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Milwaukee Art Museum

The immediate Republican talking point in response to the news that the Democratic Party will hold its national convention in Milwaukee in 2020 is to say that Milwaukee is a good city for socialists. Wisconsin’s “senior” Senator, Republican Ron Johnson, senior only in terms of chronology, could not even be happy that the largest city in his home state had won the honor. All he could do was repeat the talking point his Party masters had dictated to him. He’s a good Republican.

They say that like it’s a bad thing.

Republicans should get a pat on the head. They got something right for once. Good job!

Milwaukee is a good city for socialists. It’s a good city all around. It’s a small city, but it has an impressive art museum, the second most prestigious campus of the world renowned University of Wisconsin, and lots of other fine elements that make it a livable city.

And it elected three socialists as mayors in the 20th century.

Wisconsin is a heavily German state. It still bears the marks of the French, who were the first Europeans to explore the area, in many place names, such as Fond du Lac, which is French for “base of the lake, but the state, and especially the city of Milwaukee, became a favorite place to settle for many of the large influx of German immigrants the United States saw in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many of whom brought their socialist leanings with them.

They built a thriving, prosperous state full of dairy farms that chose to prohibit racial discrimination in employment in 1945, 19 years before the country as a whole did so, and one of the world’s leading research universities.

It was a lovely state until Republican spent the last eight years starving its public institutions and disparaging its loyal, hard working public servants, especially school teachers.

Happily, its good people finally got rid of Republican governor Scott Walker. The state is still an unfortunate case study in Republican cheating by gerrymander. Despite Democrats winning every statewide race in 2018, Republicans still have majorities in both houses of the state legislature. Wisconsin is one of several states that has a case before the Supreme Court contesting its gerrymandered state legislative districts.

Milwaukee is a good city for socialists, and Wisconsin was better off when it adopted policies that veered close to socialism. It went down the tubes when Republicans took over. Let’s hope they’re getting back to their socialist roots.

Written by

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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