When one thinks of the most influential Wisconsin Republicans, they are Gov. Scott Walker, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and President-elect Donald Trump’s soon-to-be Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
The only highly influential Wisconsin Republican not involved in politics is radio talk show host Charlie Sykes, whose last radio talk show will be next Monday.
While traditionally at odds with liberals, Sykes found himself a new group — President-elect Donald Trump supporters — that didn’t like what he was saying after his explosive interview with their standard-bearer.
Sykes began the interview and said, “I know that you realize that here in Wisconsin we value things like civility, decency and actual conservative principles. So let’s possibly make some news.”
Sykes’ critique of the current state of the Republican party — which he is going to write about in a book titled “How the Right Lost Its Mind,” to be published next year by St. Martin’s Press — is one we ought to listen to. It represents a grim future for a party currently holding the House of Representatives, Senate and Oval Office.
Sykes can easily be characterized as a hardline conservative, coming out against abortion, and in favor of free markets and shrinking the size and scope of government. His talk show, and his hardline ideologies, have helped to create the current political state, but if Sykes can realize the err in his ways, so can the nation.
People have become so loyal to their party and their ideology that they’re either unwilling or unable to critically evaluate a candidate, assess their governing ability and intelligence and make a choice that is the best for the nation.
This is a bad signal for Republicans and Democrats alike. As the two parties polarize even further, Americans will increasingly face a choice between “the lesser of two evils.” This is an unsustainable trend. Voters will eventually realize that the parties have been hoodwinking them, come to their senses and a true political revolution, like the ones in Sen. Bernie Sanders’, I-Vt., dreams, will occur.
If Democrats and Republicans want to preserve their parties, they must find a quality individual, not a lesser of two evils.
Aaron Reilly ([email protected]) is a sophomore majoring in social work and economics.