Mark Twain once said that no matter your station in life, the weather will determine how many people attend your funeral.
Apparently the same can be said for protests at the Utah State Capitol.
On Thursday, the Utah Minuteman Project known for its stand against illegal immigration could muster a mere 20 folks to protest employers who hire illegal workers. Organizers blamed poor communication and the sizzling 97-degree heat for the lack of interest.
The nation's original Minutemen, luckily, fared better.
Still, kibitzing is easy. Instead, we ask readers to consider the following: While "no-show protestors" chose to stay home next to their air-conditionioners, thousands of Hispanic workers legal and, yes, illegal were out in the noonday sun, harvesting crops, herding sheep, cleaning motel rooms and laying asphalt. They refused to let the heat deter them from their goal becoming part of the American grain.
If Thursday was a showdown, the workers won.
But then they have proven to be as resilient as desert tortoises. They forsook everything to get here and will not abandon everything to leave. Regardless of the politics, animosity and veiled racism of their detractors, the force of will is obviously on the side of the newcomers. They are determined to become a part of America more than "sunshine patriots" are determined to keep them out.
And for the state, we feel the lesson is this: When it comes to water, the state may talk about "slowing the flow." But when it comes to workers, channeling and controlling the flow of workers is the best option.Comment on this story
Lofty rhetoric and high-sounding names are distractions. What's needed are creative, workable solutions to a bedeviling problem.
In the end, when the going got tough, the Minutemen got out of the kitchen. Utah's Hispanic work force, however, did not. They have helped keep much of the state's agriculture and service industries chugging along this summer through unbearable heat. They aren't going South. And it will take more than a handful of hotheads to change that.
Cooler heads must prevail. Dilemmas must be dealt with.
The time for posturing has come to an end.