As our readers are aware, we’ve been following the campaign of Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden in the Wisconsin 3rd congressional district with some attention. Van Orden is an impressive guy and is GOP smart money against liberal Democrat incumbent Ron Kind in the November race.

On Tuesday, Van Orden had some help on the campaign trail when joined by author and fellow Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill, the operator who ended Osama bin Laden and, as such, went down in history as the brave avenger of an entire nation.

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I had the chance to interview them as they were between campaign stops. O’Neill was first up.

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On al-Qaeda, he said, “The Islamic State isn’t dead and al-Qaeda never was.” On media attention to national security issues, it’s not covered because “it doesn’t get ratings until there is an attack.” He was just getting warmed up.

O’Neill called China “the biggest threat right now…they have all kinds of spies here…they want Joe Biden to win. So does al-Qaeda.” Wow. The man pulls no punches. On his reception in Wisconsin, “The reception is great. People are awesome. They have a love for the flag and the military.” O’Neill is also the chairman of SEALPAC, an organization devoted to aiding combat veterans in their run for office. His manner and knowledge were befitting of a man of his high achievement. It was an honor talking to him.

But the point of his presence was the Van Orden campaign. Van Orden also has some serious Navy SEAL deployments under his belt. He has served his country honorably and with great courage on the field of combat. Now, he brings that valor and perspective to another field. His words are important and serve as a clarion call to Republicans and conservatives across the nation.

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On national security, Van Orden said, “When we take our eyes off the world, bad things happen.” He notes that a Wisconsin National Guard unit just finished a thirteen-month stint in Afghanistan and he has something to say about the lack of understanding of veterans affairs exhibited by his Democrat opponent: “There are issues at the Tomah VA Hospital in the District. Ron Kind blew it off. His too late and too little bill never made it out of committee.” He extols President Trump for “getting us out of endless wars.”

What are the issues that shape Van Orden’s run for Congress? He wants to stop federal funding for Planned Parenthood, get spending under control, focus on infrastructure, and make trade and vocational schools more available as educational options.

As some of you know, I was a political consultant for almost twenty years and I’ve put my share of blow-dried idiots, of both parties, into office. But perhaps it’s my affinity for a fellow veteran, maybe because he talks like a human and not an over-rehearsed robot, could be because we agree on most issues, but this guy is the real thing.

You come across them now and then: leaders, not political opportunists looking for a gig. Derrick Van Orden led in combat and he’ll lead in Congress. Wisconsin and the country are lucky to have him.

This piece was written by David Kamioner on August 19, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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