The temptation is to think of Glenn Grothman as some sort of moron, a Neanderthal throwback, an outlier, someone so impossibly backward as to be unable to function in society.
I believe he is a product of his environment, and that he comes from one of those small sub-cultures you still find in various tiny enclaves of Wisconsin. If you’ve spent any time with the people in Glenn’s senate district – places like Oostburg, Kewaskum, and Fredonia – you’ve encountered plenty of people who think, act, and even talk like Grothman.
They believe, like Glen, that men should be paid more than women; they are staunchly anti-abortion. A former member of the U.S. Congress used to tell his friends confidentially of the story of the man from Oostburg who said, in full seriousness, that a woman should be allowed only two children, and after the second child, “that hole should be sewed up, and then we wouldn’t have to worry about the abortion”.
The last two words were pronounced “thee a-bar-shun”, and the article always preceded the term: “the” abortion.
Like Santorini, whose campaign button the senator wears in the photo above, there is no small number of people in these rural enclaves who publicly proclaim sex is for procreation only, and anything else can lead to bad consequences. I had a college fraternity brother from Kewaskum who firmly believed anyone who had “recreational sex” was doomed to eternal hellfire.
Long before Wisconsin’s ridiculous adaptation of the “Castle Doctrine”, these folks firmly believed that a man’s home (and it is a MAN’S home) is his castle, and any sumbitch stoopid enough to come wanderin’ onto my property without my specific invitation is gonna get more than a load of buckshot to warn ‘em off.
Like Santorini, Grothman is quite suspicious about higher education of any sort, though it may surprise you to learn Grothman has a BBA and JD (he’s a lawyer) from the UW. I can’t begin to explain the mindset of enigmas like Grothman or Santorini, who obtain an advanced degree (Santorini has a BS, an MBA, and a JD) and then regard higher education as the sort of thing a snob pursues.
There are other throwback enclaves scattered across the Wisconsin countryside. You don’t have to travel that many miles west of Madison to find tiny communities where people keep goats in their yard and hold a set of beliefs similar to Grothman’s. And you don’t have to get too far above Highway 8 in Wisconsin to run into a lot of people who were clinging to their bibles and guns long before Barack Obama talked about such people during his 2008 campaign.
People like Grothman, who actually believe money is more important to men than women, that men rightly have dominance over women’s bodies (Adam’s rib, and all that), neither realize nor accept how far the rest of the world has come in the past century, and certainly aren’t aware that it’s exactly because of people like them that we have made laws forbidding discrimination against women in pay, reproductive rights, and a wide array of other elements of daily life.
This is part of pharmaceutical-grade conservatism: change is BAD. Things should be kept the way they ARE.
Call Glen Grothman what you want, but don’t call him stupid. I think he really believes what he espouses. To him and his kind, it must be a very scary world indeed.