As I reflect on the events in our nation’s capital, multiple sad things come to mind. For all my many years, I've had an interest in how our citizens, especially our children, get to participate or observe our governmental, especially legislative, process. For generations, citizens and many students have traveled to Washington D.C., toured the U.S. Capitol, and observed. This is sacred to me and the success of our democratic republic. Confidence in government is best maintained if people can witness the process — whether in Washington D.C. or Boise. Today’s activities will undoubtedly bring a reaction — and for good reason. But as often is the case, the unintended consequences will be less access, fewer students, fewer citizens seeing the sometimes-messy constitutional process of government. I mourn for the lack of access that was there when I spent part of a summer in 1973 as a student with unfettered access to our congressional branch. We can replace unfettered access with technology, but there will be a loss. Unfortunately, there will be fewer students with a passion for the process because of their first hand exposure. Thus is the consequence of those who stormed OUR Capitol. It was a sad day.
We can do better. We must rededicate ourselves to making the process open to all, without intimidation of either the inside participants or the outside observers.
Gov. Brad Little,