The political scene in Utah has been a place of unrest in recent weeks. The "ruling" party received a blow (whether they admit it or not) from a direction they had not expected. Elder Marlin K. Jensen, a general authority of the LDS church and lifelong Democrat, said it was OK (and even possible) to be a Democrat and a faithful Latter-day Saint. I do not feel that Elder Jensen was attempting to endorse one party or another, but his comments certainly added ammunition to the never-ending war between Democrats and Republicans.
But what is all of this fighting about? Is it for the good of the nation? Is it trying to stay true to the vision of the Founding Fathers? (Enlisting the Founding Fathers in an argument is quite popular in Utah.) Is it because one party is right and the other is wrong? Good or evil? No. The only difference between Republicans and Democrats is the mascot on the campaign sign.Political parties were never meant to exist in this country. When the Founding Fathers were designing the government of this nation, political parties were considered deplorable. In political matters, men chose sides according to the issue, and after debate they again assumed a position of neutrality.
That is how it should be today. That is truly the American way at its most basic level. People thinking and speaking freely, without feeling the constraints of a party platform or fearing censorship from party leaders.
In his farewell address, George Washington (the "Father of our Country" himself) offered these words in regard to party politics:
"Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally.
"It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms (and) kindles the animosity of one part against another." It seems we have strayed far from the advice of this man whom we profess to honor. It is time to re-evaluate the political structure of this nation.
Christopher J. Thornblad