Rookie U.S. Congressman Bill Orton went to Washington, D.C., to make a difference, and he feels he has.
Speaking to students at Brigham Young University, Orton said that when he first considered running for Congress, he thought the idea was ludicrous, but he "couldn't get it out of my head."Orton was invited as part of BYU's International Week to talk about being an individual ambassador, and he used his own story to illustrate that "you never know what circumstances will thrust you into that position."
He cautioned students not to do anything that they would be ashamed of because someday it could be printed on the front page of a newspaper.
The key to being an individual ambassador is to get out and do something, Orton said.
He said he feels he is trying to do that by serving on as many congressional committees as possible because he feels he can change the way things work now.
When asked if he would run again, Orton said he hadn't decided yet, but he strongly believes there will have to be a change in the way campaigns are financed so more people can have the opportunity to get involved in the political process.
"That's what this country means;" everyone can be involved, he said. "And I would rather spend my time trying to reform this country's banking system."
However, Orton did say that if he were to run again he would probably have to spend more money than he did during last year's campaign because he thinks "anyone opposing me would spend a lot of money to unseat me."
Orton also addressed the Persian Gulf war and possible post-war order in the Middle East.
"I would like to see this coalition, which has gained so much prominence in the last 40 days, be used to resolve the 4,000-year conflict between the Arabs and the Jews," he said.
President Bush has the opportunity to solve the problem right now and he should take that opportunity, Orton said. If the countries in the Middle East were to agree in principle, "the details are negotiable."
The world will always have crises, he said. "But these provide us with opportunities to act."
Only a year ago, Orton was a lawyer and was very happy with his career.
Then one night, he was giving a speech and being "very vocal" about some financial issues. "People approached me and asked me why I wasn't doing anything about it," he said.
So he decided to try.
"If you stand by and watch, nothing is going to happen," Orton said. "Every person can make a difference."