Ron Johnson

Noah Kienbaum, Reporter

On Nov. 9, 2022, Senate incumbent Ron Johnson beat out Lt. Gov Mandela Barnes in a very close match with Sen. Johnson receiving 50.5 percent of the vote just barely overtaking Lt. Gov Barens who received 49.5 percent.

But what does this entail for Wisconsin and the US as a whole? 

Sen. Johnson’s views and legislation have proven to be wrong and ineffective and we must hold him accountable.

For example, Sen. Johnson’s stance on gun violence has created an unsafe and ruthless America. According to the Boston Globe, there have been over 300 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2022 alone. According to the National Riffle Association, “Ron Johnson has a proven record of support for our Second Amendment freedoms and will continue to oppose the anti-gun agenda of Barack Obama, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Hillary Clinton.” 

Axios reports 66 percent of Americans want some sort of gun reform. According to Brady United, a nonprofit organization devoted to fighting gun violence, Sen. Johnson received  $1,269,486 in 2020 despite 641 Wisconsinites dying of gun violence that year alone. 

Sen. Johnson seems to be refusing to speak to the people of Wisconsin’s needs and would rather campaign for the NRA and keep his “A” ranking, a rank based on bills he voted against including bipartisan bills made to limit high capacity magazines. 

Also spreading misinformation about the Uvalde mass shooting, Sen. Johnson blamed it on “wokeness”. In a June 2022 interview with Fox Business he declared, “We’ve lost that. We stopped teaching values in so many of our schools. Now we’re teaching wokeness. We’re indoctrinating our children.” This claim is completely wrong and unprofessional. Sen. Johnson is ignoring the fact that 19 students and two teachers were murdered at the hands of gun violence, and instead citied “wokeness” was the source of the violence. This statement is completely ludacris and unprecedented, especially when taken into account that 90 percent of Wisconsinites want some form of gun reform, according to Fox News.

In terms of education, Sen. Johnson’s views have heavily impacted the state of Wisconsin as a whole. 

According to The Hill, Sen. Johnson said that parents should take “primary control” over their children’s education. However, as The Hill states, most of the material that falls to “parental control” is “in order to scrutinize the use of materials that covers critical race theory and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community.” 

We have seen several states fall victim to censorship involving the LGBTQ+ community. In states such as Florida with the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” which limits education regarding homosexuality. The bill reads: “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3, or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” 

If Sen. Johnson does for whatever reason choose to censor education regarding homosexuality, this will create a more hateful society. Young citizens of Wisconsin will not be educated on the LGBTQ+ community and instead become ignorant and become unaware of resources if they are a part of the LGBTQ+ community.  

Sen. Johnson has also criticized federal spending on education claiming it is “indoctrinating” children. 

According to Madison.com, “His comments refer to a subsidy for child care supported by Democrats and included in President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better proposal, which is currently stalled.” 

The Five Years Fund, an organization devoted to providing safe and affordable education, reported “if enacted, it would save families thousands of dollars in child care and preschool costs and build a strong, stable early learning system that meets the needs of families, providers, and the economy.”

Furthermore, Sen. Johnson has repeated and spread misinformation and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 Capital Riot.  

According to CNN, Sen. Johnson said, “Protesters did teach us how you can use flagpoles, that kind of stuff, as weapons. But to call what happened on January 6 an ‘armed insurrection,’ I just think, is not accurate.” Sen. Johnson is refusing to accept the fact that violence did in fact occur on Jan. 6, and it is causing more unnecessary tension in this already very partisan America.

Sen. Johnson also peddled falsehoods and debunked conspiracies  regarding COVID-19 vaccine. According to Wisconsin Public Radio, “On a Zoom conference call with Johnson Sunday that was later uploaded to the video website Rumble, Colorado attorney Todd Callender said “shots caused vaccine-induced AIDS.” There’s no medical evidence to back up that claim, but Johnson, in response, said “everything you say may be true.” It is no secret that COVID was and is a major problem facing our nation, but Sen. Johnson’s claims have further separated us in terms of political discourse.

Although many people may view Sen. Johnson’s views as “radical”,  many conservatives may feel the same way about Gov. Evers’ views. For example, Gov. Evers has passed bills to limit the purchase of firearms but many conservatives may say that these bills are “radical”; however, as Gov. Evers stated in Executive Order #54, “accesses to a firearms triples one’s risk of death by suicide.” This executive order called legislators to action on gun control was further backed by 80 percent of Wisconsinites; according to Urban Milwaukee.

In an age where many do not trust the “mainstream media” I invite you to fact check this information and join me in holding Sen. Johnson accountable for his actions and reminding him he is elected to represent the views of Wisconsin and not himself or the NRA; furthermore, show support for candidates who are committed to bettering Wisconsin and the United States.