I decided to run for the U.S. Senate in 2010 because growing entitlements and out-of-control federal spending had exploded our national debt to $14 trillion. We were on an unsustainable path that was mortgaging our children’s future.
Fortunately, Americans decided that government controlled by liberal Democrats wasn’t good for the country and they elected Republicans to the House to halt President
extreme policies. A Republican majority in the Senate followed in 2014.
As I ran for re-election in 2016, we had the prospect of electing a Republican president who could work with a Republican Congress not only to stop the expansion of liberal policies but, we hoped, to reverse some of the damage done during Mr. Obama’s administration. I figured we had an opportunity to put America back on the right path, and I was more than willing to dedicate myself to that worthy effort.
By and large, Republican policies worked. Regulatory relief and a more competitive tax system helped create a healthy economy with low inflation and record low unemployment. Strengthening the military deterred our enemies, and policies designed to secure the borders dramatically reduced the flow of illegal immigration.
During the 2016 campaign, I said it would be my last campaign and final term. That was my strong preference, and my wife’s—we both looked forward to a normal private life. Neither of us anticipated the Democrats’ complete takeover of government and the disastrous policies they have already inflicted on America and the world, to say nothing of those they threaten to enact in the future.
Nor did we anticipate the pandemic, the government’s failed response to it, the loss of freedom that has resulted, and the tyrannical approach taken by the elites who have created and maintained a state of fear that allows them to exercise control over Americans’ lives. Instead of everyone working to achieve the goal President Biden stated during his inaugural address—unifying and healing America—it feels as if our nation is being torn apart.
As I travel around Wisconsin and talk to citizens who love our country, I know I am not the only one with grave concerns. My message has always been that America is precious, and it is our solemn duty to make sure it survives and thrives for future generations.
President Reagan warned that freedom is fragile, always one generation away from extinction. As I have told crowds since my first Tea Party speeches in 2010: This is a fight for freedom. This is not someone else’s fight, this is our fight, and it’s a fight we absolutely must win.
I believe America is in peril. Much as I’d like to ease into a quiet retirement, I don’t feel I should. Countless people have encouraged me to run, saying they rely on me to be their voice, to speak plain and obvious truths other elected leaders shirk from expressing—truths the elite in government, mainstream media and Big Tech don’t want you to hear.
In 2010 I promised I would always tell people the truth and that I would never vote with re-election in mind. When re-election isn’t your primary motivation, those are easy promises to keep. Today, I am announcing I will continue to fight for freedom in the public realm by running for re-election. It is a decision I haven’t made lightly. Having already experienced a growing level of vitriol and false attacks, I certainly don’t expect better treatment in the future. For my campaign to succeed, I will need the support of every American who values the truth and refuses to allow lies and distortions to prevail.
Tens of millions of dollars will be spent trying to destroy and defeat me. The mainstream media and Big Tech will contribute their powerful and corrupt voices as the unofficial but reliable communication apparatus of the Democrats. We face powerful forces that desire even more power and control over our lives. Their path, paved with false hope and greater dependency, always leads to tyranny. We cannot let them win.
Mr. Johnson, a Republican, is a U.S. senator from Wisconsin.
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