Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Tuesday night a victory for decency

11

Waukesha Freeman Thursday, 04/07/2016  Page A06 Opinion

Tuesday night a victory for decency

Voters reject personal attacks on Cruz, Bradley

We’re going to be listening to the interpretations of Tuesday night’s election results in Wisconsin for a long time, or at least until the New York presidential primary. But for now it’s over for Wisconsinites. Then comes the great roar of silence as the air and softer sounds of spring replace the chatter of invading candidates and the national media putting us under the microscope to see if we’re really human beings.

To the Sean Hannitys and Ann Coulters, please just go. Don’t try to explain how decent people are not seeing and hearing what we’re seeing and hearing every time Donald Trump belches fire from a stage. Even Trump’s supporters tired of the animal act, and in Milwaukee the last rally he held struggled to fill the hall.

It was with great relief that, even after Trump blamed corruption and everyone else but him for his loss Tuesday night, the cacophony followed him onto his private jet back to New York. As the jet exhaust burned the sky, left behind was the slightly burned Republican Party of Wisconsin, perhaps not as unified as it once was, but reminded again of what Wisconsin went through during the recall elections.

As the other candidates, the camera trucks and the circus tents leave town, Wisconsin stands a little prouder having struck a blow for decency Tuesday. Our experience has been a historical reminder of how bad political campaigns can get.

When an independent “super PAC” sent out a photo of Trump’s wife Melania nude on a rug to voters in Utah, Trump responded with a Twitter threat directed at Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to “be careful or I will spill the beans on your wife!” Trump followed that by reposting an unflattering picture of Cruz’s wife. After that, the National Enquirer, run by a Trump friend, ran a story without any evidence accusing Cruz of having five extramarital affairs.

It’s a level of personal nastiness not seen since General Andrew Jackson ran for president against John Quincy Adams. During that campaign, Adams’ supporters and people who just didn’t like Jackson accused the general’s wife of bigamy, a charge that just happened to be true. Jackson settled that issue with “an affair of honor,” a duel with pistols with a gentleman farmer who repeated the insult. Jackson took a bullet in the chest before shooting his opponent dead.

Jackson’s best revenge was winning against Adams, but Jackson’s wife gave in to the strain and died before Jackson took office. Jackson never forgave his opponents.

Cruz responded to the attacks by calling the adultery accusation “garbage” and he warned Trump not to criticize his wife again. But like Jackson, Cruz’s best revenge was winning the high-stakes Wisconsin primary. Wisconsin rejected the outrageous attacks on Cruz’s personal life, and Cruz’s win may yet prevent Trump from winning the Republican nomination.

Wisconsinites also voted for decency when they elected state Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley to a full term. The left-wing organization One Wisconsin Now and their accomplices in the Wisconsin media threw everything they had at Bradley, digging deep into her past to find statements she made as a college student. There was no examination of Bradley’s impressive record as an attorney and a judge, nor was there a discussion of Bradley’s judicial philosophy. This was a blatant attempt to steer the campaign into the mud to keep the attention off of the liberal record of Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg.

The worst part of the smear campaign when the newspaper from the big city to the east decided to probe into Bradley’s personal life to reveal, like it is with all of us, that it was complicated at times. The newspaper didn’t even put their usual political gossip columnist on it. Instead three normally respectable reporters indulged in revealing that Bradley had dated after she and her husband had separated on their way to a divorce, calling it, “an extramarital affair.” Worse, they made the decision not to quote her ex-husband, who vouched for Bradley’s character and denied she had an affair.

The attack on Bradley’s personal life was too much for many voters. Wisconsin rejected the attempted character assassination and gave Bradley a convincing win, proving once again that Wisconsin voters are a fundamentally decent people.

(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at http://www.wigderson.com and a Waukesha resident. His column runs Thursdays in The Freeman.)

JAMES

WIGDERSON


Thursday, 04/07/2016  Pag.A06 Copyright © 2016 Conley Group. All rights reserved 4/7/201

Who was the biggest loser on Election Day in Wisconsin?

  • Opponents of the voter ID law (32%, 6 Votes)
  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (26%, 5 Votes)
  • Donald Trump (26%, 5 Votes)
  • JoAnne Kloppenburg (11%, 2 Votes)
  • John Kasich (5%, 1 Votes)
  • One Wisconsin Now (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Sarah Palin (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Bob Donovan (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Hillary Clinton (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Chris Larson (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 19

Loading ... Loading ...
Be Sociable, Share!

Print this entry