Our mission statement, at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, is quite simple. It goes like this: “We are dedicated to clean and open government and a full democracy, where everyone has an equal voice.”


Today, everyone doesn’t have an equal voice when the campaigns are the playgrounds of the corporations, the superPACs and the super-rich.


Today, everyone doesn’t have an equal voice when their voting districts are rigged by gerrymandering or when they’re smothered by voter suppression.


Today, everyone doesn’t have equal voice when there’s systemic institutional racism.


Today, everyone doesn’t have an equal voice when there’s huge discrepancies in wealth and income.


As Justice Louis Brandeis warned us many, many years ago, “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. But we can’t have both.”


Justice Brandeis and Fighting Bob LaFollette were good friends. They both understood the threat that corporate power and concentrated wealth posed to our democracy. La Follette had no illusion that our system of checks and balances was fool-proof, and it’s being tested today by a colossal fool.


La Follette said: “Tyranny and oppression are just as possible under democratic forms as under any other.” But he also said, “The cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy.”


So give us the cure!


We need more democracy in Washington.


We need more democracy in Wisconsin.


We need more democracy in a hurry!


Matt Rothschild is director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Here is the conclusion of Matt’s talk at the WDC annual celebration on May 16, 2019.