donald Trump to secure victory in the Republican gubernatorial primary election. The price, we have since learned, is Michels’ willingness to continue to be a pawn in Trump’s game of trying to undermine confidence in our elections. Michels claims President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 was fraudulent, citing the conspiracist propaganda film “2000 Mules” as evidence.

I have always known thoughtful Republicans and had many as friends. I was the Door County Democratic Chair at the time my boss, and radio station owner was the GOP Chair. Though it could have been most awkward it turned into a series of remarkable conversations that I have long reflected upon as to how politics should be conducted in this land. But then it was easy to have such a relationship as the boss was a traditional believer in democracy, too. In February 2022 I wrote the following.

We must be mindful of the thoughtful voices and credible people who–though in the minority of the GOP at present and though we may differ with them about policy issues–are seeking a return to normalcy. In any legislative body, the coalition of people in support of one issue today will not be the same as the group opposed or in support of another issue tomorrow. Today the one topic that unites people from varying political perspectives is the threat to our democracy. 

Every thoughtful citizen can approve of and applaud the position that Wigderson has taken on behalf of democracy, and doing so forthrightly and with much publicity. His concern for the nation is on par with Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney. Many Americans are truly troubled with what took place in the weeks following the 2020 election, and the continuing threats to our democracy. In January 2022, I wrote of the larger theme that Wigderson has given voice to this week with the following point.

The Big Lie about a ‘stolen election’ that Trump spawned and continues to repeat has found a wide range of converts within the GOP. The threat of more violence in the years ahead from those who might lose an election is a very plausible possibility. Especially, if the laws and penalties for taking such actions, like that occurring almost a year ago, are not put into effect.

There was plenty of room to argue with Reagan in the 1980s over policy moves regarding unions, tax cuts, and massive defense spending. But no one doubted for a nanosecond that Reagan was not immersed in the love of country and abiding faith in democracy. When was the first time anyone accused Trump of being like-minded?

One can have a contrary perspective regarding the policy goals of conservative Republicans, but that is not at all what the pressing topic is about these past many months. What is needing to be discussed is the mission to bring the Republican Party back to reason, to have it morph back to sanity. Let us hope an ever-growing number of Republicans care more for the nation than short-term partisan goals in this midterm election cycle. Most of us know why it is important to recognize and value decency and intellect regardless of party affiliation. Wigderson made that point perfectly this week.

3 thoughts on “Lifelong Republican Voting For Democrats In Wisconsin Midterm Election, James Wigderson Shows Decency And Intellect For Democracy

    1. Not sure what was meant in the two news articles I read this week where Tulsi spoke about her disagreement with ‘war-mongering’ from Democrats. Was that her disagreement with the United States forthrightly standing up to Putin and Russian aggression into a sovereign Ukraine? I know she had illiberal tendencies as a member of Congress but was shocked to hear her make such a claim nationally. Democracy requires hands on deck around the globe.

      1. Cornelius_Gotchberg

        “warmongering from Democrats.”

        IMO, that was a small part of a full-throated indictment of the current iteration of the democrat Party.

        “Democracy requires hands on deck around the globe.”

        Yer damned skippy!

        The Gotch

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