Lt. Gov. Margaret Farrow addressed UW-Madison College Republicans Tuesday, speaking of the Sept. 11 tragedies and calling for student involvement in government affairs.
College Republicans vice chair Susan Strzelc introduced Farrow and explained the lieutenant governor’s past experience in government, including years as a state representative.
Farrow addressed students and then took questions. She began with talk of the recent terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.
“We are all looking at everything a little bit different, at each other and at your futures,” Farrow said.
Since the terrorist attacks, unity has seeped into many aspects of the government, as well as into the spirit of many Americans. Deeply entrenched partisan differences have been overcome in the past two weeks.
For example, Congress came together immediately following the attacks and unanimously passed a $40 billion emergency aid package.
Farrow attributed this unity to the need to overcome the greater evils.
“There is a greater enemy, a greater problem, a greater entity out there that causes us to forget some of these others and address new priorities,” Farrow said.
Farrow then moved on to the subject of voter apathy. She encouraged students to be active, to vote and to not give up on the government.
“Every one of you — as you saw last November — every voter in every state is so important,” Farrow said.
Citizens rarely see the effects of voter apathy. Farrow stressed that because of the problems the electoral system had in 2000, voters became aware of the problems.
“Last November should have been a wake-up call to care for the rest of your lives, but if that was the wake-up call, two weeks ago today was the reason to wake up, the reason to care,” Farrow said.
The effects of the terrorist attacks have been felt in many sectors. Each individual state will feel effects, Farrow said.
“Some of it will trickle down to the state because we are not going to automatically get some of the federal funding we thought we were going to get, or the federal funding we are getting is going to stop after this point,” Farrow said.
This will cause the state to readdress many policies that have already been implemented.
“As we readdress priorities, you should be part of that now and forevermore into the future,” Farrow said.
Farrow then took questions from students. Among student concerns was Assembly Bill 259. This bill would make strengthen restrictions on voting — requiring an up-to-date state ID to register to vote.
Angela Frozena was concerned about the implementation of a national ID that would include fingerprints.
“My concern is along the lines of the Ben Franklin quote, ‘If you are willing to give up some of your freedoms for a little security, you deserve neither security nor freedom.’
I am concerned that we are going to start giving up all our freedoms for security, but do it when it is really not necessary,” Frozena said.