Why moderates lost the caucus vote

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  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2013 10:49 p.m.

    Senator Reid's perscription assumes a status quo economically and politically. But in a global recession which is very much alive things could change mighty fast, and a leftist Utah Democratic Party could return a la the 1930's. This is not something I hope for; I have kids who have to survive in this sytem. But capitalism is not stable and will end, no doubt much sooner than Reid thinks.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    May 22, 2013 12:45 p.m.

    As long as most moderates fail to attend caucus meetings, we won't be represented by either party. Our only solution is to show up. Perhaps we would have a better chance with the Democrats. Their caucuses are even more poorly attended than the Republicans'.

    Perhaps we could do the them what the tea party did to the GOP. No entrenched minority can stand up to a motivated populace.

  • Cherilyn Eagar Holladay, UT
    May 22, 2013 12:32 a.m.

    Let's be clear. Moderates in Utah aren't Republicans. They'd be democrats in any other state. I lived in Connecticut, as blue as Utah is red. The opposite happens. Republicans, if they want to have a voice or get elected in a blue state, run within the dominant party. Stop whining about the caucus and get involved.

  • Kris Highland, Utah
    May 21, 2013 8:10 p.m.

    We will keep electing extreme conservatives? Like Orrin Hatch, for example? These delegates are the Hatch delegates and the turnout this year was better than average.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 21, 2013 7:58 p.m.

    The founding fathers were right-wing conservatives. NO!!!

    They were Libertarians that fought against the status quo generally.

    I say generally because we are all somewhat guilty of seeing the Founding Fathers as some monolithic group. They had huge differences in philosophy. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton did not see eye-to-eye on most things. Arguments were deep and many delegates walked out of The Constitutional Convention. But most of them found ways to COMPROMISE. Perhaps I would even recommend for many of my conservative friends on these blogs that they watch the BYU production of "A More Perfect Union." This is hardly a leftist interpretation of things. But they will see all of this history and the honest and intense disagreements many had. But ultimately they will also see how these great men dropped their swords so to speak to find common ground to create a nation. I don't know if this is moderation or an honest respect for loyal opposition. That has been lost a bit in our current state of politics. Everything is personal and compromise is hard if not impossible to achieve between strident points of view.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    May 21, 2013 6:55 p.m.

    I shall vote against my state representatives next election for doing nothing to change the caucus system. I shall also ask my delegates at the next caucus meeting if they voted against changing the system. If they did, I'll vote against them, too. We, the people, have the right to vote directly for our candidates. We don't need a filter.

  • On the other hand Riverdale, MD
    May 21, 2013 6:24 p.m.

    The Utah Republican Party is dominated by the far right, even though Utah as a state is not. Contrary to what the author would have you believe, today's Utah Democratic Party is a very moderate party whose values are very much in line with the average Utahn's. In recent years, Utah's Republican Party has amply demonstrated their disconnect with Utahns by trying to kill GRAMA, restrict access to sex education, allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, and meddle with the state curriculum, among other things. They even managed to take away from municipalities most of their rights to restrict fireworks, proving that they're only in favor of local government when it's convenient for them. More and more Utahns are waking up to the fact that the Republican Party isn't representing their interests.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2013 6:18 p.m.

    One of the principles of those wanting to gut the neighborhood election caucus meeting and convention system we have in Utah, was this: " A system that provides inherent advantages to those who are incumbent, wealthy or famous is not acceptable."

    The problem is their proposals would do exactly that.

    The Caucus System in Utah is the best way to make sure grass roots movements can work over large amounts of money. It is the only way someone with $100,000 can go against someone with $2,000,000 in election funds.

    There were about 120,000 republicans in Utah that went to the neighborhood caucus elections in 2012 to elect the 4000 State Delegates. Add to those numbers the democrats and the primary elections. Certainly the municipal elections didn't do any better in voter representation.

    Bypassing the Caucus / Convention System will NOT create more participation. There are 4000 state delegates that spend countless hours vetting candidates to be on the ballot. They are selected by those that attend the neighborhood election caucus meeting. You just have to attend.

    The current system does not protect the incumbent, wealthy or famous. I think that is a good thing.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    May 21, 2013 4:10 p.m.

    georgeof the jungle

    Are you familiar with history? You may want to look up feudalist societies and see how well that worked out.

