Endorsing Jill Underly: Wisconsin’s April 6 election is critically important
Electing Jill Underly Wisconsin State Superintendent of Schools and Judge Jeffry Davis on April 6 is critical for the nation
If the spirit of Democracy is ailing nationally, it’s code blue here in the Badger State.
Citing Harvard’s Electoral Integrity Project that measures the health of democracies around the world, on a scale of 1 to 100, Wisconsin scored a 3, “the lowest in the world” said author David Daley in a recent public radio interview.
“Wisconsin’s state government is less responsive to its citizens than authoritarian states like Venezuela, which scored a 14,” said Daley, an expert on gerrymandering. Wisconsin’s “lines have provided a firewall against politics, against the public will.”
The position of State Superintendent of Schools hardly seems important—unless seen in strategic context.
Make no mistake: the spirit of America is not just sick, it’s been poisoned.
Fascist Conservatives using Hitler’s toxic playbook are out of the closet, openly walking the Halls of Congress, calling for and participating in attempted political assassinations.
The poisoning of Wisconsin’s body politic began decades ago as nasty rhetoric, demonizing teachers. Our Republican legislature politicized our courts and dismantled consumer protections. Led by former governor, Scott Walker — whose campaign slogan was the oh-so-Fascist “Spread the Pain” — pulled an underhanded middle-of-the-night maneuver to gun down teachers unions.
Attacking education is part of strategic “decades-long efforts by political and business interests to undermine authoritative institutions, including parties, elections, public agencies, science, independent journalism, and civil society,” according to numerous scholars in the new textbook The Disinformation Age.
Fascist Conservatives next goal: re-write the Constitution
“While the nation has been transfixed by the daily tweets of President Trump,” wrote Nancy MacLean, William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University, “the Koch network has quietly lined up authorizations from state legislatures to convene the first national constitutional convention since the Constitution was drafted. Common Cause has called the effort ‘the most serious threat to our democracy flying completely under the radar.’”
Fascist Conservatives seek to tear decimate public institutions — especially education.
Because they can’t let people know the truth, that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” as Nelson Mandela said.
Education is key to freedom, growth, and progress—a direct threat to the Fascist Conservatives goal to control and the population through misery, fear, and hatred. Just as authoritarian “slave legislatures” 200+ years ago barred slaves from learning to read.
In 1835, abolitionist jurist William Jay described in a letter to Congress how laws banning education of slaves were based on the idea that “to read and write tends to excite dissatisfaction in their minds and to produce insurrection and rebellion….Slave legislatures…enslave the minds of their victims; and we have surely no reason to hope that their souls are regarded with more compassion.”
Remembering the American spirit
To recognize President Biden’s bold inaugural intention to “restore the soul of America,” we must learn from history. To abolish an institution like slavery required embracing a spirit of growth, valuing education, and embodying the meaning behind the words in the Pledge of Allegiance and the symbolism of the Flag.
Conservatives long ago confiscated the flag, the Constitution, and of religion— not to embody the values they represent but to camouflage their true nefarious intent, put on a costume as “patriots.”
They twisted and warped the symbols almost beyond recognition. To resuscitate democracy, we must clarify for ourselves the true spirit amd meaning of these symbols.
- Republic: our form of government in which power is vested in the people and their trusted representatives.How do we restore trust?
- Indivisible: cannot be divided. Our family seems on the verge of divorce. What is the marriage about? What are ramifications? Can we save the union ? Whar will happen to the children? We’ve already seen how the fascist mindset is to sell off the family jewels of our natural parks and resources and embrace bribery. What will happen to our kids? How can we reconcile and rebuild trust?
- Liberty: freedom to do as you choose. The biggest lesson of fascism learned by Viktor Frankl in surviving the horrors of three Nazi death camps is to remember the last freedom that cannot be taken from us: our ability to choose our response in any given moment. We always have a choice. What is the best response that restores us?
- Justice: fair treatment. Democracy is about balance and fairness. Where is imbalance in our courts and how can we restore it?
- Thirteen (13) stripes of the flag for the courage of the founding colonies who united, declared independence, and fought for freedom.
- Stars for each of the United States—all equal, originally 13, now 50.
- Blue field behind the stars representing vigilance, perseverance, and justice.
- Red for valor, bravery, and strength to stand up for what is right and what is good for all. Also, as in red-blooded Americans —that which is common in all our diversity.
- White for purity and innocence: our childen, our future!
The true embodiment of American ideals is besr summarized by the Greek word philotimo, or “friend of honor.” Our time of greatest unity and embodiment of the spirit of America was during World War II, when the United States led the world in the fight against the evil of fascism.
Antifa is short for anti-fascist; veterans of WWII were antifa.
An excellent short video explaining the spirit philotimo underlining democracy:
Recognizing Fascist Conservatism
Conservative Fascism opposes American values. It glorifies dehumanization and slavery. Stirs up mistrust. Creates confusion. Stokes fear. Provokes anger. Encites violence. Divides into warring factions. Manipulates people to break laws, commit acts of violence, destroy property, and even to kill. And worse.
The end goal of Conservative Fascism: abolition of democracy—as is nearly complete in Wisconsin.
Perhaps at no time in history is there a greater need for education. We need to trust each other, to survive and thrive through these genuine crises we are facing.
We need intelligent citizenry able to discern what is fact from opinion, keep up with blinding speed of advances in science, understanding how the natural world works, appreciating advances in medical science.
Jill Underly stands on the side of democracy and the rights of all children and grandchildren. They will inherit the mess the world is in right now.
We must choose effective strategists, analysts, visionaries, thinkers, creators, artists, writers, team builders, team leaders, and executives, who prioritize children and all people of all ages.
Ideally, the spiritual battle for Wisconsin and the country will happen in hearts and minds, spilling ink instead of blood — with ideas, pens, and ballot boxes.
We must elect leaders who care about ALL our children — valuing teachers and education to build up and improve the system rather than tear it down and destroy it.
Endorsing Jill Underly
Thanks for voting for Jill Underly for Wisconsin State Superintendent of Schools on April 6. Learn more about her at https://underlyforwi.com/about/
Laurel Kashinn is a freelance writer in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. This article was first published on blog, InTheSpiritOfTruth.com