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Foster Friess – The Real-Life Jefferson Smith

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Donald Trump’s unprecedented, historic, against-every-odd-imaginable and much-needed victory in 2016 created a number of competing emotions and feelings in the time since.


Three of them for sure being envy, jealousy, and entitlement.

Three of them for sure being pride, inspiration, and a sense of duty.

On the “envy, jealousy, and entitlement” side of the ledger are a number of liberal and/or Trump-hating billionaires who almost instantly said to themselves after the election: “Well, if that guy can get elected president, I certainly can.”

Billionaires such as Disney CEO Bob Iger, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and media-mogul Michael Bloomberg.

To be sure, all highly intelligent, highly accomplished, and extremely effective business leaders. While different in a number of ways, they do share at least two flaws in common. One being that they either look down their noses at President Trump, at his polices, at his supporters, or all of the above, and two, their complete lack of understanding as to why Donald Trump was elected in the first place.

Based only upon that ignorance, they absolutely believe – or believed --- that their money, their names and their egos were more than enough to replicate Trump’s victory in 2020 or beyond.

They believe that and could not be more wrong.


For those liberal or Trump-hating billionaires, the White House simply represents the final rung of the ladder or the ultimate toy for their collection.

Collectively, no matter if they ran as liberal Democrats or liberal independents, they would not win one state. Not one.

While they may not admit it in public, that reality may be starting to dawn upon them. Total embarrassment on a national stage is not something any of them want.

Contrasting that hedonism and those Super-egos, along comes the very humble, faith-filled Foster Friess running for Governor in Wyoming. A real-life version of the Jimmy Stewart character “Jefferson Smith” from the acclaimed movie classic: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Wealthy to be sure. But self-made and a man who has given back to the community in numerous ways his entire adult life.

For Foster Friess, the election of Donald Trump was inspirational. It told him that real-world business experience and success could and should be used to help fellow Americans. It told him that hard-working Americans from every walk of life and both political parties were sick of the entrenched establishments and professional politicians turning their backs on the voters as they only enriched themselves.


Trump’s election told Friess that Americans – and especially his fellow Wyomingites – were open to, and in-fact desperate for, political neophytes who had their back for a change.

Friess truly is an “Aw, shucks” kind of guy who did grow up on the lower end of the economic-scale and did not come into his self-made wealth until age forty. He is a man who – like “Jefferson Smith” -- is happily naive to the backroom hidden deals of state and national politics.

As Friess has talked about, as a young boy and man, he herded cattle while learning the value of a dollar from his adored eighth-grade educated mom. He entered the Army to be trained as a platoon leader, rose to the rank of captain, left the Army with his wife Lynn, a ’62 Volkswagen, a black & white Admiral TV, a newborn baby, and $800 dollars of accumulated leave pay.

A story and a background almost every American can identify with.

Jump ahead to today and because of the tremendous success he created from the investment firm they founded, Friess and his wife Lynn – fifty-six years and counting -- have continually donated to charities throughout the state of Wyoming, the country, and the world.


Also, like Donald Trump – and to the everlasting disappointment and even anger of the various power players – because of his business success managing $15 billion in assets, Friess does not take one penny in special interest donations.

When asked what his three biggest priorities would be as governor, Friess answered: “Transparency, transparency, transparency.” Refreshingly, he believes it is the right of the people to know how their tax money is being spent and by whom.

Donald Trump’s election truly is making America great again. One of the ways being by inspiring people like Foster Friess to buck the odds, defy the political machines, and jump into the political arena on behalf of hard-working Americans.

A real-life “Jefferson Smith” trying to make a positive difference with the gifts bestowed upon him by God.

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