Senator Johnson Speaks to Students: A review of Senator Ron Johnson's town hall meeting at Slinger High School

Post date: Oct 16, 2019 2:40:03 PM

By Katherine Alder, Staff Writer

Posted October 16th, 2019

Senator Johnson is the Republican Senator for the state of Wisconsin he was first elected in 2010 defeated Democrat incumbent Senator Russ Feingold. He was reelected in 2016. Ron Johnson and his wife Jane moved from Minnesota to Wisconsin in 1979. Ron Johnson and his wife have three children all graduates of UW schools. They started working with Jane’s brother Pat Curler at PACUR LLC. Johnson worked as an accountant and a machine operator. In the mid 1980’s Johnson became the CEO of the company. The Curlers sold the company to Bowater industries for 18 million dollars in 1987. In 1997 Johnson repurchased the company and remained the chief executive officer of PACUR, LLC, a polyester and plastics manufacturing company until being elected to the Senate. He is on several Senate committees including the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee of the Budget, and Senator Johnson is the Chairman of the committee on Homeland Security.

He began his speech stating a few main points before taking student questions. He emphasized the importance of the educational opportunities that we have been provided with and the success that a quality education can bring, before reminding everyone not to do drugs of any kind. He answered questions ranging from vaping and trade to our futures and second amendment rights. He was asked about his views on immigration and on illegal immigrants along the border. He said that as with his company these bigger issues needed to be divided into smaller attainable goals. In order to solve the immigration issues, the border needed to be secured and the system itself needed to be fixed. Many of these immigrants come to the US seeking political asylum, without actually meeting the requirements of a political asylum and their cases are so backlogged that they can go years without being heard so they live in the background and can end up being taken advantage of by their employers.

He was also asked about his opinions on President Trump’s trade policy. He said that China had abused the trade policies and that many had believed that as China improved financially they would increase freedoms for their people but they did not. China has stolen large amounts of intellectual property from other companies and they are threatening and militarizing the South China sea. Johnson also believes that NAFTA was a good policy. He thinks that we need to solidify trade with other countries in Asia. Trade in a global economy is beneficial for everyone involved, but it is treated like a “political football”.

When asked about a law passed in 2009 stating that if a firefighter died on duty their families would still receive health insurance, he said that his first reaction to that policy was why didn’t it already also cover law enforcement. From a cost standpoint, not many first responders die on duty so the cost is negligible, but first responders put their lives at risk everyday to protect others so we should provide for their families if they lose their lives doing so. He then gave the example of 9/11 when while everyone was desperately trying to escape the towers first responders were going in trying to save people. He said that we should support them rather than politicising them.

Finally, when he was asked about his views on terrorism and the military he spoke of his policy on peace through strength. He said that Presidents Carter, Clinton, and Obama all reduced military spending and when the Republicans we in office they would increase it. He said that we should maintain a military force so that no one could challenge the U.S. The U.S. should not try to be the police force of the world, but we should protect our interests. He said that when President Obama turned a blind eye on the problems in Syria and ISIS people died, but when ISIS lost power the number of people imitating their terrorist attacks was reduced. The issue of terrorism is a multi-generational issue that can’t be eliminated all at once. The other place people are drawing their inspiration from, is the internet, but because of the first amendment they can’t arrest people without cause based solely on what they say online he also stated the importance of see something say something in these matters. We need to support our military and their families because they risk their lives to protect our freedom.