Democrats rant about the unfairness of the Republican political "coup" of 2018 in Madison, as though what the Wisconsin legislature enacted at the end of Gov. Scott Walker's term was unprecedented. Democrats would never stoop so low. Wrong. Politicians on right and left have always used lame duck opportunities to push their agendas.
Correction: After the Views from the Right column, The Nonpartisan Election That Isn't, appeared in the River Falls Journal March 27, 2019, an astute reader drew our attention to an inaccuracy in the stated difference between what donors had contributed to the two candidates running on April 2 for Wisconsin Supreme Court justice. That amount changed after the column went to press.
On Tuesday, April 2, we face an election for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court to be vacated by Justice Shirley Abrahamson. This election, as the previous one in 2018, is supposed to be nonpartisan. It's anything but.
I swore never to address abortion in this column. But since the passage of New York State's Reproductive Health Act, I can't remain silent. New York became the eighth state with no legal gestational restrictions. If every legislator who voted for the law had first witnessed the killing of a 39-week-old fetus, I guarantee their votes would have been different.
Social media can be as much of a curse as a blessing. While Google opens up worlds of information to global citizens, it does so for a price, invading privacy that Americans have long cherished and protected. The company shares personal information with others who don't have users' best interests at heart. It also manipulates what we can and can't see. Information balance, accuracy and truth can be questionable. Primary information sources (newspapers, magazines, blogs) accept and post comments selectively or not at all.
The political Left often criticizes American exceptionalism, as though the country has nothing to celebrate because of its past sins. Conservatives point to our Constitution and the inalienable rights it documents. Applicable to all and not granted by government, they are the things that attract immigrants here.
No other time of year is more appropriate than now for examining the divisiveness infecting our country. This isn't the first time the left and right have drawn metaphorical swords against each other. The first led to the Civil War in 1861. The second led to social change in the 1960s and early 1970s.
My mother often used idioms to address complex situations. Some scholars think only the less intelligent of us rely on these simple sayings, but they repeatedly pop into my mind. Imagery can be easier to remember than reasoned explanations.
I hadn't planned to write about Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court because too many of us already have information overload. But the fallout from the hearings needs to be addressed.
After the Parkland, Florida, school shooting tragedy, teen activists took adults to task for not protecting them with better gun control. Some adults suggested we lower the national voting age to 16 because teens have common sense about guns that adults lack. So, 16-year-olds are smarter and wiser than their elders about governing in general?