My Dad’s Republican Party

A question from my wife prompted some reflection last week. It has been something that has been in the back of my mind for quite some time, the part of my mind I don’t often go to because it still has the power to make me sad. Even though we were on completely different sides of the political spectrum, my dad and I would often have lively discussions about the political theme of the day, mostly prompted by my parents near constant listening of Fox News Radio or my dad’s viewing of Fox News.

My father was a good, hardworking, card-carrying member of the Republican Party. He went caucused when appropriate. He met Orrin Hatch and got a fancy picture with him. He even briefly flirted with running for the statehouse prior to landing his job at the post office. Ronald Reagan was the man, the near saint that many Republicans of my father’s generation hold in high esteem. If their was a Republican policy point, my dad usually fell right in line, though during the George W. Bush years, he may have voted Libertarian on at least one occasion. Continue reading “My Dad’s Republican Party”

An Open Letter to Senator Mike Lee

Senator Lee,

I am troubled.

You see, when I heard about the issues in Flint, Michigan, about poor decisions by elected officials resulting in the poisoning of American citizens, the humanist in me felt sick to my stomach. I hoped that the people responsible would be held accountable, that people would be fired, recalled, or even indicted. You’re a lawyer. I’m sure you can appreciate what a fun trial that would have been.

But I know how things work in this country. I know that people in charge of huge catastrophes like this often aren’t held accountable. They use their positions to protect themselves, placing blame on the lowest person on the totem pole, publicly and quickly firing the scapegoat, and moving on like nothing happened. But something terrible and tragic did happen, and it continues to happen, no thanks to you. Continue reading “An Open Letter to Senator Mike Lee”

Sometimes It Works Like It’s Supposed To

In the midst of everything else happening in the world right now, there is something that I think might be slipping beneath the radar a bit except by those people that truly pay attention to these types of things, as well as the people that just want to point to them as an indicator of their political agenda.

In the last month, there have been four incidents that prove that the checks and balances written into our constitution have worked, with the judicial branch stepping in and deeming certain laws unconstitutional. In a couple of cases, these laws were passed by a popular vote among the citizens of the respective state, and even though they “overwhelmingly” passed, it is still against the U.S. Constitution to discriminate against people, even if it is the majority opinion. A democracy works best when the minority is protected, and sometimes it takes the courts to do this protecting.  Continue reading “Sometimes It Works Like It’s Supposed To”

My First, and Maybe Last, Political Post of 2012

Note: With this note, this post checks in at just nearly 2,600 words, perhaps my longest post I’ve ever written. I honestly don’t think it will be the last time that I discuss politics leading up to the election, but I don’t see my opinion changing before than unless something super dramatic happens. I encourage discussion, but all comments are moderated and I reserve the right to not publish hateful or ignorant comments. Thanks for reading!

I don’t often delve into politics on this blog, primarily because it it such a decisive issue, but also because they are other capable folks that do it for a living. Though I majored in political science once upon a time, I don’t find myself an expert on any portion of our political system. That is not to say that I don’t think it is important, and I try to vote at least every two years, if not the local elections in off-cycle years. However, the conclusion of both of the conventions, events which I watched a grand total of 20 minutes, have prompted me to post what will probably be my only election post this year.  Unless something dramatic happens between now and November 6th, I plan on staying quiet until the election. So if I have been engaging you on the election through various forms of social media, I won’t be doing so anymore, at least publicly.

Politically, I am registered unaffiliated, but I tend to lean mostly liberal, or at least the U.S. definition of liberal. After being raised in the second-most conservative state in the union, I moved to one of the most liberal in 2001. I don’t know if either of these things helped me develop my political ideology, but I tend to vote for Democrats in most elections.  I voted for Al Gore in 2000, which helped him close the gap on George W. Bush in Utah, which Bush won by about 40%.  I honestly don’t remember who I voted for in 2004. I wasn’t a fan of John Kerry, and I definitely did not vote for Bush. If I had to guess, it was probably the Libertarian candidate, but with the way the Electoral College works, Kerry still won Connecticut by 160,000 votes. Finally, in 2008, I voted for President Obama, so it was the first election which my candidate ended up winning the election.  Continue reading “My First, and Maybe Last, Political Post of 2012”