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As confidence in our federal government is at an all time low

Kirk Bangstad

As confidence in our federal government is at an all time low, around 17%, we all probably ask the question, why are our politicians so weak?

Why did no Republican senators call out Trump for blaming the 75 year old for being injured by cops? Or why did Rob Swearingen just roll over and vote to overturn safer-at-home instead of taking a stand and doing the right thing?

Well, the answers to this question are numerous, and those answers don’t make for easy slogans, nor do the reforms needed to incentivize politicians to care about their constituents trigger people’s emotions like guns, abortion, or affect people’s pocketbooks like health insurance and taxes. For those that want to dig in, I’ve included a pretty good article on ways to fix our corrupt political system below.

Among the many democracy-killing aspects of our political system is gerrymandering, or drawing districts that favor one party over the other instead of where they should naturally lie, and it is RAMPANT in the 34th district represented by Rob Swearingen.

While Lac du Flambeau is obviously a part of the Lakeland area that includes Minocqua, Arbor Vitae, Hazelhurst, Woodruff, and Lake Tom, it has been gerrymandered out of the district. Why? Because Native American tribes have historically shown a tendency to vote more for democrats than republicans.

Great if you’re a conservative, right? Wrong, Because making an election one-sided incentivizes lazy people who want to collect a $50K check for not doing anything all year long run for office, instead of civic-minded people who actually want to improve the lives of their constituents.

I don’t care if you’re right-leaning your left-leaning, but you should want your representative in state government to be a fighter for your interests.

Why, because not all issues at the state level should be partisan. Take sulfide mining for example. Nobody who owns property up here, whether they are Republican or Democrat, wants to damage their lakes by allowing sulfide mining, yet we have a mining company who just started drilling on June 1 because Rob Swearingen didn’t stand up for us. Why, because the mining lobby is quite rich and helps him stay in power. A $50k paycheck is a lot for most of us, but it certainly isn’t for a mining company looking for influence.

It’s the nature of a man that always moves towards the path of least resistance that’s the problem, not his political party. Being an assemblyman is a pretty cushy job if you never have to worry about winning an election every two years, and after a while, it’s easier just to do what you’re told to get your campaign donations and stay in power than to look at public opinion polls and do what the majority of your constituents want.

Getting rid of gerrymandering would force politicians to be accountable to their constituents, because if they weren’t, they would be challenged and beaten every two years, which would force us to have fighters representing us instead of pushovers.

Doesn’t matter if you’re conservative or liberal, getting rid of gerrymandering means better government for all of us.

There’s an alternative to voting for pushovers in November. Please share widely to folks of any political stripe if you agree.


Written by Kirk Bangstad on 06/10/20

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