RoJo, Annotated

Yesterday Ron Johnson announced his candidacy for reelection. Did he make his announcement in Wisconsin or in his hometown newspaper at least? Nope. He announced on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal — while decrying “the mainstream media.”

Johnson has a way of saying things he doesn’t actually believe. For example, shortly after the 2020 election, he told a Republican operative in a private conversation that there was no reason to think Joe Biden hadn’t been legitimately elected. Yet, he was ready to object to certification of the results in his own state, and backed down only after the Insurrection.

So. as a service to YSDA readers, I was able to get into Johnson’s head as he wrote his announcement for the Journal. Yes, now that I’m out of his head it will take years of therapy for me to recover, but I did it for you, good reader. Below find the text of Johnson’s screed with what he was really thinking provided in parentheses.

Here goes:

I decided to run for the U.S. Senate in 2010 because growing entitlements and out-of-control federal spending had exploded our national debt to $14 trillion. We were on an unsustainable path that was mortgaging our children’s future. (So, I mortgaged our children’s future by voting for a trillion dollar tax cut mostly for rich folks just like me.)

Fortunately, Americans decided that government controlled by liberal Democrats wasn’t good for the country and they elected Republicans to the House to halt President Obama’s extreme policies. (Extreme policies like insuring 30 million Americans who hadn’t been able to afford health care.) A Republican majority in the Senate followed in 2014.

As I ran for re-election in 2016, we had the prospect of electing a Republican president who could work with a Republican Congress not only to stop the expansion of liberal policies but, we hoped, to reverse some of the damage done during Mr. Obama’s administration. I figured we had an opportunity to put America back on the right path, and I was more than willing to dedicate myself to that worthy effort. (And what liberal policies did we reverse? Well, we almost voted to repeal Obamacare without having any plan of our own after we spent the better part of a decade saying that we did. Otherwise, well, it turned out that those policies were really pretty popular, so we pretty much just settled for the tax cut for the rich. Works for me!)

As a service to our readers, YSDA got inside Ron Johnson’s head.

By and large, Republican policies worked. Regulatory relief and a more competitive tax system helped create a healthy economy with low inflation and record low unemployment. (Never mind that the healthy economy was in place under Democrats and inflation hadn’t been an issue for a generation or more.) Strengthening the military deterred our enemies, and policies designed to secure the borders dramatically reduced the flow of illegal immigration. (Which, of course, is why I kept saying that we had a “crisis” at the southern border throughout the Trump administration.)

During the 2016 campaign, I said it would be my last campaign and final term. That was my strong preference, and my wife’s—(we won’t mention her name here as it might remind people that I got my wealth the old fashioned way — I married into it) we both looked forward to a normal private life. Neither of us anticipated the Democrats’ complete takeover of government (well, except for the Supreme Court which conservatives will control for a generation) and the disastrous policies they have already inflicted on America and the world, to say nothing of those they threaten to enact in the future. (These disastrous policies include fixing roads and bridges, providing high speed Internet to places that have been hard to serve (and mostly voted for me) and cutting child poverty in half through a big tax cut for working families. The infrastructure bill passed with bipartisan support, though not from me — this won’t stop me from showing up at ribbon cuttings, by the way. Nonetheless, these really will be disastrous policies for Republicans if the Democrats ever get around to properly taking credit for them. I’m not too worried.)

Nor did we anticipate the pandemic, the government’s failed response to it (most of which was under President Trump), the loss of freedom that has resulted, and the tyrannical approach taken by the elites who have created and maintained a state of fear that allows them to exercise control over Americans’ lives. (When if everyone would just gargle twice a day we’d have no problem at all, plus everyone would have fresh, minty breath!) Instead of everyone working to achieve the goal President Biden stated during his inaugural address—unifying and healing America—it feels as if our nation is being torn apart. (I’ve played my part in trying to bring us together by referring to science-based advice provided by dedicated public health officials as, “the tyrannical approach taken by elites.”)

As I travel around Wisconsin and talk to citizens who love our country, I know I am not the only one with grave concerns. My message has always been that America is precious, and it is our solemn duty to make sure it survives and thrives for future generations. (That’s why I have falsely claimed that nobody at the Insurrection was armed and I didn’t feel endangered even if they had been because they were all “patriots.”)

President Reagan warned that freedom is fragile, always one generation away from extinction. As I have told crowds since my first Tea Party speeches in 2010: This is a fight for freedom. This is not someone else’s fight, this is our fight, and it’s a fight we absolutely must win.

I believe America is in peril. (In no small measure because of the lies I’ve helped spread about the election.) Much as I’d like to ease into a quiet retirement, I don’t feel I should. Countless people have encouraged me to run, saying they rely on me to be their voice, to speak plain and obvious truths other elected leaders shirk from expressing—truths the elite in government, mainstream media and Big Tech don’t want you to hear. (That’s why I’m announcing here in the Wall Street Journal which, with only 3.2 million subscribers and outsized influence with the Washington conservative establishment, is hardly part of the mainstream media.)

In 2010 I promised I would always tell people the truth (Okay, so I’ve continued to prop up lies about the last election even though I’ve been caught privately saying that the results were accurate, so I suppose picky liberals might say that that, among many other things, is technically a “lie.”) and that I would never vote with re-election in mind. When re-election isn’t your primary motivation, those are easy promises to keep. Today, I am announcing I will continue to fight for freedom in the public realm by running for re-election. It is a decision I haven’t made lightly. Having already experienced a growing level of vitriol and false attacks, I certainly don’t expect better treatment in the future. For my campaign to succeed, I will need the support of every American who values the truth and refuses to allow lies and distortions to prevail. (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. I’ve been lying and distorting truths about COVID, the election, climate change and one or two or three other things. Big deal.)

Tens of millions of dollars will be spent trying to destroy and defeat me. The mainstream media (which does NOT include the Wall Street Journal with 3.2 million subscribers or Fox News which had more viewers for January 6th anniversary shows than either CNN or MSNBC ) and Big Tech will contribute their powerful and corrupt voices as the unofficial but reliable communication apparatus of the Democrats. We face powerful forces that desire even more power and control over our lives. Their path, paved with false hope and greater dependency, always leads to tyranny. (Because we know that once people have health care and kids aren’t poor anymore the next step is Russian tanks in our backyards.) We cannot let them win.

Welcome to the 326th day of consecutive posts here at YSDA. Thanks for reading!


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

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