A reporter came up to me in the halls of the Capitol after the inauguration and asked if I was surprised by the partisan tone of President Obama’s speech. I responded, “Not at all.”
Let’s be honest, November 6, 2012 was not a good day for America.
President Obama and his allies in Congress are now exhibiting a level of hubris that far exceeds any meager mandate they might claim. Instead of using their re-election as a moment to reach out and work with Republicans to enact real financial solutions, they are simply increasing their demands for higher taxes and a debt ceiling increase to accommodate their plans for expanded government.
With a diminished majority in the House and a smaller minority in the Senate, Congressional Republicans’ primary role over the next two to four years will be to limit the damage of Obama’s second term. But even this limited role of damage control will not be easy.
One example of this difficulty is Obamacare. Although it will hasten America’s fiscal day of reckoning, the election results have severely limited our ability to prevent its harmful implementation.
I apologize for this honest and forthright assessment. I wish I could report a rosier scenario. But those of you who have heard me speak over the last two years know that I do not believe this is the time to sugarcoat the circumstance we find ourselves in.
Even though our financial situation is dire, and leadership in Washington is so lacking, the idea and promise of America remains a beacon of freedom and prosperity to people around the world. In the span of human history, America represents something incredibly precious that must be preserved.
It won't be easy, but I'm not giving up. I never will - and I certainly hope that you won't either. I fully understand how disillusioned conservatives are after putting their time, treasure, and talents into an election effort that came up so short.
It has been reported that billions of dollars were spent during this election cycle. With all that spending, how much actual information was successfully conveyed to the American electorate? I would argue very little. If the public were properly informed, Barack Obama would never have been elected President, and he certainly would not have won re-election.
I often say the greatest threat to freedom is ignorance. Our Founders fully recognized that our Republic depended on a moral and well educated population. As November 6th proves, America continues to drift further and further away from these preconditions of liberty.
During my first two years, I have worked hard to wade through the overwhelming volume of data and turn it into information that I believe America must understand if we are ever going to develop the political consensus required to enact real solutions.
I have tried to convey the truth – and will continue to do so. Often, these truths are not fun to face. But until we do face them with our eyes wide open - until we actually acknowledge that government’s good intentions often result in very real and very harmful unintended consequences - we will not be able to begin doing what needs to be done.
The role of conservative media in this struggle cannot be overstated. Without talk radio, and a relatively few conservative publications and TV broadcast outlets, conservatives ideas would be overwhelmed by the liberal mantra preached by the main street media. The advent and growth of the Internet and social media offer even greater opportunities for conservative thought.
Right Wisconsin is the newest creation in the evolution of conservative social media. It can play a vital role in providing the information Wisconsinites and Americans must have to set our state and nation back on the path of success and prosperity. I salute the individuals involved in undertaking this important venture, and hope to be an ongoing contributor to its efforts.
We will remain out here fighting on the front lines every day, bolstered by the fact that people like you are standing behind us with your prayers and support.
Ron Johnson is the Senior United States Senator from the State of Wisconsin.