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In our opinion: A centrist populace

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  • Pat Henry Holladay, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 1:38 a.m.

    Radical extremists on the margins of our political discourse profit and grow their brand by driving the rest of us apart with their rants and untruths. We should see them for what they are.

    We can't let them do that to us. We can't let them fracture our nation by appealing to our baser instincts.

    The centrist majority wants our blessed Nation to come together, to heal our differences, and face our external challenges.

    If we stoop to fighting another Civil War we will surely fail on the World Scene. We will have only ourselves to blame.

    Ben Franklin said: "Either we will hang together, or assuredly we will hang separately". That is as true today as it was at the Signing.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Oct. 22, 2013 6:44 p.m.

    2bits - 2 points:

    1 - I was being facetious when commenting on the land ownership issue. I was pointing out the curious nature of your comment because a) you only spent a few months in one part of a state, and b) you mentioned that 90% of the state's geography was conservative (thereby implying they are being marginalized by a one person, one vote system). If you weren't suggesting these rural conservatives are somehow being marginalized, despite occupying all that land, why the "their vote matters literally zero" statement even though their vote counts like any other New Yorker?

    2 - You do realize the "fly-over state, equal representation" argument undermines your earlier point, right? You are correct that states like Utah have 2 Senators, just like California, which means conservatives in rural areas end up being overrepresented in national politics. In theory, it's absolutely absurd that California shares the same amount of votes as Utah in the Senate even though Utah's economic output amounts to little more than a rounding error for our nation's GDP. And yet, that's the system we (coastal states) are stuck in but you're the one complaining. Does irony know no bounds with you?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    Stalwart Sentinel,
    Who said anything about "voting laws to reflect one's ownership of land"?

    Since you were commenting on my comment I would assume you are saying I advocated for that (that would be a strawman, because you threw that in, I didn't say it, nor do I advocate it in any way).

    What I was saying is... that rural areas and their issues get no representation unless we do something.

    The founding fathers did something. They formed a Republic (instead of a pure Democracy)... with representatives (call them delegates if you will). AND to avoid having fly-over States that have no voice... they created the Senate, which has equal representation for every State regardless of population (2 representatives from each State regardless of the State's population).

    If it's so evil... why is it the way the founding fathers setup our Government? (with Representatives/delegates instead of a popular vote on everything)?
    And why did the founding fathers try to avoid fly-over States (but some people like you are fine with having fly-over communities in Utah that will have no voice)?

    This "who cares what rural people want" attitude is disgusting to me.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Oct. 21, 2013 6:40 p.m.

    :Dr. Goebbels would be so proud.:

    Yes he would.... for so very careful cheery picking of data and numbers. Majority don't like the current law, but majority don't want repeal... that want it fixed.

    And for that fact, most people polled also don't approve of the Republican Party, and even fewer approve of the Tea Party... so perhaps we should just get rid of them too.... if we are going to play that game.

    Yes, Goebbles would be proud........ party purity. Purge the Rinos.... yada yada yada.... sounds very familiar.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Oct. 21, 2013 4:33 p.m.

    "They watch their State elections like they are an outside observer, knowing their vote matters literally Zero."

    Or... their vote matters literally the same as every other citizen in the state and there happen to be more liberals that live in that state.

    But you're right, 2 bits; based on your few months of anecdotal experience, we should change voting laws to reflect one's ownership of land. I can't imagine there would be historical evidences of that being bad for society. How could that possibly go wrong?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    Someone should have told that to the house Republicans before they went into tantrum mode.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Oct. 21, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    @procuradorfiscal
    Tooele, UT

    Re: ". . . It like it."

    Sound like a good conservative Republican political motto -- "It like it."

    ----

    BTW - People who live in glass houses should not be throwing stones.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Oct. 21, 2013 4:05 p.m.

    Procuradorfiscal - So, if I take your statement that "too many Americans either don't care, or are so fed up they don't see a reason to vote" and combine that with your assertion that "Americans are decidedly right of center on nearly every political issue, and all moral issues" then the fact that the majority of Americans who voted chose liberals leads to the conclusion that your moral, right-of-center American majority is plain lazy. They're too lazy to even vote.

    So, it seems liberals also outperform conservatives when it comes to ambition b/c we actually show up to do our civic duty (despite state-level conservative efforts to undermine this).

