Boyd Matheson: A real political transformation will require Americans to give up their greatest fear

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  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 22, 2019 2:39 p.m.

    @one old man
    RE: "We need to flush the power of money by limiting campaign donations"...
    ---
    Not sure you're aware of this but... Dems spent way more money on elections than Rs.

    Google it.

    Google "Trump spent about half of what Clinton did on his way to the presidency - CNBC"...

    Google "McCain Couldn't Compete With Obama's Money - WSJ"...

    Google "Fundraising for the 2008 United States presidential election - Wikipedia"...

    Sometimes I think Dems don't think about what they post before they post it.

    As if going after the spending angle is going to make Rs look bad (when Ds spend 2-to-1 more than Rs do on Presidential campaigns).

    Or going after military service... When Ds haven't nominated a person with military service for 50 years, and all but 2 R nominees in the past 50 years had military experience.

    Do you guys even look at your own record before Assuming posting msnbc blathering points will work?

    Ds spend more than Rs. But money in politics is Assumed to be only an R-issue?

    And D's harping on military service? With the lack of military service Dem nominees have had lately?

    That works in your mind?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 22, 2019 2:12 p.m.

    @jeclar
    RE: "The lie that there exists an extreme "Left" in any sense of the word in the Democratic Party"...
    --
    What about ANTIFA, SDS, Weather Underground, Black Panthers, Muslim Brotherhood, etc?

    They are "Extreme".
    They are "Left".

    That's what we're talking about.

    Also Socialist and Communist party members who caucus with Democrats.

    ==

    RE: "Roosevelt volunteered for military action"... "None of the Republican figures today match any of these antecedents"...
    ---
    Not sure you're aware of this but... Neither do recent Democrats.

    Hillary Clinton - No military service
    Barack Obama - None
    John Kerry - Military experience, but totally anti-military after his service
    Al Gore - No
    Bill Clinton - No
    Michael Dukakis - No
    Walter Mondale - No
    Carter - Yes
    That goes back 50 years.

    John McCain had military experience. Did you vote for McCain? Or Obama?

    ===

    RE: "This shows how far to the extreme Right the GOP has moved"...
    ---
    So... what does the list tell you about Democrats?

    Do Dem Nominees serve in military? Nope.

    McCain - Yes
    George Bush - Yes
    Dole - Yes
    GHW Bush - Yes
    Reagan - Yes
    Ford...
    All served in the military

    Did you vote for them?

  • glacierlake3 Provo, UT
    June 21, 2019 12:37 p.m.

    If you cannot gain enough money to market your product you losing ground. And as the size of the bigger groups change in people change and are losing ground it gives hope to the smaller groups to increase this keeps america growing in greatness through the battlefield. So it becomes a matter of what you are marketing. and even helping losers in the market that are on sound principle is better than building an unsound and sick society.

  • GoWest Herriman, UT
    June 20, 2019 1:25 p.m.

    We need to push for electoral reforms like ranked-choice voting. Being able to rank your choices would weaken the "this or that" dichotomy that the parties thrive on. It would encourage candidates to broaden their appeal and chase after more the moderate voters rather than just their base supporters.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    June 20, 2019 12:56 p.m.

    Third try screen name - Mapleton, UT
    ---
    Libertarians have tried that for years with no success. They have to sneak themselves onto the GOP stage to even get any press. The ground game, with homemade yard signs is loyal, but too small to get any traction.
    ---

    The libertarians who 'sneak' into the GOP are total hypocrites. The only thing they think about is their pocketbook. They do not support personal 'liberty', in the least, but rather support a strong state agenda every where else.

    They've not advocated say, eliminating laws banning even marijuana, since a fundamental element of libertarianism is that an individual should be free to chose what they do to themselves. They could have advocated a tax, such as what is on alcohol, for an government income source.

    Even in business, Libertarians should be for Free Market not government tariffs and trade wars.

    Libertarians in the GOP were not on the forefront of the push for removing laws prohibiting the LGBT community from marrying, by calling for the state to get out of the personal relationship licensing business altogether.

    These pocketbook Libertarians are essentially just Republicans who are stingier than most.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    June 20, 2019 12:40 p.m.

    From the Article:
    "Many citizens say they are tired of the extreme left and extreme right of political parties driving the national agenda."

    And later

    "The test for the American people is to quit believing the lies of fear."

    Yes, quit believing the lies of fear, starting with the lie that there exists an extreme "Left" in any sense of the word in the Democratic Party.

    Bill Clinton, and later Hillary, were essentially Republicans, with a Democrat party label.

    In US politics, the only reason why Democrats are seen as 'left', is because of how many Republicans have moved to the far right.

