Editorial: A reformed GOP? Not so fast … The whole American political system is rigged, corrupt | Editorials



Cradle of the Republican Party, this community has a stake in the future of the party founded in the Little White School more than a century and a half ago.

Democrat, Republican or Independent, we should all be proud of our heritage.

The mission of the nascent political movement was noble on that cold, windy March night in 1854, when the citizens of Ripon gathered to protest the spread of slavery beyond the borders set out in the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

Unfortunately, the party that created this proud past is today at war with itself.

And lest anyone who thinks that a party, no matter how divided, is going to exist forever, let them speak to members of the Whig or Free Soil parties, who vanished when a stronger, more principled political alternative came up. appeared.

Two weeks ago, former Ripon 6th District Congressman Tom Petri, R-Fond du Lac, had the wisdom and courage to join a group of disgruntled Republicans calling for a rehabilitated Republican Party that does not peddles more “alarmism, conspiracy and lies.

The man who represented Ripon in the United States House of Representatives from 1979 to 2014 was a co-signer, along with more than 100 other former Republican government officials, of a letter published on May 13 which argues that “the future of our nation should not be dictated by one person but by principles that unite us. This is why we believe in pushing the Republican Party to re-dedicate itself to the founding ideals – or else accelerate the creation of an alternative.

Former Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Appleton, joined Petri in the argument that the party should rely less on personality and populism and more on some of the same principles – equality, truth, pluralism – that helped establish the party in Ripon 167 years ago.

Specifically, the letter berates the party for challenging electoral integrity and efforts to obstruct voting rights. “In Fond du Lac County, across Wisconsin and across the country, thousands of our fellow citizens volunteer their time as polling officers and observers in every election,” Petri told a Milwaukee reporter. Newspaper. This allows us to freely choose those who exercise elective office at all levels of government. I honor their service and reject attacks on the integrity of our elections by sore losers. Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Reagan’s party is better than that.

Whether Petri and his GOP compatriots are successful in their desire to get the party back on track is clear: the American people deserve a better government than that served by either of the country’s two major political organizations. .

Any initiative to reconstitute a Reform Republican Party or create a new political movement must seek to serve America with courage, conscience, and incorruptibility, rather than simply existing for self-preservation and self-perpetuation.

Today’s parties are tools used to defeat the other through big money, gerrymandering, libel and pimping.

Until the last point, neither shows any respect for fiscal responsibility.

Republicans believe they can grow the economy and use new income to offset debt. Democrats argue that higher taxes will pay for bigger government.

And what did these two schools of thought mean for the taxpayer?

Failure. The US budget deficit last year at 14.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) was at a 75-year high. The ratio of national debt to GDP was 129%, higher than ever. (The previous high of 118% was the year after the end of World War II.)

Why can’t either party control the spending? Simple. You are not re-elected by voting no.

Thus, a Republican Party, reformed or not, and its Democratic counterpart, will be of no use to America if today’s rigged money system continues to favor re-election at the expense of fiscal discipline, honesty and fair play.

Republican reformers, despite their good intentions, might simply rearrange the chairs on the deck of the Titanic if they continue to compete for power and influence in a broken, corrupt system beholden to greed rather than the best interests of the world. American people. .

Look at Petri, cited earlier in this editorial. He eventually retired after a House ethics committee acquitted him of an ethics violation, even though he owned hundreds of thousands of dollars in Oshkosh Corp. stock. while pleading for the company to receive a major government contract. This is the same Congressman who was last elected in 2012 thanks to contributors, the top five of which were not individuals but professional associations focusing on the best representative one can buy.

Petri’s successor as Ripon’s congressman Rep. Glenn Grothman R-Glenbeulah enjoys guaranteed re-election thanks to a 6th district gerrymandered by Republican state lawmakers in 2010 to include the heavily Republican county from Ozaukee.

Parties are selfish and selfish. The system is sick.

A Republican Party civil war can result in a truce or a third party, but until someone calls for real reforms – term limits and balanced budget amendments, non or bipartisan redistribution, widespread funding of public campaigns – Americans will continue to smell the stench of rotten politics run by parties not committed to ethics or any concern for the public welfare.

– Tim Lyke

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