OP-ED: Two Years After January 6 Insurrection, We Still Need to Work Together to Protect Our Freedoms

Regardless of our race, economic status, or zip code, we all value one of our most basic rights as Americans: the freedom to vote. On January 6, 2021, we saw how fragile that freedom could be as MAGA faction militants sought to overturn our 2020 presidential election.

The events of that day were a shocking reminder of how we need to be vigilant in protecting our freedoms. It’s a message we must continue to heed today with a new session of the legislature beginning and a Spring election that will determine whether or not the right wing keeps control of our state Supreme Court in April.

In the two years since the brutal attack at our nation’s Capitol, Wisconsin politicians’ connections to criminal conspiracy to overturn the will of the people have become much clearer as more details emerge around the scheme to use fake electors to the Electoral College involving Ron Johnson, top leaders of the state Republican Party and prominent right wing lawyers.

MAGA faction politicians in the legislature wasted valuable time and millions of dollars of our tax dollars on a sham inquiry into the verifiably free and fair election of November 2020. After engaging in some of the most egregious gerrymandering of legislative district lines in the nation, Republicans in control of the legislature tried, unsuccessfully,  to pass new laws undermining voting rights.  And when the right wing was blocked by Governor Evers veto, they sought to undermine our freedom to decide who governs in our names with politically motivated lawsuits.

The conservative candidates seeking to maintain right wing control of our Wisconsin State Supreme Court have already publicly expressed dangerous allegiance to the ongoing MAGA faction’s campaign to rig the rules to ensure their grip on power and immunity from accountability.

Dan Kelly, a former right wing member of the court, picked by Scott Walker and endorsed by Donald Trump, not only has called for more sham legislative inquiries but even bragged about how he’s written a “how to manual” on how to conduct them to achieve partisan, political aims.

And not to be outdone, Jennifer Dorow has publicly endorsed the strategy of the right wing Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty to use our courts to achieve partisan political ends.

Wisconsinites have proven that when we recognize politicians spreading dangerous election conspiracies, we reject them – like how Wisconsinites just voted overwhelmingly against gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels, whose campaign was endorsed by Donald Trump, who publicly promoted 2020 election falsehoods and ominously promised that if he won, Republicans would never lose another election in Wisconsin.

Two years after the insurrection, we not only remember that attack on our freedom to vote and on the U.S. Capitol, we renew our call to our leaders to ensure the integrity of our elections, prioritize the will of the people, and ensure that voters – not politicians – decide the outcomes of our elections.

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A Better Wisconsin Together is a state-based research and communications hub for progressives and is an affiliate of ProgressNow.