Although one can confidently doubt that ‘everything changes’ after the pandemic, there are in any year prominent political issues. Some are national, some statewide, some local. One can guess correctly that the new year will entertain at least three notable statewide issues, each summarized below.
These are statewide issues that will reach deep into every Wisconsin community; in this way, they are local issues, too.
Redistricting. Wisconsin is a gerrymandered state, and the WISGOP will work to keep it that way. Democrats want ‘fair maps,’ but a decade of our current legislative districts is only an appetizer for Speaker Vos; the main course is another decade of the same.
Ron Johnson. He’s eligible to run for re-election in 2022. Johnson once declared that he’d seek only two terms, but that’s perhaps not his current plan, as he’s loudly touted every swirling conspiracy theory or junk science claim.
There are only three reasons to carry on this way: to appease primary voters before 2022, to obey those to whom he is now compromised, or to satisfy his own conspiracy-minded nature. Any of these – or all of them – could be true. Still, there’s no obvious reason for Johnson to deal in this much smack simply to appeal to the WISGOP primary base, at the expense of a fall 2022 general electorate that will stretch far beyond the true-believer-in-anything base.
So, for 2021:U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson: Ambitious, Compromised, or Crackpot? It’s no small matter what lies beneath this odd man.
Trumpism. The easily-insulted, always-whining Mr. Trump faces a private life of over-eating, under-thinking, and lawsuit-defending. He’ll tweet to incite, but it’s others – not Trump – to whom the work of nativism, bigotry, and authoritarianism will fall. There will be many takers for these roles, in Wisconsin and elsewhere. See Man and Movement.
The 2021 temptation (or expediency) to place oneself to the right of today’s Trump will be powerful among ambitious WISGOP politicians. Not a Republican but a Trumpist party; not a Trumpist party but herrenvolk party.
There will be other statewide political issues, but these are the easiest to spot.