Conservative Charlie Sykes lays out theories on how Ron Johnson 'lost his mind' in the TrumpWorld abyss

Conservative Charlie Sykes lays out theories on how Ron Johnson 'lost his mind' in the TrumpWorld abyss
Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Gage Skidmore

As weird as it might seem now, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) was once a normal Republican lawmaker. Now, he's devolved into a backer of conspiracy theories and a fierce supporter of former President Donald Trump. Now, The Bulwark's Charlie Sykes has considered a number of theories that might explain Johnson's downward spiral into the TrumpWorld.

During an appearance on The Daily Beast's "New Abnormal" podcast, Sykes spoke with the show's co-host Molly Jong-Fast where he offered a comparison of Johnson before Trump's presidency and after.

“There was a while when I tried to come up with various theories about it, because I was trying to think, how did he get from this normal sort of Wall Street Journal-reading businessman from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to RonAnon [Ron + QAnon]? What drew him down those rabbit holes?” he said. “He turned out to model himself on Joseph McCarthy, our other legendary senator from Wisconsin.”

So, what happened to Johnson? Sykes shared his theory saying, “He's fallen in with a bad crowd... and apparently also lost his mind.”

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According to Sykes, Johnson isn't the only one in Wisconsin who has changed. In fact, he believes the state's entire political landscape has shifted a bit.

“The establishment here decided it was gonna go along and appease the Trumpists. They would throw a little bit of red meat. They figured that they could grow the crocodile in the bathtub and it wouldn't get big and come out and eat them,” he explains. And well, “now they have Ron Johnson, one of the craziest United States senators.”

Sykes remarks about Johnson come after multiple reports on the Republican lawmaker's warped perspective of the COVID-19 pandemic, the presidential election, and the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.

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Although there was never substantial evidence to suggest widespread voter fraud ever took place or evidence to support the other conspiracies Johnson supported, he continued to sound off with claims that led to critical responses for him.


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