Ron Johnson Now the Poster Boy for Clueless Old White Dude-itude

March 22, 2021

As Emily Atkin notes elsewhere on this page, climate denial seems to be a pretty good proxy or predictor for a host of other toxic attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

No better example than Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who has been in the news lately for his blatantly racist comments about the deadly January 6 Capitol Insurrection.

With the former White House occupant leaving the stage, Mr Johnson has become the poster boy for Clueless Old White Dude-itude.

New York Times:

Mr. Johnson was the chief executive of a plastics company started by his wife’s family when he first ran for the Senate in 2010. He campaigned as a new-to-politics businessman concerned about federal spending and debt, and he spent $9 million of his own money on the race.

But there were signs in that first campaign of Mr. Johnson’s predilection for anti-intellectualism. On several occasions, he declared that climate change was not man-made but instead caused by “sun spots” and said excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere “helps the trees grow.” He also offered a false history of Greenland to dismiss the effects of global warming.

“You know, there’s a reason Greenland was called Greenland,” Mr. Johnson told WKOW-TV in Madison back then. “It was actually green at one point in time. And it’s been, you know, since, it’s a whole lot whiter now so we’ve experienced climate change throughout geologic time.”

In the interview on Thursday, Mr. Johnson was still misinformed about the etymology of Greenland, which got its name from the explorer Erik the Red’s attempt to lure settlers to the ice-covered island.

“I could be wrong there, but that’s always been my assumption that, at some point in time, those early explorers saw green,” Mr. Johnson said. “I have no idea.”

8 Responses to “Ron Johnson Now the Poster Boy for Clueless Old White Dude-itude”

  1. al mar Says:

    This is what happens when old cynical politicians think their best bet for getting reelected lies in creating a base of gullible, poorly educated idiots. It doesn’t take long for that base to elect leaders from their own ranks instead.

  2. mboli Says:

    The “greenman” handle is good evidence that Michigan was warmer and more lushly vegetated in the recent past, within one lifetime.
    It is as true as with “Greenland.”
    (joke)

  3. mboli Says:

    My name is Ron Yonson
    I come from Wisconsin
    I worked in the plastics mill there
    All the people I meet
    As I walk down the street
    say: “How did that non-entity become a United States Senator?”

    Here is a Wikipedia article on the Yon Yonson song.
    Skip down to the lyrics, second version.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yon_Yonson

  4. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    So, Senator Johnson, how do you know that you’d have been sitting on a 2 to 300 foot glacier?

    Could it be…scientists?


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