Reinstitutionalism simply means getting back to the basics and focusing on our collective practice of democracy. This includes following the law, informing ourselves, voting, and not cheating (e.g. gerrymandering or suppressing voters). It means fully understanding the responsibilities of citizenship, and holding each other in a high regard even when we might fundamentally disagree about something. I hope this doesn’t sound preachy but we are all stewards of the Great American experiment and we almost never hear this from our leaders. We also have to make sure our young people know these things. Focusing on the plays is how the 1960s Packers won all of those championships, remember?
The Governor is responsible to make sure that the laws of our state are enforced. Per the rule of law, all citizens and institutions are accountable to the same laws. For example, getting tough on crime includes holding any WI resident complicit in the attempted insurrection at our federal capitol accountable, and, same thing for any ongoing election fraud. And, by the way, civil disobedience isn’t just a right but a responsibility. Destroying storefronts and public property during a protest is neither, and it accomplishes nothing. Taking a gun to a protest is completely irresponsible as is not setting appropriate bail for people charged with violent crimes. Given the circumstances I can’t blame anyone for wanting to disfund the police but that won't work.
We hear a lot these days about freedoms, but, as citizens in a republic we’re all responsible for making manifest our ecumenical, over-arching national culture of civility and respect (Hirsch, 1996). This requires knowledge, the ability to reason, and, introspection. The founders of America weren’t convinced citizens would be capable or even willing (and Washington worried that the political parties would undermine the process with unending sectarian discord – see Robin Vos) to carry these duties out. Participation also requires appreciating and considering every other American through the perspective of US history, and, the history of the social interaction of the people we’ve all descended from. We're all capable of this.
I could never have imagined – even four years ago – today's level of incivility. And it isn't just the violence, mayhem (e.g. school shootings), people seriously advocating overthrow of the United States, wanton disregard for traffic rules and other dysfunctional behaviors we see in the news every day. The integrity of our public discourse has been deliberately eroded by disinformation, deplorable role modeling, our 4th branch of government, the polarizing of issues, and co-opting. Focusing on the basics is the remedy.
Nearly 13,000 Wisconsin people have lost their lives to Covid and the pandemic isn’t over yet. I've worked as a hospital orderly so I can imagine how the healthcare workers who have been working on the front lines non-stop, putting their own health on the line every day, must feel after two years of this, and how they likely feel about those who refuse vaccination and the taking of simple protective measures. We're supposed to pull together during times of crisis.
Copyright © 2022 Paid for by Robert Meyer for Governor - All Rights Reserved.