Ketchikan Daily News: Op-Ed: Credit Due

When Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski spoke with anti-Trump protesters in Ketchikan on Presidents Day, she was fulfilling an important part of the job: Meeting with the people that elected her to represent them.

It’s not always pretty, it’s not always organized and by no means will everyone agree, but it’s important for elected officials to seek feedback from their constituents, and Murkowski deserves credit for going out to a public place  — in this case, the mall — to do so.

With just about every interaction uploaded to YouTube these days, politicians are often at risk of becoming an internet meme or having a politically unflattering encounter recorded forever. In turn, we’ve seen some of them avoid risky public situations. While this makes sense from a point of polling, we’re worried about the potential for our representatives to become cut off if they do not spend time with the people they are elected to represent, and instead stay secluded in the ivory tower that is Washington, D.C.

In a perfect world, we might make a deal: Politicians agree to regularly meet with their constituents in person, and their constituents agree not to cherry pick their responses into 3-second video clips or use video of an angry crowd as propaganda. That will never happen, so instead we’ll say this: Murkowski deserves credit for what she did. She met with the protesters for about half an hour and did her best to answer their questions. She explained where she disagreed with the president. If her answers weren’t satisfactory, the protesters are free to vote for another candidate next time. That’s the way the system works. By interacting with these protesters, Murkowski has shown she’s interested in keeping the system we have working.

Source: Ketchikan Daily News