    Further, statistically-speaking states that are headed by liberals tend to have higher GDP per capita ratios (we're more productive economically) but perhaps that's because we're more educated? Or maybe it could be because we're statistically less obese? Commit fewer violent crimes? Or maybe it's because we subsidize states like UT with federal dollars every year so we have to work harder knowing that your state isn't self-sufficient? What a conundrum, so many options.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 2:43 p.m.

    I also agree with Utah_1's observation that IF this kill-the-caucus campaign is successful... you won't see a State politician in rural Utah again.

    Why campaign in small communities when all you need to do to win is win the Wasatch Front?

    Any smart politician would spend all his time (and money) campaigning in the Wasatch Front.

    They already have this in NY. I worked in upstate NY when Hillary Clinton was running for Congress and from all the signs on the lawns and bumper stickers on the roads... she had no chance. Everybody I talked to while I was there (several months) was very vocal and didn't want her. I assumed she wouldn't win. When she did win (and it wasn't even close).. I asked the guys what happened. They said they knew that would happen (because it always does). That they are resigned to the fact that 90% of the State (geographically) is conservative. But that 90% doesn't even touch the number of votes that are in just one Manhattan district.

    They watch their State elections like they are an outside observer, knowing their vote matters literally Zero.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 2:25 p.m.

    what has become obvious is that Mitt was right about 47 percent seeing themselves as victims but who at the time knew it was actually Republicans feelings sorry for themselves because they are so picked on by the big bad media and liberals.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    Re: ". . . the majority of people voted for Democrats for House, Senate, and President."

    Not true, of course. 43.5% of voting-age Americans didn't vote for anyone.

    Truth is, since too many Americans either don't care, or are so fed up they don't see a reason to vote, only a politician elected with 90+% of the votes cast could honestly claim to have been elected by a majority.

    Something like 53% of 57% -- 30% -- of America elected the liberals.

    A consistent finding of objective polls is that Americans are decidedly right of center on nearly every political issue, and all moral issues. Suggestions to the contrary are either uniformed or disingenuous.

    Liberals outperform conservatives in one area only -- spin and propaganda. And, since liberals are heavily overrepresented in politics, media, and academia, the ideas and values of a clear majority of Americans are simply not represented at all.

    That's what will change in upcoming elections. Real people will become candidates to represent real people and our values.

    And liberals politics will drift into well-deserved irrelevance.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 21, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    The current system just means Gayle Ruzicka is in charge of who gets to run for office. She is an extremist with a great deal of power, far out of proportion to the views of most Utahns. I'm signing the petition just for that reason.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    The United States is NOT in the center anymore. Two Obama victories will tell you that. Mitt estimated that 47% see themselves as victims who would rather take handouts than work. Mitt was WRONG - the number is close to 55%! America - as a majority - has fallen out of the exceptional category to the mediocre category and we now see China and other world powers passing us by economically. That trend will continue as America becomes more and more an entitlement state. I suspect you will also soon see an exodus of American companies simply because Obamacare will choke the life out of them in the coming months and years and they will find greener pastures overseas.Take a long hard look at Detroit. I expect other cities to look just like Detroit in the not too distant future and it is all due to the adoption of socialism. Good grief it isn't hard to look at Greece and France and see that we are on the same ugly course with the same eventual result waiting for us. Bankruptcy and desperation. I would love to see another outcome but I just don't anymore.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    Boy... the DesNews is really pushing that anti-caucus agenda now days. I wonder why?

    Could it be so when the masses of people wake up on election day and realize they don't know who they want to vote for but they want to vote... they can just open the DesNews and see what the DesNews recommendations are on each candidate or referendum item?

    Or is it that the DesNews just does the bidding of the people behind the buy-my-vote movement (Mike Leavitt, Norm Bangeter, Bob Bennett, and the rest of the old-school Republican establishment)?

    I don't want Mike Leavitt, Norm Bangeter, and the Republican establishment pulling the election strings (through the DesNews).

    If you're getting your voting recommendations from the DesNews... think again. I'd rather get thoughts and recommendations from neighbors I KNOW I can trust (at a neighborhood caucus), that getting my guidance from Norm Bangeter and Mike Leavitt's pics (through their surrogate the DesNews).

