Here is my column from earlier this week in the Washington County Daily News. There is an error in it. I said that there was only one debate, but there was a second debate last night. It was much the same. Anyway, here you go:
Incumbent U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and challenger Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes met last week for their one and only debate before the election to see who should represent Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate for the next six years. The debate was hosted by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association which lined up the usual panel of Leftist questioners to ask questions from the Left’s perspective while actively avoiding issues that favor the Right.
How, for instance, one could ask questions for an hour of candidates for the U.S. Senate without mentioning inflation, Ukraine, our $31 trillion national debt, or the nation’s open border policy — all issues that will be discussed in the Senate — is journalistic malpractice. As the only debate held, it was a poor showing.
Both candidates stayed close to their usual comments while layering in criticisms of each other’s positions. The general media consensus is that both candidates articulated their positions effectively and very few minds would be changed. That analysis is largely correct, but it glosses over the casual radicalism expressed by Mandela Barnes. With a smile and comforting voice, Barnes is espousing the same positions as radicals like Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Ilhan Omar. When asked about Milwaukee’s horrific rise in violent crime under Democratic leadership, Barnes’ answer was to spend more tax money on schools and somehow create jobs (he did not say how this would happen). He has long been a champion of defunding the police and rooted for anti-police rioters from the safety of his Twitter account.
Barnes has this relationship exactly backward. It is the violent crime that drives families and jobs out of communities. They will not come back until the crime is under control and the only way a civilized society has ever accomplished that is with a professional and effective police force. Barnes’ policies would lead to more crime, fewer jobs and another generation lost to crime and poverty.
While Barnes is advocating for cutting police funding, eliminating cash bail, and emptying our prisons of violent criminals, he is also pushing for the suppression of citizens to keep and bear arms. During the debate, Barnes lamented that, “the ATF doesn’t even have searchable databases right now because of the law,” supported universal background checks, and pushed for red flag laws.
Let us put those policy positions together. Barnes is advocating for a federal government that tracks every single gun purchase, keeps a database of who owns what guns, and has the power to strip someone of their 2nd Amendment rights without due process if a government official thinks someone might be a threat someday. While violent crooks run free in Barnes’ America, law-abiding citizens might be stripped of their civil rights if they displease a government official.
When asked about President Biden’s unconstitutional effort to forgive student loans, Barnes said, “absolutely it’s fair.” If you are a Wisconsinite who responsibly took on debt to attend college and paid it back, chose a career path that did not include college, worked your way through college without debt, earned scholarships, or did not even qualify for student loans, then Barnes thinks it is absolutely fair that you pay off the debt of others.
When asked about high gas prices, Barnes had no answer other than to say that we need to focus more on renewable energy. In other words, Barnes would not do anything about high gas prices as a U.S. Senator other than spend more of our money on windmills. This is not a serious policy position that actually addresses the real problem of fuel prices driving up the cost of everything in our economy. One cannot move billions of tons of grain and beef to the stores of America on solar-paneled river barges or wind-driven trains. Barnes would rather we fuel our economy with gas and diesel bought from despots in Russia and the Middle East than let Americans reap the rewards of energy independence.
Mandela Barnes is Wisconsin’s Beto O’Rourke. He is an unethical, unserious charlatan who spins a good yarn on the campaign trail while not having any meaningful accomplishments to his name. Our country is too important to trust to such a man.