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April 15, 2013

Victims Of Government Part II

I blogged about Sen. Ron Johnson’s “Victims of Government” when the project was first announced. I’m returning to it for two reasons:

1. It’s one of the few good ideas actually coming out of the GOP these days

2. I had the chance to speak with Sen. Johnson about it and other things last week. Due to some technical problems, I can’t post the audio but I wanted to relay the gist of the conversation.

One good bit of news…Johnson gets it. He’s really the embodiment of the “citizen legislator” spirit of 2010. Having spent most of his life building a business and making payrolls he sees the federal government from a different perspective than a professional politician. Instead of taking about the DOOM! of the sequester he spoke about it being a chance for people to understand the sky won't fall if the government spends a little less than it planed to.

Something else Johnson gets that not enough Republicans seem to these days…the way people consume information has changed. He’s big on the power of video and keeping messages short and powerful. It’s one thing to say that but it’s another to do it.

A lot of conservatives object to Obama’s use of “human props” at his events and raw appeals to emotions. Well, they work. Changing people’s minds usually beings with changing their heart. People react better to other people than they do to abstract concepts.

Think back to the presidential campaign and how many times Republicans railed against Dodd-Frank. But how many times did they show a concrete example of the bad out comes from it or a “real person” hurt by them.

“Victims” is a strong word. It’s one we tend to shy away from but the left uses it all the time. I’m glad Johnson uses it here. Not having things go your way all the time or not being as successful as someone else doesn’t make you a “victim”. Having an arbitrary and extremely powerful government crush you certainly can qualify you as a victim.

Johnson didn’t want to get into details about the submissions they are getting for the project saying they need to be vetted (and he wants to make sure the people are helped and not just used as part of the campaign) but if they pan out he says we’ll be in for some real horror stories.

I’ve liked Johnson for a long time and getting to chat with him did nothing to change that. But being the glass half-empty guy that I am, I am worried that he’s one of the few guys worth supporting. The real problem is that there may not be many more on the way. I asked him about the adjustment from private citizen to Senator and he admitted it’s rough to give up your privacy and take stage like this. I couldn’t help but think of Bruce Carroll and wonder if there will ever be enough Ron Johnson’s to really matter.

If you haven’t already, take a look at the video below. Share it with friends and family even if, especially if, they aren’t very political. And if you have a story to share, visit the Victims of Government site and let them know about it.

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posted by DrewM. at 12:33 PM

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