This seems a little harsh even for this lefty but as I watch President Donald Trump push the United States toward Third World status…and given the intractability of Wisconsin Republicans…it gets easier and easier to view Wisconsin as a failed state. article shared by a regular reader.
A failed state is one that can no longer claim legitimacy or perform a government’s core function of protecting the people’s basic security. Lately, the Wisconsin supreme court seems to be doing its level best to make its state qualify for “failed” status. Multiple decisions have both undermined the government’s legitimacy and endangered the people.
First, there was the primary. Ensuring that people can vote without risking their lives is a basic duty of government, one at which Wisconsin failed.
But the Wisconsin supreme court’s latest decision is even worse. The conservative majority overturned the state’s “stay-at-home” order, immediately leading bars to be flooded with patrons. Even as public health officials stress the danger in suddenly lifting restrictions, justices presented it as a freedom issue, with one writing that the “comprehensive claim to control virtually every aspect of a person’s life is something we normally associate with a prison, not a free society governed by the rule of law”. Public opinion is generally against the anti-lockdown protests, but if a conservative minority has power, the “letting a deadly virus spread unchecked = freedom” perspective will triumph.
What respect do people owe a government that cannot protect them and cannot claim democratic legitimacy? Very little. The more that Wisconsin Republicans act to impose their will unilaterally without regard to the safety or will of the people, the less we should treat Wisconsin as a functional government.
And oddly enough, after complaining about not having a seat at the table when COVID-19 decisions were being made…when handed a personal chair…Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald punted. You are all on your own.