Boots & Sabers

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1838, 01 Apr 22

Milwaukee is the perfect city to host Republican National Convention

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News earlier this week.

It is down to two. The Republican National Committee has narrowed it down to Milwaukee or Nashville to host their national convention in 2024. Milwaukee would be the perfect choice as the Republican Party defines itself in the post-Trump era.


Having a national convention in your city is a big deal. Unlike most conventions, the political conventions bring global attention to a city and state. It is a gigantic advertisement to the world. In the past couple of decades, the national parties have tended to choose convention cities in swing states where they hope that the convention will generate a positive bounce in electoral results. That bounce is overstated, but there are other reasons the GOP should choose Milwaukee and Wisconsin.


There is a tectonic shift happening in the base of the Republican Party. President Donald Trump attracted a wave of new Republicans that are more populist, more working class, and less tolerant of the ruling class than the traditional middle-class suburbanite Republicans. The Democratic Party has abandoned the middle and working classes to become the party of tech billionaires, Hollywood, government workers, and grievance activists. Wisconsin is not the land of billionaires and superstars. It is the land of regular good people who work hard, treat people with respect, take care of their homes and families, and want to be treated with respect. The average Wisconsinite is the future of the Republican Party and the GOP should embrace it.


Furthermore, Wisconsin offers the symbiotic opportunity for state and national Republicans to define and launch the next era of the GOP. The national convention will be in 2024. With some hard work and a little luck, the Republicans will regain the governorship and retain control of the legislature this year. Should they win, state Republicans will have the opportunity to enact signature reforms that would be the planks of a national platform.


Wisconsin has led the way on national reform before. Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson revolutionized welfare in the state. It was so successful that Democrat President Bill Clinton signed legislation copying it on a national scale. When Thompson partnered with Democrats to enact school choice in Milwaukee, communities around the nation followed suit. When Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed Act 10, the whole nation took notice.


Should the state Republicans regain control in Madison, they must act as boldly as previous Republicans to set in motion a national movement. They must liberate our children’s education by enacting universal school choice. They must make sure that everyone can vote and that every vote counts by reforming our electoral process. They must end the scourge of crime by not just enacting tough criminal laws, but by enacting judicial reform to hold prosecutors and judges accountable. They must cut government spending to show how government can live within the people’s means.


These are the kind of issues that matter in the lives of the middle- and working-class people who make up the base of the Republican Party. These are the kind of issues that actually impact people’s lives in real ways. These are the kind of issues that national Republicans can take up and champion in Washington.


The GOP should choose Milwaukee to host its national convention not because of the great venues, beer, brats, and Brewers. It should choose Milwaukee because the people of Wisconsin are exactly the kind of people the GOP needs to be the party of the future.


1838, 01 April 2022


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