  • DougS Oakley, UT
    May 21, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    While "Conservatives" actually believe in less government control,
    "Moderates" seem to feel that it is best to "get along" Democrats don't actually believe in "Democracy" as a form of government (hardly anyone does)because leaving any issue in the hands of a simple majority is risky at best. When you believe in a strong central government, you believe in granting ultimate power, including life and death, to that body. Hitler did it, Stalin did it, Mao did it, Idi Amin did it, and with the help of "moderates", Obama will do it.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    May 21, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    I've lived a long time. Hardcore conservatives have always been the same only now more so. They were against the GI Bill, against the Marshall Plan, against Medicare, against the civil rights movement (it was a "communist conspiracy," as I remember), against women's rights, against fully funding education. What are they for? War, bombs, guns, and destruction. Being the biggest bully. Jingoist patriotism. Unfettered capitalism. Free-range pollution. Exclusionary voting. Mining and drilling the landscape. The enemy is anyone who looks different or isn't a "Christian" or speaks English with an accent or cleans toilets for a living. Today they have become more than annoying. Their contempt for anyone outside their camp has become nauseating. Abandon hope, ye Utah moderates...

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    May 21, 2013 1:15 p.m.

    No, moderates are NOT wishy-washy wimps.

    Moderates are people who try to become well informed, who try to think clearly and then, based on what they learn by paying attention and listening to as many different ideas as they can -- try to cast a vote based on WISDOM and not mindless propaganda.

  • Lew Scannon Provo, UT
    May 21, 2013 1:13 p.m.


    So the progressives are trying to undermine our freedoms. Like the freedom to get health care when you need it instead of when you can afford it? My European friends feel a lot more free with their single-payer system than most Americans I know.

    But of course free to conservatives means the freedom the market dispenses, a freedom enjoyed by those who own and control capital but not so much by those who are owned and controlled as "human resources." Has it ever occurred to you that most hired employees in America do not enjoy much freedom at work? In fact, they give up several of their Constitutional freedoms every day when they walk through their employer's door. If you conservatives really wanted to secure freedom for all citizens, you would throw all your rhetoric behind worker ownership of business. Then the people would really be free. As long as you support the current corporate system of ownership, you don't support freedom. You support economic authoritarianism.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 21, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    There are conservatives, then there are stupid conservatives.
    Stupid conservatives want the my way or the highway approach which is basically, "if I don't like it, it should be gone."
    The real conservative says, "yes I feel government is too big. It has its place but is too big." They also say, "people should take responsibility for themselves."

    What I'm saying is, there is a purpose and a place for government, but not at the risk of our personal freedoms. The purpose of a conservative is to work with the other side and strive to make legislation better but not give up the farm doing it. Also not trying to please all of the people all of the time, like moderates.

    Why don't we try to eat the elephant one bite at a time instead of the whole thing at once? The progressives have figured that out and continue to undermine our freedoms with continual control of the media and our education structure.

    Moderates need to quit crying and try to get along. They whine loudest when they don't get their way. Democrat lite.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    May 21, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    The caucus system is far and away THE BEST system to get yourself elected, especially if you don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to start with.

    If you're a moderate you can go to you local precinct meetings and try to elect a moderate to represent you. Or, you can run yourself if you have a mind to. Just because someone, in their big campaign ads tries to tell you they're a moderate - don't believe them. Let them tell you in person at the state convention.

    The only reason I see behind the big push to reform the caucus system are two things.

    1. Incumbents feel "put out" that they have to secure their place on the ballot, even though they've been in their elected positions since the beginning of time.
    2. The media doesn't get tons of money spent on commercials BEFORE the caucus (or open ballot) takes place. The media, obviously would like money from "well-heeled" candidates before primary voting even takes place.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 21, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    Oakley, UT

    I would classify the "Founding Fathers" as "Right Wing Conservatives"...



    Try turning off your Glenn Beck University reading a some actual History.

    The Right-Wing Conservatives were the Torries who wanted to "Conserve" the British Crown.

    The Founding Fathers were uber-Liberal "PROGRESSIVES".
    They didn'w want to conserve anything the European Monarch had to offer.

    All men being Equal?
    One man, One vote - regardless of wealth or social class?
    Live and Let Live?
    To each his own?
    Public Services - Roads, Fire and Police departments, Free Public Schools [something unheard of in Europe] including a Constitutional requirement for a Post Office [something right wing conservatives can't wait to kill today...]

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2013 12:44 p.m.


    Who should pick primary candidates? The party? Or the People?

    People keep saying "we need an election for Republican primary candidates". Do you think Democrat primary candidates are elected by tax payers? Have YOU ever voted to pick a Democrat primary candidate? You can't... there is no such election. Democrat primary candidates are picked at their convention just like Republican candidates. Only dif is who attends the convention... Who votes at the Democrat Convetion (hint... party_officials).

    Who votes at the Republican Convention... (hint... normal every-day tax paying people like you and me are selected by your neighbor's votes at the neighborhood caucus). What's so terrible about that? I don't get the outrage.

