Since 2010 a small band of Republicans have worked as marauding arsonists burning and looting revered treasures of Wisconsin, as our natural resources, small farmers, higher education, public schools, tourism, recreation, local democracy and voting rights have become targets.
What has changed, what has happened to Wisconsin, are questions still posed around the country.
The answer is simple: Destructive, racist Republicans have taken advantage of complacency.
That's all fascism has ever needed.
Lynn Utesch is a small farmer and veteran in the first assembly district in northeastern Wisconsin. He's running a progressive, reformist campaign against State Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay).
Clean water and public schools are major issues in the race.
Donald Freix is a resident of Door County. He's fighting for a way of life.
By Donald Freix
Fish Creek, Wisconsin
After overhearing a comment made by a Door County supervisor, who stated a preference for re-electing Joel Kitchens to the state Assembly and the reason was because, “Joel was willing to compromise,” this caused me to review two meanings of the word.
Obviously, this person was under the impression that Mr Kitchens, in being “willing to compromise,” meant that our incumbent representative was someone functioning in this elected office as a go between, a broker, or a mediator, in order to resolve situations to the MUTUAL benefit of two or more interests, on any given issue.
Aside from my personal dismay that someone serving in our county government, in my view, is irretrievably delusional in holding that particular view of Mr Kitchens, I would offer that there are several reasons that squarely place Mr Kitchens’ legislative performance predominantly under another definition of the phrase, “willing to compromise.”
The other definition is the negative form of compromise. Unnecessarily sacrificed, short changed, rendered unsafe, exposed to danger, handed over without consideration of the public's’ best interests or attaining reciprocal advantage, describes negative compromise.
Not from Rep Kitchens alone, but from our entire current GOP state majority we see a continuous self-interest fed, “willingness to compromise.” In other words, short change us all except for their political special interests toward retention of power and for the special interests of large corporate campaign donors.
Deleterious compromises made to our constitutional rights, to public health, to public safety, to environmental protection, to future state financial viability, against living wage issues, against public schools and universities, disrespecting our military veteran concerns, and compromises made to our state’s former national prestige, against past model good government and civic leadership, unfortunately is the present and foreseeable GOP normal.
So when you hear Rep Joel Kitchens criticize his opponent Lynn Utesch, as he did during the recent LWV forum at Southern Door, telling the audience that Mr Utesch was unsuitable for governing because Lynn Utesch had stated he was, “unwilling to compromise,” carefully think twice before reacting.
Keeping in mind how detrimental this GOP majority, including Joel Kitchens, has been to Wisconsin with their being “willing to compromise,” just about anything Wisconsinites have always held dear, from open government and a sustainable natural environment, to our real hope for an imaginative and decent, productive future for most of us and our children, there is no viable alternative.
Please vote Lynn Utesch for Assembly on November 8. Our very survival as a state we can call home, depends on it.
[A version of this letter appeared in the Door County Daily News.]