Johnson Picks His Predictable – and Ironic – Platform

Jessie Opoien reports At WI convention, Ron Johnson calls for GOP to ‘take back our culture’

Johnson called on Republicans to run candidates at every level of public office, arguing that the GOP has spent too much time focused on federal elections while letting seats go at the local levels.

“Take back our school boards, our county boards, our city councils. We will take back our culture. We don’t have to fear this anymore,” Johnson said, advocating the concept of “trickle-up elections.”

Johnson’s call is both predictable and ironic. It’s predictable he’s likely to run for re-election despite a promise not to do so, and predictable his conservative populist supporters have an endless list of grievances.

And yet, and yet — Johnson’s cultural call to his populist supporters is ironic, too. He is speaking to a poorly acculturated horde: proud nativists who claim their rights are violated while understanding little of law or history, who traffic in ludicrous conspiracies, who are less productive than their adversaries (1, 2), and who show a lack of impulse control even in ordinary social settings.

One should not underestimate these populists, as they’re limitlessly animated in grievances and accusations, but no less intelligent than any others. (It is they who erroneously think that some groups by race or ethnicity are more or less intelligent than others; about this, it is they who are more wrong than they are about other subjects.)

Johnson knows the crowd to whom he speaks, he knows they want, and he knows what he must give them for the sake of their support next year.

Predictable and ironic.

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