Wisconsin Republicans: The Party of Big Government?

By Joe Zepecki

April 1, 2022

For generations the Republican Party prided itself on being the party of smaller government. Those days are over.

From ballot boxes to classrooms to doctor’s offices, the Republican party in the age of Trump is all in on giving the government more control over your life.

Wisconsin has a decentralized system of elections that allows local municipalities to administer their own elections. This system automatically includes checks and balances that ensure our elections are free, fair, and secure. But Wisconsin Republicans who support Trump’s Big Lie – the false assertion that the 2020 elections were stolen – want to metaphorically step into the voting booth with you.

Michael Gableman is a former Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice who is overseeing a partisan investigation into the 2020 election, which was authorized by the Republican state legislature. In a March 2022 report, Gableman recommended giving partisan legislators the authority to overturn election results. Even more harrowing, his report recommended the state government create a special bounty program that incentivizes government agencies to police elections, even though there is no history of widespread fraud in Wisconsin. Think about that – Republicans want to pay people money to find fraud that they have no evidence exists. What could go wrong? 

Next door in Iowa, Republicans in the state legislature proposed having video cameras record every single K-12 classroom in the state. That would not only undermine local control of the school boards and school districts, it is downright creepy to think about anyone, including a room of government bureaucrats, watching every minute of any child’s day at school. The bill was subsequently pulled. 

And across the country, Republicans are racing to enact legislation that bans abortion, should the Supreme Court overturn Roe vs. Wade. That puts elected officials and government bureaucrats squarely in the doctor’s office between pregnant women and their doctors. Buoyed by Texas’s 15-week abortion ban (currently being challenged in US Supreme Court), Florida Republicans passed their own 15 week ban and in Idaho Republicans are moving ahead with a six week ban of their own.  

Elections, classrooms, and doctor’s offices are more than enough to demonstrate a trend. But the closer you look, the more you realize the Republican Party’s push for more control of your life goes further. Republicans also want the government to help raise your kids, decide what curriculum is taught in school, and even weigh in on youth sports.


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