The rise in conservative values across Wisconsin, didn’t start in a vacuum. Many leading Republicans say it started 23 years ago with radio host Charlie Sykes. Sykes retired from his weekly radio show earlier this week, but will continue to make regular appearances on conservative cable news shows.
House Speaker and Janesville Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, went on the air Monday to thank conservative radio host Charlie Sykes for his years of uplifting conservative values.
“Before you came around, the left had arguable a monopoly on information through the media,” said Ryan. “And there was really no one challenging the premise of what everybody was being fed in Wisconsin. And you just smashed that model, you crushed it and helped bring a disinfectant into our political system here in Wisconsin that gave rise to what I would call truth.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports
House Speaker Paul Ryan called into Charlie Sykes’ final show at WTMJ-AM (620) Monday and thanked the broadcaster for elevating conservative ideas and politicians.
Sykes is retiring from local radio but plans to write a book and make frequent appearances on the cable news outlet MSNBC.
Ryan said that on Sunday night he and his wife, Janna, joined Gov. Scott Walker and his wife, Tonette, at a supper club and they reminisced “about the enormous impact that Charlie Sykes had on Wisconsin, on conservatism in Wisconsin, the conservative movement.”
Ryan said he has been frequently asked by others to explain the Republican rise in the state.
“We have to constantly convince and persuade and our ideas are always challenged and questioned,” he said. “Because this is not a doctrinaire state for the left or the right. And it’s also a state where the Progressive Party was founded.”
He said those who grew up in Wisconsin were “exposed to a very energetic, progressive left. And it gave us a real good sense of the thinking behind it all. And it made us work even harder to try to persuade and explain why as classical conservatives we just think differently.”
Ryan said he tells his GOP colleagues from other states that in Wisconsin “every single day when we do something that’s conservative we have to go explain it to our citizens, we have to explain it to our fellow voters and citizens, why we’re doing it and what difference it will make. And why it’s better and different than what the progressive left has done and dominated in this state for so long.”
“We really have an energetic battle of ideas here,” Ryan added. “You cant just rest on laurels and assume that everyone listens to the same shows and thinks the same things. Because they don’t here in Wisconsin. You have to constantly be energetic and persuasive. And really attuned to your principles and your convictions to show how those apply to problems, come up with better solutions.”
For more on Ryan’s final sign-off for Sykes, visit Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.