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The Battle for America 2010: Wisconsin Senate Race a Bellwether for the Nation

Russ Feingold is a prime example of the career Washington insider that Americans want replaced in November.

by
Gary Wickert

Bio

September 26, 2010 - 12:00 am
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It is pretty sad when a Washington insider of nearly twenty years in the Senate is still considered the “junior” senator in Wisconsin. So the Feingold/Johnson race has become even more than a referendum on the Obama administration. It keenly symbolizes America’s dissatisfaction with career politicians and Washington’s ruling class. It is a cry for a return to a citizen legislature where serving one’s country was more of a patriotic sacrifice than a financial opportunity or career choice. The success of Ron Johnson in the polls is probative evidence that many Americans feel the words “career” and ”politician” should not be used together in the same sentence. They are hungry for something genuine and new — politicians who don’t become out-of-touch celebrities.

Ron Johnson has never run for public office. Russ Feingold has done nothing but. This November may remind everybody that our founding fathers clearly intended that Congress be the arm of government closest to the people — something it cannot be if it is too far removed or too insulated from the people. Feingold complains that Johnson is “outside the mainstream,” which is precisely what many Americans are looking for this November.

Americans have had it with ruling class Washington elites whose self-serving votes in Congress are almost always calculated to preserve the gravy train public office provides. The Ivy League political thoroughbreds that make up Congress and the Washington machine no longer relate to or speak for the people who pay for their salaries, lavish vacations, political junkets, or high society dinners. The wealthiest county in America is not, as you might expect, King County, Washington — the home of Microsoft — or Harris County, Texas, near the home of several of the world’s largest oil companies.

Sadly, it is Loudoun County, Virginia, followed closely by Fairfax County, Virginia. Both surround Washington, D.C., and both have median household incomes of over $105,000 per year. In fact, six of the ten richest counties in America are near Washington, D.C., and are fueled by American tax dollars. The Washington elite are out of touch, and will soon be out of a job.

Washington has become the pot at the end of the rainbow for many professional government employees and politicians — a place of unimaginable personal opportunity where politicians become celebrities and rub elbows with the Hollywood elite and billionaire magnates. It’s no wonder that holding on to public office and lifetime federal posts has become the number one priority of Washington insiders. Representing us is a distant second. What is needed is a congressional “Son of Sam” law which prevents Washington politicians from profiting from their political crimes. The anti-incumbent, anti-Washington insider mentality of today’s voters has led most Americans to the conclusion that with year-round legislative sessions and full-time salaried representatives, only mandatory term limits will restore real representation. A recent Fox News poll showed that 78% of American voters favor limiting the terms of politicians like Russ Feingold.

This November, the American people are going to take the first step in what will likely be a long revolt against the elitists in Washington. They will likely send a strong message that we need to return to the early days of our republic, when serving in Congress was viewed as a civic duty, a necessary evil, and a part-time job. This November, starting in Wisconsin, they will be storming the Bastille.

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Gary Wickert is a board-certified trial lawyer, living in Cedarburg, Wisconsin with his wife and two sons. He has a political column in Reality News and has been an op-ed contributor for Ozaukee County's News Graphic as well as a feature writer for several Wisconsin magazines. He is also the author of several legal treatises on a variety of subjects and currently serves as supervisor in the town of Cedarburg. In 2011, Gary lost a bid for the Wisconsin Assembly in the Republican Primary by 72 votes.
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