The state of Wisconsin, the cheese and dairy state, has had a distinguished history in many respects.
It was the base of the great Mr. Progressive, Governor and Senator Robert La Follette, Sr, who also was the Progressive Party nominee for President in 1924, and had the third best percentage of the vote of any third party nominee in history, with one out of every six voters backing him.
It was the state of his son, Senator Robert La Follette, Jr, and also of his second son, Governor Philip La Follette, both leading Progressives in the 1930s.
It was the state of Senator Gaylord Nelson,Â Senator Herb Kohl, Senator William Proxmire, and Senator Russ Feingold, the latter now seeking to regain his Senate seat that he lost to Ron Johnson in 2010, with these two men running against each other again in 2016.Â It was also the state of Governor Patrick Lucey and Gaylord Nelson, before the latter became a Senator.
It is the state of Senator Tammy Baldwin, the first lesbian US Senator.
However, it was also the state of Senator Joseph McCarthy, the infamous Red Scare leader in the 1950s.
It is also the state of the disgraceful Governor Scott Walker; Senator Ron Johnson; and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, all very willing to work against the interests of the middle class and the poor.
How a state with a progressive tradition can often “go off the rails” is hard to understand.
But the progressive-liberal tradition remains a significant part of the Wisconsin historical story!
Now it is becoming the center of attention again, after Scott Walker endorsed Ted Cruz in the Republican primary to be held next week, with Cruz leading Donald Trump in polls; and Bernie Sanders leading Hillary Clinton in polls for the Democrats.