Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News last week. I think I’ll write next week’s about the Republican primary for governor. I have so many thoughts… you?
When candidate Ron Johnson left his relative obscurity as a successful businessman to become one of thousands of impassioned patriots who were compelled to run for office in response to President Barack Obama’s leftist governance, many people underestimated the impact he would have on Wisconsin. Now, 12 years later, Johnson is asking the voters to send him back to Washington again to continue to work on behalf of Wisconsin. The fact that so many liberals hate Johnson so much is reason enough for conservatives to come out in force to support him, but he has also earned another term on the merits.
Despite being new to elected office and a rookie in the U.S. Senate, Senator Johnson quickly rose to prominence during his first term. As an outspoken critic of government and the swamp in Washington, he was a steadfast opponent of President Obama’s destructive policies. Johnson fought against Obamacare, open borders, and runaway government spending. He drew the ire of leftists, but also upset the entrenched Republican establishment in Washington because he was not one to go along to get along.
Perhaps Johnson stood out a little more because he was so different than the kind of Republican senators that the country had become accustomed to over the past several decades. Wisconsin’s senators had been so beige that they were often indistinguishable from the plush chairs. Then here comes Johnson and he is immediately in the thick of everything.
Before the end of his first term, Johnson had become the chairman of the powerful Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Under his leadership, that committee passed over 300 bills with 132 of them becoming law. He used his position to delve into the bureaucratic establishment to shine the light on how our government really works — and how it doesn’t.
Johnson is now the ranking member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and on the Budget, Foreign Relations, and Commerce, Science and Transportation committees. It is telling that Johnson is not only serving on the committees that work on hard issues, but that his fellow senators trust him on those committees.
Throughout his senate career, Johnson could always be relied upon to speak his mind. He was one of the first elected Republicans to publicly condemn Hunter Biden for the information found on Hunter’s laptop and question how such illegal and unethical activities might compromise the “Big Guy,” President Joe Biden. Johnson was derided at the time for advancing unproven conspiracies, but now, two years later, even The New York Times accepts that the incriminating information in the laptop is authentic.
Johnson has been outspoken about the sloppy and insecure elections in Wisconsin and elsewhere, was an early critic of the federal government’s COVID responses, and rang the warning bell about government spending triggering inflation. It seems that whenever the leftists are railing against Johnson for straying from the accepted mainstream dogma of the moment, he is proven to be correct.
As Johnson runs for his third term, he is still looking forward. Two terms in the Senate have not diminished his energy or his willingness to challenge the status quo. Johnson is continuing his fight against the immense government deficit spending that has now caused the worst inflation since IBM introduced its first personal computer with DOS 1.0. He is hearing the concerns of parents and advocating for more choice in education. Johnson is seeking to correct the worst abuses of government during the pandemic.
The Biden administration is a rolling disaster for the country and the only way to slow it is to elect Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Although it is a presidential off year where the opposition party normally does well, the quirk of the maps favors the Democrats in the Senate this year. While the House looks likely, not certain, to swing to the Republicans, the Senate is still a tossup. It will take an overwhelming voice from the people for the Republicans to take control of the Senate and Senator Johnson is one of the 51 people that Americans must elect to make that happen.
Finally, it is worth noting that after two terms and a record of action, Senator Johnson matters. He is not the stolid backbencher who harrumphs on cue when called upon by his caucus leadership. Indeed, Johnson is a case study for the maxim that not all leaders have a title. He is his own man with his own voice, and he uses it voraciously on behalf of Wisconsin and the issues in which he believes. We must send him back to Washington not because he wants it, but because Wisconsin needs it.