Proposal reflects fear-based beliefs

After two years away, I returned in December to live permanently in Menomonie, one of the best places in the world to live. And now four months later, I have found something that makes me furious enough to write another of my many letters to the editor of this fine newspaper.

The trigger for my wrath was the recent front page story of the proposal from our man-child Republican governor that the poor people of Wisconsin entitled to Medicaid would have to pass a drug test to qualify for the benefits to which they are entitled. This is right out of Paul Ryan’s playbook on poverty: The poor only have themselves to blame for their condition. Help from the government only abets their shortcomings that include apparently rampant drug abuse. First get “clean” and then we’ll help you as little as possible.

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How did the wonderfully liberal Wisconsin I moved to in 1975 end up electing this nasty Republican governor who worships at the feet of the billionaire Koch dynasty and then added insult to injury with the help of a Republican majority legislature? This party, nationwide, has no moral compass worth the name. And then they clinched the electoral victory of Donald Trump, a president with no values beyond his own self interests. Exactly the Ppresident they deserve, but the rest of us don’t. Wisconsin government is now a shameless Republican mess of white-skinned ideologues who do not consider poor people to be equal as human beings, not least because so many of the poor have black skins (think Milwaukee) which automatically devalues them, and besides, they will vote for Democrats, if we let them vote.

As a white citizen, I am feeling more and more the responsibility that so many Americans of my racial category are acting out of an endemic fear that the “colonized” black and brown citizens of the country might be a threat to our standing if we began treating them with the same deference we expect for ourselves. It is exactly this “white fear” that elected Donald Trump!

DAVID COOK, Menomonie

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