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    @procuradorfiscal
    "Affordable Care Act."

    Using the bill's actual name is propaganda? Hah, that's funny considering your party had the "Repealing the Job-Killing Healthcare Bill Act" as a bill name even though there's zero evidence the ACA kills jobs.

    Also amusingly, the term Obamacare itself is propaganda, that KYnect program in Kentucky is wildly popular... it's also their Obamacare exchange, but that detail isn't so emphasized by the Republicans there. It's just like Obama said, once people find out they like it, Republicans won't be calling it Obamacare anymore.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    @procuradorfiscal
    Well we took a poll in Nov 2012 and the majority of people voted for Democrats for House, Senate, and President. So either they're centrist and rejected the more extreme party (DW-NOMINATE scores score Republicans in Congress farther from the moderate 0 than Democrats in Congress)... or they're liberal (if the Democrats are really as extreme as conservatives say they are). Pick your poison.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    Re: ". . . that is suppose[d] to be sad not ad."

    Sound like a good liberal Democrat/Republican political motto -- "sad, not ad."

    It like it. It encapsulates the disingenuity of modern liberal politics, pointing out that voters accepting the spin and lies of a liberal politician's campaign ads, are quite likely to be sad with his/her actions.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    sorry that is suppose to be sad not ad.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 10:20 a.m.

    @pracuradorfiscial

    it is so ad that Mia was such a victim isn't it, I guess all those appearances on fox news and the out of state conservative money and media attention could not save her. I have to say the idea that Jim some how represents liberals out of state or in state made for a good laugh, thanks.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 9:58 a.m.

    Utah_1 points out an inconvenient truth that contradicts the DesNews conclusion (that Caucus people are radicals and the general population wants more centralist candidates).

    Evidence:
    - Tim Bridgewater got 57% of the delegates in the last round of voting by the delegates (Remember... these are the radicals picked at the caucuses).
    - Tim Bridgewater (picked my most of the radicals)... LOST in the Primary (the supposed Centrist people) to Lee (who didn't get the majority vote from the radicals at convention).

    So blaming Lee on the Radical convention delegates... when they picked Bridgewater and the PRIMARY picked LEE... is kinda lame.

    - If Lee was the radical tea party guy... then the radical tea party delegates should have picked him instead of Bridgewater. But they didn't.
    - And the Centrists primary voters SHOULD have picked the less radical Bridgewater... but they picked LEE over Bridgewater. So evidently the general population is even more radical than the delegates.

    You could say that IF Bennett had made it into the top2 he would have won in the primary... That's a leap.

    IF Bennett thought he could win in the general (more centrist) election... why did he decide not to run?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    Re: "[Y]ou mean there is a reason Mia Love lost despite the fact even most democrats in Utah do not care for Jim [Matheson]?"

    Yeah. It's called Matheson's out-of-state liberal donors. And too many low-information Utah voters being swayed by the disingenuous adds their money bought.

    And, since those out-of-state liberals bought the election for him, who do you suppose Matheson feels beholden to?

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    What a farce. The media didn't put their stamp of approval on Mike Lee; therefore, we must stop 'people' from electing their representatives because it is obvious that Mike Lee is an extremist. Let's open it up to more manipulation by the media by pretending to give the ignorant and uncommitted classes more say. If 'people' want more say, then they had better start paying attention and go to the caucus meetings and let their voice be heard.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    you mean there is a reason Mia Love lost despite the fact even most democrats in Utah do not care for Jim Mathewson? Our system in Utah is so broke we get to vote for the far right or the far far right. there is no centrist let alone liberals.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    Re: "New data shows the majority of Americans hold beliefs closer to the center . . . ."

    Yeah, yeah. "New data" is just another way liberals try to repackage "newspeak."

    ANY poll conducted by NBC News [even if you don't add in that bastion of objectivity, Esquire Magazine] would be suspect, even under the best of circumstances. But, when a propaganda arm of the Democrat National Convention suggests it conducted a "poll" during a politically-charged period -- like today's -- you can bet the farm it really conducted a political focus group, figuring how best to package the Party's leftist bilge, making it, if not attractive, at least less offensive, to an essentially conservative, but low-information America.

