By Malcolm McIntyre
This is insane: GOP lawmakers in Wisconsin last week refused to allow Democratic members to participate virtually insisting that they attend sessions in person. Plus, they did not require that those in attendance wear face masks or social distance.
Apparently they don’t believe that we are in the midst of a pandemic that has killed more than a half million Americans and roughly 7,000 in Wisconsin. So masks aren’t needed, even if they have been proven to reduce infections and lessen the spread of the virus.
This makes absolutely no sense. Their stance doesn’t reflect our collective need to protect public safety. I’ve never understood those who use “personal freedom” for justifying their refusal to wear masks and practice social distancing. Their personal freedom is killing people and it is crippling our healthcare system as it struggles to address the pandemic.
The actions, or rather inactions, of many in the GOP has nothing to do with personal freedom. It is all about politics. It is all about pandering to former President Trump’s “me-first” philosophy, and retaining political power.
It is also all about a concerted, nationwide effort on the part of the GOP to oppose everything that Democrats favor. It is not about protecting you and me. It is not about proposing responsive legislation, even when the majority of the county favors the legislation. It is obstructionism. Instead of coming up with solutions to the challenges we all face, the GOP spends time and political capital opposing common sense–like wearing face masks when in close quarters.
Please email Joan Ballweg to ask how the actions she and her colleagues have taken protects our health. Ask her if what she and the GOP has done, and continues to do, isn’t counterproductive, petty politics.