Rep. Daniel Singh: While Washington Fumbles, Wyoming Unites

Rep. Daniel Singh writes, “Despite conflicts in political ideology, we can agree to fight for the people. I saw people from all sides of the ideological spectrum working together.”

CSD Staff

October 09, 20234 min read

Rep. Daniel Singh, R-Cheyenne
Rep. Daniel Singh, R-Cheyenne (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

When I open my browser to see what developments are happening around the world, often when news concerning our national congress appears there is an unfortunate anxiety about the conduct of our elected officials.

From temper tantrums to fire alarms, it appears our congress is more concerned about theatrics than achieving results for the American people. Filled with career politicians, literal actors and people dead set on diminishing the institution by showing up in gym shorts, the word “dysfunctional” comes to mind.

Watching the U.S. House of Representatives scramble has been unsettling to say the least.

Contrast this with one of the latest issues facing the state of Wyoming, the Bureau of Land Management’s controversial Rock Springs Resource Management Plan.

The federal government is attempting to take advantage of Wyoming’s small population by enacting plans that would directly impact the lives of everyday Wyomingites.

In the most recent Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee meeting, we heard that many people showed up to protest these plans. Elected officials told us about the outrage of the crowd and the exclusion of public comment. The true colors of this mission were revealed. This plan does not exist to serve the people, but to push an agenda at the people’s expense.

Through this nonsense, the true colors of the Legislature have also been revealed. Despite conflicts in political ideology, we can agree to fight for the people.

In this meeting, I saw people from all sides of the ideological spectrum working together. Everyone denounced the plans, from Freedom Caucus member John Winter to Senate Minority Whip Mike Gierau. It was refreshing to come together for a common goal, and not just the Legislature, but also the governor’s office.

I left that day feeling inspired.

It was clear from every committee member that this wasn’t petty politics. There was no mudslinging, no backbiting or secret conversations. We had to work together to fight for the people of Wyoming. We were unified.

My hope is that we can take this unity and foster it. To me, everyone serving has a deep love for their community and their state. Even if we fiercely disagree on an issue, each of us can discern the common ground we have with each other.

I believe that despite the chaos existing in our system, we have things easy compared to other countries. Sweden has a legislature with more than seven parties. India has six national parties, countless regional parties and even a Communist Party.

As chaotic as all that sounds, nations like these are capable of exceptional and creative policies that the world envies. I point to how Sweden handled the COVID-19 outbreak as an example of how multiple parties can work together to make policy that best serves the people. There is nothing new under the sun.

One of my favorite authors is Seneca, a Roman philosopher and playwright. He was a Stoic, which is very different from another philosophy of the time, Epicureanism. He had this to say about a thinker with whom he disagreed: “And I shall continue to heap quotations from Epicurus upon you, so that all persons who swear by the words of another and put a value upon the speaker and not upon the thing spoken, may understand that the best ideas are common property.” (Letters from a Stoic, Letter 12, On Old Age).

The best ideas are common property. If we claim to work for the common good of the people, we must search for and refine the best ideas.

We can only achieve this through a willingness to listen to each other, honestly defend our ideas and stand firm to our genuine convictions. Unity is not a passive trait; it requires humility, patience and dedication.

Before the session started, Speaker of the House Albert Sommers said, “At no time in my life have I seen our state so divided. We must pull back from the abyss.”

I could not agree more.

There are ample opportunities for people to find things we can agree on. I, for one, am happy to work with anyone if it means creating a better society for the people of Wyoming. I know I am not alone.

“Blessed are the peacemakers ...”

Daniel Singh

Wyoming House District 61

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CSD Staff