Honors lecture encourages political opinions

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    By FRED HEATH

    Overcoming political apathy was encouraged at a BYU honors program lecture Thursday.

    Timothy Flanigan, guest lecturer, said students should also show qualities to promote good government.

    “Keep your personal integrity. Wear your values, not on your sleeve, but like a mantle that fits you well,” Flanigan said.

    His lecture, “Weimer on the Wasatch Front: Mormon Political Alienation and the Sources of Power,” focused on the importance of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint becoming involved in government.

    Flanigan has been the Assistant United States Attorney General over the office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration, chief counsel to the Platform Committee of the 1996 Republican National Convention in San Diego and a senior law clerk to the Honorable Warren E. Burger, chief justice of the United States, said Neal W. Kramer, assistant dean for the College of General and Honors Education.

    Flanigan said it has been his experience that too many LDS people proudly respond that they are not politically active because of the corruption involved in government. He also stressed that LDS influence in the political area has not yet reached its destiny.

    Although many have achieved respect for their integrity and skill in the political arena, the LDS community as a whole has not lived up to its potential, Flanigan said.

    Evidence for Flanigan’s opinions can be traced to the last major election in November, 1996. Utah voter registration was at 78 percent, which was behind Montana, Colorado and Alaska, who were above 80 percent. Also, voter turn out in Utah barely cleared the average, Flanigan said.

    “Join a political party and become active in it,” he said.

    A good way to get involved is to do volunteer work with a candidate who embraces your own personal values, Flanigan said.

    He also added his own advice on how an individual can choose which political party would be best for individuals.

    “Examine the position the party has taken in the past, and listen carefully to the party leaders,” Flanigan said.

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