The Fremen Factor

August 13th, 2012

I’ve lived in Wisconsin for 21 years. For nearly all that time, the state has been one of the most liberal in the country…home to Russ Feingold, the city of Madison, and Tammy Baldwin.

And, yet, now Wisconsin has become the launching pad for some of the most influential conservatives of our generation: Governor Scott Walker who defanged the government unions and and became the first governor in history to survive a recall.

Ron Johnson – an unknown businessman who dethroned liberal lion Russ Feingold to become one of the nation’s most conservative senators.

Reince Priebus – the head of the Republican Party in Wisconsin is now the head of the Republican party nationally.

And Congressman Paul Ryan is running to be Vice President of the United States.

How did so many Conservative powerhouses come from such a liberal state?

I think I know.

I’ve been calling it the Fremen Factor.

The Fremen are a tribe of desert warriors in Frank Herbert’s novel Dune.

In the novels, the Fremen were able to conquer the entire galaxy because they were raised in one of the most hostile environments imaginable-a world where mere survival required constant vigilance, discipline, and a willingness to fight.

I think something similar happened in Wisconsin. The political environment here has been so hostile to Conservatives for the last two decades, that any politician determined to be a Conservative in Wisconsin had to be tougher and more committed than they might have been in a state like Texas.

In the Dune novels, the man who lead the Fremen to victory was named Paul.

I wonder how Mr. Ryan would feel about taking on a new nickname?

Note: Edited to correct Reince Priebus’s name.

Entry Filed under: Politics

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Debunked  |  August 13th, 2012 at 9:45 am

    And this also explains why we’ve had so many “toughened liberals” rising out of states like Texas and Alabama?

    Oh, wait…

  • 2. Elliot  |  August 13th, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I believe they actually ride their liberals out of town on rails in those states, so it’s tougher for them to rise to prominence. ;)

  • 3. Debunked  |  August 13th, 2012 at 9:51 am

    So you are then claiming that when liberals hold power, they are more apt to at least tolerate those who hold opposing viewpoints.

    But when conservatives hold power, they forcibly remove those who speak out against them?

  • 4. Elliot  |  August 13th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Not more tolerant, really. I think liberals just like to keep a few conservatives around to have someone to taunt.

  • 5. Nick  |  August 13th, 2012 at 9:58 am

    You consider voting for Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, TARP and the Auto Bailouts part of being a committed Conservative?

  • 6. Elliot  |  August 13th, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Well, as about as Conservative as they get anymore.

    Let’s put it this way, Ryan’s plan to balance the budget is completely weak soup and yet he’s still going to be depicted as a grandma-cannibalizing devil worshipper.

    I’ve gotta live in the real world, Nick, no matter how much more I’d rather take a trip through the probability broach.

  • 7. Nick  |  August 13th, 2012 at 10:20 am

    No, you’re calling a person one thing when they’ve proven themselves to be another.

    You’re letting them get away with a lie… just so they can play their game.

    If you think Ryan is as good as we’re going to get, that’s fine. But don’t given them a label that they don’t deserve. Use language that actually fits their actions.

    He’s not a committed conservative. He has voted for a great deal of budget ballooning large government. Call him what he is… a moderate Republican maybe?

    If you REALLY think he’s worth it, then make your argument using language that truly describes he is is, and what he has done.

    If is budget is weak tea, and he’s voted for big government programs, then how is he worthy of being compared to the characters in Dune… except as political hyperbole that is fit only for someone who cares more about political demagoguery than the truth?

  • 8. Elliot  |  August 13th, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Tell you what, Nick, if you can convince the media to call Ryan and Romney moderate Republicans, I’m right there with you.

  • 9. Nick  |  August 13th, 2012 at 10:42 am

    If people were only allowed to speak about things in terms of what the “Media” calls them, then blogging wouldn’t exist.

  • 10. John Foust  |  August 13th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Wisconsin conservatives are Fremen! OMG, I’m LOLling.

    Fremen drinking $350 a bottle wine in their stillsuits!

    Tough, desert-taming guys named Reince!

    Sensenbrenner is winded after eating a fish fry.

    Walker’s a regular Texas Ranger, isn’t he, a two-fisted man’s man, retiring to politics after taming the Red Cross.

    Paul Mua’d’Lunchables. Got it. Tough because of the desert – not the Koch and Bradley money.

  • 11. Elliot  |  August 13th, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Wasn’t there a Walker, Texas Ranger TV show?

    Of course, I believe Herbert meant to imply that Fremen are Arabs and Spice equals oil. But I like the idea that Fremen are actually Wisconsin Republicans because that means Spice equals beer.

  • 12. And now for our super-bon&hellip  |  August 13th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    […] Elliot asks: How did so many Conservative powerhouses come from such a liberal state? […]

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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