This editorial first appeared in the RightWisconsin Daily Update on May 16,

Dear Readers,

Greetings from “a rural area, some random-ass city, like Wisconsin.” If you aren’t on Twitter like we are, not only is your life much better for it (although you should be following us), you probably missed a few jokes about a Tweet from Sarah McCammon from National Public Radio who said she overheard someone else in Washington D.C. using our great state as an undesirable place to live.

I would imagine that someone who lives in the nation’s capital, who either pays way too much to live there or else lives in a really crappy neighborhood, might not see the beauty of living in Wisconsin. They probably agreed with former Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) about the “smell of the tourists” at the Capitol. And there’s a good chance they may even agree with Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” comment.

But, hey, they’re not at all responsible for Republicans deciding to nominate Donald Trump for president, right?

It’s fair to say that there is a self-selecting East Coast establishment of sorts who wish the rest of America would either go away or fall into line with their cultural lead. Whoever made the remark has probably never been to Wisconsin, to De Pere or Green Bay, and probably all they know of Wisconsin is camera footage shown going into the commercial breaks of Packer games showing dairy cows.

And that’s fine. As a resident of “some random-ass city, like Wisconsin,” that means more beer, cheese and bratwurst for the rest of us. Well, most of us.

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Over the years of living here, I’ve noticed some Wisconsinites wish we didn’t have the reputation of a beer, cheese and bratwurst state. They actually see it as a “negative” stereotype. Because, ohmygosh, we don’t want to appear uncivilized, do we? Except the hip kids are buying Pabst beer for some reason.

And then, there’s another establishment. This time it’s political, and it’s in Madison, and it’s in both parties. Nathan Schacht on Facebook has had some fun recently asking his followers to define “establishment.” I laughed at it, too, but I am going to give a good stab at it. The “establishment” is a self-appointed elite who have a scorn for their own culture and supporters but nonetheless demand fealty from them.

It’s probably not the best definition (I realize Roger Waters of Pink Floyd neatly fits the description), but it works for our purposes.

Tuesday night was not a good night for the Republican “establishment.” State Rep. André Jacque (R-De Pere), who probably has the most establishment-style name of any non-establishment politician, defeated the establishment candidate Alex Renard in the special Republican primary in Senate District 1, not far from the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field. Renard attempted to run as an outsider despite being a 24-year-old transplanted muppet of former Assembly Speaker John Gard (R-Sun Prairie). Despite the backing of Assembly leadership and their pet special interests (unionized road builders) who were unhappy with Jacque because of his stand on prevailing wage and other issues, Renard lost 52 percent to 48 percent.

Jacque won despite being outspent because the same type of GOP activists that man the phones at the party’s victory centers or attend pro-life dinners are often the same people who vote in Republican primaries. (Note to the Nicholson for Senate campaign, they’re also the same people who attend Republican state conventions on their own dime.) Pro-life groups like Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Family Action are taking a well-deserved victory lap. So are others like Associated Builders and Contractors who have been fighting to liberalize the rigged economic rules in this state, much to the chagrin of some in – you guessed it – the establishment.

Two years later, we’re still being asked: how did President Donald Trump win Wisconsin? Maybe it’s because Trump didn’t sneer at the beer, cheese and brat-eating masses who actually want conservative reformers like Jacque to win Republican primaries.

James Wigderson

This first appeared in the RightWisconsin Daily Update. Click here to catch up on past Daily Updates.
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