    It's illustrative that other "polling" indicates that a clear and healthy majority of Americans oppose "Obamacare," but that this majority slips, somewhat, when that same Faustian political bargain is disingenuously re-packaged as an "Affordable Care Act."

    Similar packaging propaganda is used to rig results of all liberal polls, in order to advance socialist agendas.

    Dr. Goebbels would be so proud.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    The radical right took a big shot and lost big time. There are consequences for such drastic action. The majority of Americans want to get rid of the "house republicans". They will be hiding from being associated with Cruz and lLee the next election. The tide has turned.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    Brad,
    just because those changes were turned down doesn't mean some won't pass Saturday.

    As you know from 2008 to 2010 neighborhood election meeting attendance doubled. From 2010 to 2012, meeting attendance doubled again. There is hope that in 2014, it will double again and 250,000 will attend. I know that The State GOP has a committee that is working to make sure we don't have the same growth problems for 2014 and that the system can handle the volume of those interested and still allow time to meet candidates and ask questions.

    New proposals for 2014 include a better system for check in, including optional preregistration. The ability to optionally pre-file to run to represent your neighbors as well. The meeting will be designed to last for 2 hrs. or less, from 7pm to 9pm. There will be a pre-meeting from 6pm to 7pm to allow you to personally meet candidates to represent your neighborhood that have decided to run and for you to ask one on one questions. Even with large groups, changes to make sure members can agree on questions to ask neighborhood representative candidates with more time to hear from them.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 21, 2013 7:00 a.m.

    "New data shows the majority of Americans hold beliefs closer to the center of the political spectrum than to either ideological edge,"

    Is that a surprise? I bet old data shows exactly the same thing.

  • Brad Peterson South Ogden, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 3:59 a.m.

    I can't see why anyone would defend a caucus system that prevents many people from attending and voting. Work evenings, or can't find a babysitter, or away on a business trip, or your health doesn't permit it? Apparently you don't deserve a vote.

    Any why would anyone think the caucus delegates want to fix its shortcomings? The last time reforms were pitched to make the process more open and inclusive, those entrenched in the system told all caucus goers to reject every reform suggestion, which they did.

    And why think the caucus delegates represent the state population when delegates are 75% male?

    And why would anyone believe "let those caucus goers do the thinking, they research it better and avoid the problems with money." Am I not able to research candidates on my own? Are caucus goers somehow not tainted by the gifts and meals directed at them?

    Those supportive of the caucus system are afraid of letting everyone have a vote. They are afraid this would mean their candidates would never win. So they fight against any change of their exclusive and limited system.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 12:50 a.m.

    Utah's Neighborhood Elections force candidates to pay attention to rural areas of Utah. Direct primaries encourage candidates to ignore rural areas and communicate only by paid advertising. A direct primary would create fly-over areas of Utah that will rarely get to meet their candidates face to face.

    At only one time for 10 years in Utah’s history did the state depart from the Neighborhood Election, Caucus and Convention System. In 1937, a powerful democratic state senator convinced enough of the legislature to switch to an open primary. He had had two losses, a US Senate race and also for governor, because the majority of the convention delegates disagreed with his legislative voting record. But he was well known and had money.

    Many at the time felt like an open primary was his ticket to the governorship, and he did win. But the change in the system only lasted for a decade. After public and media disillusionment, and even worse voter turnout, Utah restored the Caucus and Convention System. Why go back?

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 12:49 a.m.

    Whether you like Sen. Mike Lee or not you should consider the following:

    re: Sen. Bennett in 2010. He was not in the top 2 coming out of convention. In fact the more moderate of the two, Tim Bridgewater was selected by 57% of the delegates in the last round of voting by the delegates. If he had received 60% Tim Bridgewater would have been the party nominee and Mike Lee would have been eliminated.

    Sen. Bennett endorsed Tim Bridgewater during the primary, but with voters ticked at TARP and ObamaCare, they went with Mike Lee.

    Sen. Mike Lee was the party nominee after the primary

    The Neighborhood Election and Convention system in Utah is the best way to make sure a grassroots process can win over large amounts of money. It is the only way someone with $100,000 can go against someone with $2 million in election funds.

    We have a system that that does NOT favor the incumbent, the wealthy or the famous. This is a good thing, and should be preserved.