The need for Idahoans to have a Legislature who listens to their constituents and works diligently and courageously to protect their rights, as they defend and support the Constitution, is of utmost importance today. Our rights as citizens of the great state of Idaho and the United States of America have easily been disregarded this past year.

Emilee Murdoch

Emilee Murdoch

If liberty is the standard we live by, then what are we to do when laws suddenly change by a judge legislating from the bench, when executive orders are issued requiring constitutional rights be suspended indefinitely, when industries such as Big Tech are behaving as an oligarchy with authoritarian power over our lives and when regulations are created that replace the liberties guaranteed within the Bill of Rights?

The principal recourse we have to these issues is through our Congress — our legislative branch of government, the voice of the people, the supporters and defenders of the Constitution. Congress is a reflection of the people, at least the majority of voters, both on the state and national levels. Idaho has a diverse Legislature. They represent a vast range of ideals, values, political views and affiliations, and principles of the citizens across the state.

This past year we have experienced unprecedented and, frankly, mind-boggling circumstances, such as a worldwide pandemic, statewide and nationwide shutdowns, rioting, looting, cities burning down and killings across the nation due to political unrest, blatant attacks on free speech, mass censorship of certain ideologies, overt double standards in the virtual public square and in media, judges and executive officers changing voting rules with the flick of a pen, national election chaos and confusion, and a shocking attack on the U.S. Capitol, just to name a few. It’s been a challenging year for most people across our state and nation. That’s why it creates hope for me to know that we have a state Legislature with representatives who are listening to and striving to represent their constituents in Boise.

In his recent press conference, Gov. Little missed a great opportunity to express a message of hope and solidarity with the people of Idaho during this challenging time. He failed to express a desire to collaborate with the people of this state, through their elected representatives, to reach an agreement that can potentially satisfy the majority of parties involved — namely the citizens of Idaho. Gov. Little misrepresented the facts around {span}Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Ac{/span}t federal aid. Idaho has already received nearly $8 billion through the CARES Act. According to the Legislature, the majority of that money is not in jeopardy regardless of any status changes. It’s unfortunate that he used politics to create further division among the people of Idaho. With all that said, my intent is not to throw him under the bus for the executive actions he’s taken around this pandemic, and I’m not in favor of impeaching him either. That would only lead to further division. Instead, I see the possibility of him working with our state Legislature to create the solutions necessary for Idaho to get back to fully functioning and restore all suspended rights of the people.

Now, more than ever, we the people, are in desperate need for our voices to be heard and represented in our government. I fully support and encourage the members of both Houses to continue to listen to their constituents and work together for the benefit of those they represent as they strive to support and defend the Constitutions of Idaho and the United States of America.

Emilee Murdoch is a resident of Blackfoot.