Robert Reich (The Secret of the Republican Party’s Attack on Your Rights…)

The secret of the Republican attack on your rights

Democracy is under attack not only in America. It is lost in some states.

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once suggested that states can serve as laboratories for democracy, but these states are more like laboratories of autocracy.

Take Wisconsin. The Republican Party has been so successful in rigging state elections with fraud that even when Democrats get more votes, Republicans get more seats. In 2018 Republicans won just 45% of the vote across the state.but were awarded 64% of seats.

Wisconsin is one of several states where an anti-democratic movement has emerged.

But it was not always so. In fact, Wisconsin pioneered the progressive era of American politics in the early twentieth century—with policies that empowered workers, protected the environment, and adopted about corporate monopolies. State legislators established the nation’s first unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and strict child labor laws.

Teddy Roosevelt called the state “the laboratory of wise legislation designed to secure the social and political improvement of the people as a whole.”

But over the past decade, Wisconsin has become a laboratory for legislation that does just the opposite.

After the Republicans took power in 2010, one of the first bills they passed was gutted. workers’ rights through the dissolution of the public sector unions, which then undermined the ability of workers to support pro-worker candidates.

The move was in the interests of their corporate sponsors, who benefited from weaker unions and lower wages.

This new Wisconsin formula has been replicated elsewhere.

Republicans in Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina won a minority of votes in 2018, but still gained a majority in their state assemblies through fraud.

In Texas, Ohio, and Georgia, the Republicans created machinations that strong enough to create a supermajority capable of overriding the governor’s veto.

Even more disturbing is that hundreds of these Republican state legislators“Used the power of their office to discredit or attempt to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election” on behalf of Donald Trump.

How did it happen? Simply put: years of careful planning corporate interest groups and their radical allies.

And the corporations making these takeovers don’t just influence the law… their lobbyists literally write many of the bills that get passed.

This political alliance with corporate power has given these Republican legislatures free rein to pursue an extreme program of culture warfare – one that dismantles the rights most people support – diverting attention from the economic agendas of their corporate backers.

Republicans introduction of bills restricting or criminalizing abortion. They forbid teachers to discuss history of racism in this country. they do it harder to protest and easier to harm protesters. They punish trans people for getting gender-affirming care and their physicians for providing it.

But it shouldn’t be like that. There are still laboratories of democracy where real civil servants find creative ways to protect the rights of all of us.

Elected officials in Colorado as well as Vermont codify the right to abortion. California Legislators have proposed making the state a safe haven for transgender youth and their families. And workers across the country are restoring their right to organizewhich helps to restore an important counterbalance to corporate power.

But in the end it will take to win fifty state strategy — with a Democratic Senate willing to reform or end filibustering to codify Roe v. Wade, defend the right to vote and defend the right to organize across the country.

America needs a national pro-democracy movement to stop the anti-democratic movement now unfolding, a pro-democracy movement that seeks to help candidates everywhere, including in state races.

This is where you enter. Volunteer for pro-democracy candidates, and if you don’t have time, contribute to their campaigns.

This is not a battle of left against left. Correctly. This is a battle between democracy and autocracy.