One of the areas which has been identified in recent lists of ways that the GOP can do a better job reaching out to younger, more engaged voters, is opening up through every possible avenue of communication to stay in touch with constituents. When it comes to “tech savvy” people in government, I’ll confess that the first name jumping to mind probably isn’t 69 year old Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming. But he’s been putting together a series of videos where he reviews feedback from the citizens of his state which comes in through his Twitter and Facebook feeds. This week he had one that touches on a couple of important points which I wanted to share, not only for the content on these issues, but the way he seems to be relating to both supporters and detractors. It’s pretty impressive.
We need your help. When someone says that we need to give up our rights, I hope you’ll stand up and say something. Unless you make your voice heard, people are only going to hear one side of the story. These are your rights, protect them. It’s a constitutional right. In Wyoming, guns are part of our lives. They’re part of growing up, they’re part of a rite of passage.
“One of the things we’ve got to do as a nation and as parents is to make sure our kids understand that they aren’t supposed to kill other people or themselves.
“The urban situation is different than the rural situation and we in Wyoming are rural. We understand guns. We understand there is a responsibility that comes with owning them. We know that it’s our right. It’s our right to defend ourselves. It’s our right to shoot for sport. It’s our right to hunt. But mostly it’s our constitutional right to defend ourselves. I know how strongly people in Wyoming feel about that and I will do everything I can to protect our constitutional rights. There are millions of responsible gun owners and we shouldn’t punish all of them because of the actions of a few criminals.”
If you played it all the way through, you also heard some clarification on the Marketplace Fairness Act, which we’ve written about here before. Enzi is one of the chief sponsors of the bill, and he responds to constituent feedback where a number of common misconceptions are raised.
“This is not a tax on the internet. It’s not a new tax. No one should tax the internet. I oppose government policies that favor some businesses over another and that’s what we’re doing right now. This is a states’ rights bill and it would require the states to act before anything could happen. It also exempts businesses until they have $1 million in online sales.
“Sales tax is the main source of revenue for cities, towns and counties and even the state. It provides the money for roads, police, fire protection. If we don’t collect that revenue, they’ll have to find a new source.”
Enzi isn’t some sort of flashy firecracker member of the upper chamber who I expect to see lighting up the polls and creating buzz for a presidential run. But he is a plain spoken kind of guy who clearly stays in touch with the issues and the voices of those he serves. We could use a bit more of that in Washington and a lot less grandstanding if you ask me. At the very end, he sums up the philosophy of his office in three short sentences.
Do what’s right.
Do what’s best.
Treat others as you’d wish to be treated.
That’s kind of refreshing, isn’t it?