The Wisconsin GOP has elected the most extremist candidates in memory. Don’t expect any of them to support basic LGBT rights, let alone equality.
Even during normal election years, Republican primary candidates are hostage to the approval of far-right groups such as Wisconsin Family Action, whose adherents vote in huge numbers. This year, Republican candidates were driven even further to the right by the seething Tea Party movement.
Tea Partiers seek to eliminate nearly every government program except the military, including Social Security and Medicare, the Department of Education, and consumer/ environmental protections. But they want government aggressively involved in tracking down illegal immigrants, prohibiting LGBT citizens from full participation in society and jailing women who terminate a pregnancy under any circumstances.
The Republican Party is a far more distinguished institution than the extremists who’ve hijacked it. The party once stood for fiscal restraint, limited (not small) government and individual freedom. As Log Cabin Republicans try valiantly to remind the GOP, theirs was once the party of Lincoln and the party that helped enact the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Republicans, not Democrats, embraced the early women’s suffrage movement.
Today the Republican Party is a hodgepodge of conflicting philosophies united only by their extremist bent and shocking contempt for science, reason and facts. Republican zealots have branded President Obama a socialist for enacting a national healthcare policy that’s tamer than the one proposed by Richard Nixon in 1974. One can only imagine the charges of fascism they’d have leveled at Theodore Roosevelt for taking 230 million wilderness acres under government conservation.
Sane Wisconsin Republicans should carefully vet their candidates before Nov. 2. Otherwise they could vote for a lieutenant governor (Rebecca Kleefisch) who says she’d govern according to the Bible. Or a U.S. Senator (Ron Johnson) who likes global warming and wants to drill in Lake Michigan.
Beneath the foam of right-wing lunacy that slimes the Republican slate there are a few once-respectable lawmakers. Now they’re utterly useless, cringing in fear of their wild-eyed jailers.
This is a party bereft of both ideas and ideals. It offers nothing but a spiral toward Paleolithic anarchy. Please vote Democratic.