    Do you want party officials you don't even know picking the primary candidates (like Democrats)? or normal everyday people from your neighborhood (like Republicans)?

    IF you think tax payers elect Democrat primary canidates... you are terribly mis-informed on the process.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    You think tax payers should be the only ones to vote...

    1. Who do you think votes in caucuses? (hint... tax payers)
    2. What do you think every delagate is? (hint... tax payers)
    Here's the kicker...
    3. Who do you think picks the Democrat's primary candidates? (hint... not neccesarily tax payers, and not even Utahns... they are picked by the DNC and their local surrogates at the convention).
    4. Who do you think would be more succeptable to big business pressures and political quid-pro-quo offers? Party officials? Or normal everyday working stiff tax payers like you and me (hint delegates are just you and me, you could be a delegate if you went to your local caucus meeting and raised your hand when they ask for volunteers).

    So... who should pick the primary candidates? The party? or the people?

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    May 21, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    Far East USA, SC
    Well? What is a moderate?

    I consider myself one. You tell me...


    You and MOST commentors on these boards are indeed moderate.

    It's just the goal posts here in Utah have mooved so far to the uber-far-right-wing --
    We EASILY come across and are viewed as extremely liberal-lefties.

    Just like Ronald Reagan would be today.

    BTW - abortion.
    Moderates can seen the rare legal need for it in the cases of Rape, Incest, life and health of the woman.

    The GOP says a rape victim needs to make lemons out of lemon aid, or IF the rape is lgitimate - the woman will naturally some how magically abort automatically.

    And a doctor must sit back and let a woman die during emergency complications during childbirth.

    The extremeist all-or-nothing GOP uber-far-right-wing position currently isn't in-line or in harmony with the position of the LDS Church.

    THAT and everything else you discribed is why Moderates are not welcome in today's GOP.

  • QuickRick Brigham City, UT
    May 21, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    Some like to point to Mitt Romney as an example of the Republican party being too conservative for "moderates". In fact, Mitt lost because too many conservative Republicans stayed home, not trusting him to uphold their conservative principles. He had spoken in favor of gay marriage and pro-choice (pro-abortion), and had authored the health care plan in Massachusetts that many believe was the blueprint for Obamacare. He said he had "repented" of his past indiscretions and was now a true conservative, bot too many were not convinced. As a result, he wasn't able to turn out the base. Mr. Obama actually received fewer votes than he had 4 years earlier. It was conservatives not voting that gave him the election.

    Mr. McCain lost in large part because conservatives were still feeling betrayed by George W., who had spent like a drunken sailor during his last couple years in office, aided and abetted by McCain and other moderate Republicans. Too many chose to stay home, thus leaving the door open for Mr. Obama.

    Instead of wringing hands and trying to appeal to moderates, perhaps the Republican party should consider electing a conservative next time.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    May 21, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    What ever happened to Calvin Rampton, Scott Matheson, Wayne Owens, or Gunn McKay?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    Why do "Moderates" always loose to "Radicals"? Because the "radicals" care more!

    Think about it... if you were going to lead a group of individuals into battle... would you want the group who care moderatly? Or those who care radically?

    Personally I don't buy the stereotype that if you like the old system you are a "Radical" or an "Extremist". I think that's just media biased bunk. Of course SOME are... but that doesn't mean ALL are. SOME are radical on EITHER side of any issue if you ask me (not just one side, and not just this issue).

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    May 21, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    "...I want my choice to be clear whether Democrat or Republican, Independent or Libertarian...".

    Too many seemingly clear choices adopt political positions based upon their audience.

  • DougS Oakley, UT
    May 21, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    Apparently, winning elections is far more important than what is expected from those who were elected. I would classify the "Founding Fathers" as "Right Wing Conservatives" yet many compromises were made in the founding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I am not against compromise, just those thaty violate principles of good, limited, government.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    May 21, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    Yes, Utah will remain out of touch and will keep electing extreme conservatives. But as the nation recoils from the extreme right wing, Utah will become increasingly irrelevant (as if we weren't irrelevant enough already). And just because right-wingers keep harping about the Democrats' liberal agenda doesn't make it so. Much of what President Obama has promoted would have been seen as very moderate, even right of center, a couple of decades ago.

    If you read the Utah Democratic Party's positions on a swath of issues, you realize they are pretty much a moderate party. They don't need to change to offer a realistic alternative. They already do. Utahns just need to wake up and see how out of touch the Utah GOP has become.

    The national GOP apparatus conducted some official navel gazing after the disastrous national elections in November 2012. They are the ones who declared themselves "out of touch," a party for "old white men," and so on. They are at a loss as to how to shed this image. But in Utah, most Repubs want to embrace this image. I say, go ahead. Sink your own ship. It's probably inevitable anyway.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 21, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    UT legislators Jason Chaffetz and Mike Lee are helping to bring the Republican Party down.

