By Scott Walker
This column first appeared in the Washington Times
Don’t take the bait. This is my message to conservatives all across America in the final days of the 2022 campaign season.
Liberal candidates and biased media outlets are trying to get conservatives to talk about anything other than the issues that voters care about these days.
When I first successfully ran for governor of Wisconsin, the issues most voters carried about were concerns over the economic and fiscal crises facing our state. I addressed those issues with clear plans that I repeated over and over again. We were so on message that you could ask me what my mother’s maiden name was and I would tell you, “Fitch. And every Fitch I know cares about our plan to get people back to work again and balance the budget.” We did not take the bait.
The people who will cast the deciding votes for governor, U.S. Senate, Congress, and other important offices this fall care about a few key issues: the economy/inflation, public safety, and education freedom. Talking about other issues is a waste of time.
With inflation at a 40-year high, most Americans are concerned about the economy. Remind voters that it got worse after President Biden and his cronies spent trillions of dollars of federal money that drove the country to historic levels of debt. Inflation at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency was less than 1.5%. Now it is over 8%.
Sky-high inflation is the primary reason costs are up for food, fuel and housing. As an example, gas was $2.39 per gallon when Mr. Trump left office. Now it is $3.76.
Conservatives need to focus on ways to rein in out-of-control spending and make it easier for small businesses and other employers to put people to work.
Voters are also very concerned about public safety. Violent crime is up in liberal cities all over America. Even the race for governor in the liberal state of New York is suddenly competitive because of major concerns about out-of-control crime.
Public safety is even more potent because crime isn’t just a problem in big cities controlled by liberals for decades. Increasingly, crime is moving into other parts of the country.
In 2020, riots took place in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that burnt down many small businesses near downtown. Several individuals were killed and others were injured during the unrest. Gov. Tony Evers not only failed to immediately call up the Wisconsin National Guard, but his statements also helped fuel the rioters to come to the city.
At the end of 2021, a career criminal out on low cash bail drove his truck through the Waukesha Christmas parade and killed six innocent people. Waukesha and Kenosha are mid-sized cities. If these kinds of crimes can happen there, they can happen nearly anywhere in the state.
Mr. Evers’ parole commission lets violent criminals out of prison. Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes wants to end cash bail. They both talk about supporting the goal of letting half of the prison population out. That would mean more than 10,000 more felons on the streets of Wisconsin. Their views are similar to other liberals across the country who’ve aligned themselves with groups who want to defund the police and push for the early release of violent criminals.
Conservatives need to focus on ways to defend the police by supporting good and honorable men and women in law enforcement. They need to oppose efforts to release violent criminals from prison. And they need to allow law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, their families, and their property.
Finally, parents want to be in charge of the education of their children. One of the few bright spots during the past few years of the global pandemic is that parents can see what is going on in the classroom. So many parents and grandparents are upset about the lack of many schools teaching fundamental subjects and pushing radical indoctrination that often segregates students by race, sex and gender.
Parents are particularly disturbed by efforts to force this kind of radical indoctrination at the youngest of ages. Instead of kindergartners being exposed to transgender strippers, most people believe they should be learning how to play nice with each other and learn things like the ABCs and how to count. I would also like them to learn how to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day.
Conservatives should advocate for parents making decisions on education and giving families the opportunity to choose which school is best for their child. We should demand that government-funded schools provide total transparency on curriculum and access to the classroom.
Getting people working again while lowering costs, restoring public safety, and putting parents back in charge of education. These are the ideas that will win on Nov. 8. If someone pushes anything else, don’t take the bait.
Scott Walker is president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019.
Read more at The Washington Times.
Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 1, 2022