Senator Ron Johnson Visits Whitewater

Ron+Johnson+talking+about+the+many+aspects+of+today%E2%80%99s+society+and+the+importance+of+us+college+students.+11%2F10%2F21

Connor Dewick

Ron Johnson talking about the many aspects of today’s society and the importance of us college students. 11/10/21

Carina Lopez, Campus News Editor

UW-Whitewater College Republicans hosted Sen. Ron Johnson as the second guest of their Freedom Fighters Speaker Series, where he mentioned he would announce whether he would run for re-election “in the upcoming weeks.”

“I’m excited that he’s coming as an official visit, he’s coming as Senator Ron Johnson, not just campaign Ron Johnson,” said Public Relations Director of College Republicans Trenton Kerbs.

According to an early November Marquette Law School Poll, among registered voters, 38% say they would vote to reelect Sen. Ron Johnson, 52% would vote for someone else and 10% say they do not know or decline to answer. 

Overall, he has seen a steady decline in approval. The survey also showed that 36% have a favorable opinion, 42% have an unfavorable opinion and 22% say they do not know enough or do not have an opinion.

“I have stated publicly it’s not going to be a decision made in the distant future, probably within the next couple weeks. I have dramatically stepped up my discussions with people I need to make the final decision with,” said Johnson.

Before beginning the conversation with the attendees, the U.S. Senator encouraged civil discourse, something that the College Republicans always promote on campus. He expressed the need for more young citizens to love their country and become more politically involved. 

“I hope people showed up that agree with me and I hope people showed up that don’t agree with me,” said Johnson. “I appreciated [President Biden’s] speech where he laid out his number one goal to unify and heal this nation. Now, I would argue that he’s not even close. Some of his actions have further divided.”

There are a lot of challenges the country faces, which only becomes more difficult when people are not willing to have these civil conversations. However, most Americans can agree on wanting to have a more harmonious country, Johnson said.

Another concern that he shared was the lack of love young people have for the country. According to Johnson, a national poll showed that every grouping loved this country except for one group: young people, ages 18 to 24. 

This “depressing result” could be due to the racial tension the country faces, Johnson suggested. There is a lot of work that still needs to be done to heal that wound rooting all the way back to slavery. However, sometimes with the division of the country, it feels like it is far from it.

“I’m 60 years old, I can assure you we’ve come a long way from healing that social divide,” said Johnson. “Resegregation of our society, that’s depressing if we go down that path but that is the path that a good bunch of Americans want to take. I completely disagree with that.”

He believes there needs to be a better appreciation of the freedom Americans have, especially when compared to other countries such as Cuba or Syria. 

The way Senators from different parties vote is drastically different but they continue to try to find areas of agreement. 

Throughout the night he expressed his opinions on topics such as foreign affairs, the U.S. military, election integrity and vaccine mandates.

“If you get the vaccine you won’t get infected, you won’t transmit it, you won’t get seriously ill and you won’t die – that’s a lie,” said Johnson.

He suggested that we just aren’t seeing the proof of it in the United States because the CDC isn’t being transparent. 

However, he failed to share that vaccines have also proven to be effective seeing as Wisconsin has experienced a steady decline in positive cases since they began administering vaccines. 

During this time last year, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 5,952 positive cases per day. On Nov. 10, they reported nearly half of that with 2,576 cases per day. As of Nov. 5 a total of 6,530,794 vaccines have been administered. 

There are important conversations to be had every day. Being able to have them politely is something the country and the campus alike continue to work towards.

“Colleges campuses were meant to allow for the sharing and the creation of new ideas but the reality is that on today’s college campus we’re finding that professors and even administrators are shutting these down and not embracing the principles on which they were founded,” said Chair John Beauchamp. 

John Beauchamp introduces Ron Johnson to the crowd of students and whitewater residents. 11/10/21 (Connor Dewick)
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