    President Barack Obama could possibly face impeachment over his administration's handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, anniversary attack in Benghazi, Libya, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) repeated in an interview with National Review published Monday.

    "This is an administration embroiled in a scandal that they created," Chaffetz said. "It's a cover-up. I'm not saying impeachment is the end game, but it's a possibility, especially if they keep doing little to help us learn more."

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    May 21, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    What needs to be brought up; is that gerrymandering by Utah republicans, has skewed the numbers of actual republicans in this state.
    Everyone deserves a voice; republicans have decided to silence the votes of Utah democratic voters, through unethical, and what should be illegal, arbitrary voting districts.
    This is not a good thing.
    There needs to be an independent committee to draw voting districts.
    It would be better to have a fair number of democratic representatives in our Utah legislature. It would prevent so many of the things that have happened recently: failure to pass an ethics law, trying to eliminate GRAMMA disclosure. Wasting our tax money on law suits; that could be better spent on our schools.
    We should be sending at least two democratic congressmen to Washington.
    Voters in SLC are being cheated out of their right to elect who they believe is best for the state.

  • Makid Kearns, UT
    May 21, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    I am a Moderate Republican.

    This means that I don't completely endorse either parties policies yet I see positives in both sides.

    Being a moderate, this allows me to look at the candidate directly. Are they willing to listen to and accept criticism, are they willing to see something from a different point of view or are they to engrained in the party doctrine that they are always right no matter what the evidence may show?

    These are the questions that I ask myself when I am researching the candidates for each office. Party affiliation is less than 25% of my consideration due to the far right leaning politics of the current Republican party.

    I would encourage more people to look at the candidates rather than the party affiliation. There are good people on both sides and there are bad people on both sides. It is those in the middle that will listen to their constituents because they know that the people elect them, not the party.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 21, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    Well? What is a moderate?

    I consider myself one. You tell me.

    I like the FDA and feel safer knowing they are there. Are there problems? Sure. But, I dont want to disband them. Just fix them.

    Wars should be a last resort. I feel that our military budget is far too high and could be scaled back where the military is forced to make better choices. Hear about the Abrams tank that the politicians push and the military does not want?

    I think our government spends too much money. We need a big cut in spending. Military, SS and Medicare need to be looked at first because thats where the big money is.

    I am not gay, but dont see gay marriage as a threat.

    Bush was a good guy. Made some mistakes and did some things I disagree with, but is a decent person. I could make he exact statement about Obama.

    We need reasonable and balanced Govt. Left completely in charge, the Dems will hurt this country. Same with the GOP.

    I think money corrupts both parties and would love to see all corp and union money out of the election process.

    Does that make me_Moderate?

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    I agree with DougS, "moderates" seem wishy washy in principle. They want to please everyone and wind up pleasing no one. If we agree on the broad goal, compromise is a way to get many people on board. Today, compromise from conservatives means getting half of the desired outcome which is ineffective and wasteful.

    Today is a battle of ideas and philosophies, moderates just want to get along, they ride on whatever train is in the station without a clear philosophy or goal.

    The liberal Left is basically unified in goal and purpose and do not allow deviation from their ranks. The conservative Right is getting the message and unifying their message and membership. Moderates don't like the Left but don't want to join the Right, they just sit in the middle trying to feel good about their acceptance and openness and in the end they have no goal, soul or following.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 21, 2013 6:47 a.m.

    The whole premise of this article assumes that the choices are right wing Republican or Democrat.

    Isn't the real issue, right wing republican vs moderate republican?

    Like it or not, right wing Republicans will not win the presidency. Try nominating Ted Cruz or Rand Paul in 2016 and see how far they get.

    The GOP pushes candidates so far right to get the nomination, that they become unpalatable to the general electorate.

    Perfect example is Mitt "I am a severe Republican" Romney.

    The GOP is in full out civil war. And those who are the loudest would rather lose with their ideal candidate than win with a moderate.

    Seriously, does anyone consider Reagan right wing?

  • DougS Oakley, UT
    May 21, 2013 6:27 a.m.

    For many years, people had little choice in their candidate because there were no "principles" clearly available. A "moderate", in my book, is a "fence sitter" and therefore, can decide any issue based on which way the wind blows (or the money comes from). If an election is lost because the candidate fails the "popularity" test, who is the real losers? I want my choice to be clear whether Democrat or Republican, Independent or Libertarian. Then I should have a better idea of what I would be getting.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    May 21, 2013 6:26 a.m.

    I think that tax payers should be the only ones to vote.