It’s hard to know where to start in responding to Chad Christensen’s letter of Oct. 23 (The designated purpose of our republic, Teton Valley News, Oct. 23, 2019). He’s got many strong convictions. Since he is my state representative his opinions can affect my life depending on how he votes and after reading his letter, I am concerned.
He makes a blanket statement that government, “is to protect individual rights, not to guide, not to regulate, and certainly not to control.” He goes on to state that, “government derives its power from people …” I agree with that last statement.
So, our people-powered government sets speed limits, regulates food safety, etc. and makes laws supposedly in our interest. I’m not sure if Christensen understands what being a representative means.
Stating that government should not set rules is simplistic for a person who has been elected to represent his constituents and make laws in their best interest. Lawmakers are supposed to balance different needs and create legislation that best serves the common good. It is a process of compromise and takes a person of maturity to see different points of view objectively. I’m not sure Christensen can do it.
I wonder about his hypocrisy when he states that government shouldn’t regulate, control, or guide when his votes in the legislature shows he is perfectly willing to do it on subjects that he doesn’t agree with. Medicaid Expansion was a recently passed voter initiative with the purpose of getting the working poor healthcare in Idaho. Christensen voted to make it less effective and more expensive by adding regulations. He also voted to make it harder for voters to pass ballot initiatives. I want a representative who empowers me as a voter and does not restrict my participation through burdensome “regulation.”
He also states that government does not have the power to take from one man or woman and give it to another. That’s rhetoric, not reality. What does he think taxes do? I pay taxes and they go from my pocket to pay his salary. As a public servant he should know this. Taxes are the dues we pay to live in a civilized society. Having a representative who votes against the will of the people because he and others think they know better is insulting and creates government that does not represent the people but only the viewpoint of the elected official and whatever special interests might influence them.