For a party that used to tout “small government and individual rights” as their mantra, the GOP these days is quickly becoming the big government regulators they so feared. In the first four months of 2022, more than 175 anti-trans bills have been proposed by state legislatures, already exceeding last year’s 150 bills. And it doesn’t end there – as of April 11th there have been 536 abortion restrictions introduced in 42 states. Out of those, 33 bills have been passed into law in nine states, and the momentum seems to be gaining with Kentucky, Florida and Oklahoma passing bans in the last few weeks.
Tl;dr: Human and reproductive rights are taking a beating.
How’d we get here?
While it’s hard to pin down exactly when and how the shift from “no regulation” to “no way but our way” occurred in our society, we can draw some parallels with the rise of the evangelical right in American culture in the 1940’s and 50’s, the interest of hyper-conservatives' increased interest in political leverage and their ability to utilize TV and radio (the technology of the day). Billy Graham, anyone?
Couple these trends with the GOP’s long-run investment in the states dating back 40+ years, their dogged gerrymandering, and their strategy to give more power to local government to decide on big ticket issues and what do you get? GOP majorities in state legislatures pushing dangerous agendas.
The desire to control how people live doesn’t stop at human and reproductive rights. Whether it’s creating a false frenzy around CRT and restricting educator’s abilities to teach the actual and difficult history of our nation or pushing for heavily gerrymandered state maps that undercut people’s right to vote, the GOP has shown that they will stop at nothing to make the lives of everyday people harder and less safe.
No Empty Nesters Just Yet:
We polled state legislators in swing districts to get their reaction to the Musk news and >50% of them plan to stay the course on Twitter even though they fear a lack of moderation will make exacerbate misinformation and bullying on the platform.
The election is 194 days away which means there’s time to roll up our sleeves and help candidates win or protect their seats. We’re already working in hotly contested districts in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Florida and Texas.