My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:
Now we find ourselves on the cusp of another opportunity. We are again in the midterm election year of a radical, railing presidency with abysmal approval ratings. By this time next year, Wisconsinites may be witness to another wave of significant reforms like universal school choice, tax cuts, education reform, regulatory reform, more protections for children, electoral reform, and strengthening our criminal justice system.
But opportunities are fleeting, and results are never guaranteed. No elections are certain. Our political history is littered with failed candidates who “should” have won. When presented with opportunity, it must be met with action. Ideas without action are just fodder for columnists. Even with Act 10, conservatives never followed through with using the law to its full advantage at the state and local levels to rein in spending. And the torrent of reform seen in Gov. Scott Walker’s first term dwindled to a trickle in his second term as Republicans conformed to the plush putrescence of Madison.
The broad tent of the Republican Party is apparent in the slate of Republican primary candidates for governor. It is an opportunity for the party faithful to have a healthy debate about the policy priorities of the party. Then it is an opportunity for Republicans to unite behind the chosen candidate to put those policies into law next year. Nothing happens, however, if Governor Evers is able to retain the governorship because the Republicans squandered the opportunity with intraparty squabbling.
If Republicans had not won the elections in 2010, the Republican reforms of 2011 would have never happened. If they do not win in 2022, there will be no Republican reforms in 2023.
Winning is not everything, but it is pretty darn close in politics.