When I look at the other 8 comments, it is amazing to see that each one has some
truth to them with reflection about the system even though some are opposite.
Some leaders say the caucuses have decreased over the years. I can say that has
not been true. In the past 16 years, the number attending our caucus has
increased and last time it was 20 times more people than the time before. That
is not small increase. People joined up to ensure Senator Bennett got the boot
and that what happened. Not very tasteful for supposedly thoughtful neighbors.
He was a good Senator, just not very responsive. They didn't give him a chance
but gave everything to Mike Lee.
No point in going. The monoparty will select its monothinking candidates and
continue its monopoly.All non-Limbaugh thinking will be automatically shouted
down. I'll go but with fear and trembling.
In my view, our system in Utah comes closest to the fulfillment of
representative republic envisioned by the founders than any other I've seen. We
elected representatives to vote on our behalf, rather than a direct democracy
where a simple majority rules. The whole idea is captured by Thomas Jefferson in
The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, No. 1685, p. 193, where he wrote, ÂThe
Constitution was meant to be republican, and we believe it to be republican
according to every candid interpretation.ÂClarification:
That's not Republican with a capital "R" -- it's "republican" as
in "representative republic" with a small "r." Never forget the
difference.The average Utah/U.S. citizen typically does not take the
time to study issues and candidates as thoroughly as one who puts
himself/herself up for consideration as a delegate to the nominating
conventions. It is presumed delegates will make informed choices based upon
their best judgments and that trust is imposed by their friends and neighbors at
the caucus meetings at the lowest level of government imaginable. I
fear that people feel they have no power to effect political outcomes. Why?
Because we have empowered a political class, and Orrin Hatch is Exhibit A.Time to speak up.
Mike Richards. What good is freedom if you donÂt have time to
use it?If I did those things you suggest for every candidate for
every office for every level of government, and every issue on every subject, I
would be totally enslaved by the need to watch over government. And even if I
did, it probably would not effect government at all. What people
say is not necessarily what they do. That is true for every level from the
caucus to the final election. Your delegate to the convention will wheel and
deal at the convention and may end up following his own personal agenda, even if
100% of your neighbors had other wants. At every level of
representation the desires of the original people will be diluted. If people
are to have any effect on government they have to be close enough to be heard.
Does anyone really believe that the 2010 Utah Republican State convention was
anything short of a hijacking of the democratic process? The statewide
Republican electorate is best served if the state convention honestly works to
place the top two Republican candidates onto the primary ticket for the
statewide Republican electorate to vote their preference. The 2010 state
convention was hijacked by anti Bennett tea partiers who arrogantly and openly
attempted to pull Bennett off of the primary ballot and instead gave Utah
Republicans statewide the choice between two lesser candidates! There is no
way that a 3 term incumbent senator who went into the convention leading in the
polls, was not one of the top two candidates. There was open and avowed
exertion to hijack the process and keep one of the top candidates off the
primary ballot! That is not serving the interests of the general Republican
electorate! It reminds me somewhat of pro-Obama Democrats voting in the
Michigan republican primary for the easiest Republican for Obama to defeat.Likewise, in 2012 if Sen Hatch does not come out of the convention on
the primary ticket, it is disgraceful. There is no way that he is not among the
top two candidates.
It's foolish to believe that in the caucuses each of us have a voice. If we do,
it certainly isn't equal the voices of the power brokers or the secret PACs that
are able to use incredible amounts of money to silence ordinary people.Two great examples right now are the "Freedom Path" and "Freedom
Works" mailers that have been cramming our mailboxes as two opposing secret
organizations vie to convince gullible people to either vote for or against Dan
Liljenquist and Orrin Hatch.Freedom Path is especially scary. It
has more hidden agendas than the Wizard of Oz. (In fact, the Wizard might be one
of those behind it.) It smells strongly of some kind of the normal sleazy
sewage Orrin has used to be re-elected for so long.There is an
excellent article this morning in the Salt Lake Tribune.
No 2.If I was a movie version of an old American Indian, I might
respond to this article with Âme thinks he speaks with forked
tongueÂ.This article says: ÂThe form of government under
which our nation has thrived for two-plus centuries is based upon the continuing
protection of individual rights guaranteed by the Constitution.Â ÂIn America, the dignity of the individual is more important than
institutions, organizations and collectives.ÂHowever the
conservative/republican faction of the U. S. Supreme Court decided that
corporations are people and have the same rights. Or something like that. This
is probably the greatest blow to individual rights of my lifetime. The argument of the churches against the government about religious freedom
for church owned businesses, does not support the notion of individual rights.
Thus I am skeptical when someone whom I regard as
conservative/republican touts individual rights.
The caucus system is one time that like-minded people can discuss policies and
platforms. If 100% of the people attended and were prepared to
discuss the merits of policies, platforms and candidates, then we would have a
representative government. For the Republicans, if every person attending had a
print-out of Senator Hatch's voting record for the six terms that he has served,
they would be prepared to argue for or against giving him another term. If they
carried with them a list of his campaign promises for each of those six terms
and correlated those promises to what he did, they would be able to make an
informed choice.Politics is not a popularity contest. The direction
of our State and of our Country depend on informed and stalwart citizens doing
the RIGHT thing, even when the right thing is hard. How can we expect those we
elect to do the right thing when we hesitate to do it ourselves.I
will be in attendance at a caucus meeting, and unfortunately for Mr. Hatch, I
will be prepared to show that he has served long enough.
Every citizen's voice may matter, but with the caucus system, most people's
voices don't count for much. The editorial pretends that we should be grateful
for this special chance to get together and argue politics with our neighbors. I
will go and participate, as I have in the past, but I don't relish the
opportunity. I want a direct say in the outcome of my party's nominating
process, and I don't want that direct say to come at the expense of anyone
else's. Why is that so much to ask?