    No Hoover, no Eisenhower, no Teddy Roosevelt, is to be found on the Republican stage. Trump is none of those in any respect, Roosevelt volunteered for military action. Eisenhower was a junior officer in WWI and the Supreme Allied Commander in WWII. Hoover was an able administrator of relief programs after both WWI an WWII in the countries destroyed by war, whether Allies or Axis. As a private person he was involved with China relief before the World Wars.

    None of the Republican major figures today match any of these antecedents.

    This shows how far to the extreme Right the GOP has moved.

  • GoWest Herriman, UT
    June 20, 2019 12:26 p.m.

    The problem is that centrists, moderates, independents tend to be less active and vocal in politics. Just take a look at the comments and you'll see the type of voters that are active in their parties and who are willing to make calls, distribute flyers, volunteer etc. Most centrists just don't have the passion to move them to action. That is how you explain the numbers of the polls, it's easy to SAY you want your government to compromise and function civilly. But when it comes to actually DOING something about it, even simply voting, we centrists can't be bothered to get up off the couch.

  • VisiGuest Mancos, CO
    June 20, 2019 11:10 a.m.

    Term limits
    Do we really want to be represented by a bunch of temps?

    We have a system designed for information moving at the speed of horse serving 1% of the present population

    Our systems are overwhelmed by the quantity & complexity of the decisions to be made

    We need more feedback channels for informed opinion

    Further, if money is speech, that means corporate entities get extra representation, but maintain limited liability...

    We outsourced the vetting of candidates to the fan[atic]s, because they work for free, the alternative would require raising taxes
    The political parties write their own rules well disconnected from any effective oversight

    Every bureaucracy needs to follow some basics:
    Due Process
    Transparency
    Effective Oversight

    Find the missing bits the failures become easier to spot & fix...

  • DonO Draper, UT
    June 20, 2019 8:47 a.m.

    We're facing a Catch-22. Term limits would solve a lot of these problems but members of Congress will never allow it. It isn't Americans at large who are "afraid of losing power", it's the firmly entrenched members of Congress who love fat paychecks, supreme healthcare, assured easy retirement...and, oh yes, power. Case in point: Orrin Hatch promised several times during his decades in the Senate that "this term will be my last", playing on people's desire for term limits. But when push came to shove he played the "only I can help you" card and ran again, and again, and again. And Utahns fell for it. Only his poor health finally forced him out. Did he do good for the state? Sure he did. Could someone else have served us well. Certainly. Unless/until we hold elected officials accountable with regular turnover we deserve exactly what we get.

  • All American Herriman, UT
    June 20, 2019 8:18 a.m.

    @kbee & @imsmarterthanyou - You both nailed it! The biggest fear of those of us with common sense is giving up our values and living under a socialist/communist regime. Show me a democrat candidate who isn't heading in that direction. There isn't one - so it has to be Trump for another 4 years. And no, he isn't expanding executive power any more than any other president before him. He's doing whatever he can to keep his promises and is being blocked by some republicans, all democrats, and an out-of-control judiciary trying to stop what is constitutionally the president's job.

  • one old man MSC, UT
    June 20, 2019 8:00 a.m.

    I never thought I would agree with n8tive, but today is an exception. In Utah, we may have the alternative he suggests.

    Check out the United Utah Party.

    But a lot more must be done.

    We need to flush the power of money by limiting campaign donations, requiring transparency, setting term limits, and so much more. Until we eliminate the abuses of our electoral system, we will make no progress.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    June 20, 2019 7:38 a.m.

    This article has a false premise: America is not tired of both the extreme Right and the extreme Left. We are tired of the Extreme Left; and anything to the Right of the extreme Left has been labelled by the media as "Extreme Right".
    Simple respect for laws, respect for the Constitution, acceptance of election outcomes, promotion of traditional moral values, and a belief that America was "great" were considered very "normal", mainstream positions in prior generations. Now, of course, it is considered a "hate crime" to wear a hat signifying a belief in American greatness.

    The pseudo-intellectual elitists and journalists absolutely despise Trump because he is not an intellectual and doesn't speak like an academician. He is a bare-knuckled street brawler, and he wins. That is exactly what we needed to end the slide into insipid socialism and rule by a political class that believed they have a "right to rule". Hillary believed and stated that it was "her turn" and the presidency was "stolen" from her.
    No, it wasn't. She was rejected. Trump is the one tough enough and crude enough to stop the slide. He awakened the average Americans that the elites call "deplorable".

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2019 6:28 a.m.

    Well my greatest fear is living under a socialist/communist regime. That's why I fight against any democrat getting a single vote. As far as I'm concerned, a vote for a democrat is a slap in the face to any soldier, and their family, who has ever fought, bled, and died to keep America the Land of the Free.

  • kbee Syracuse, UT
    June 20, 2019 6:18 a.m.

    Am I getting the main point of the article? Give up your fear of losing power to move forward and be willing to set your values aside so that we can have peace in politics and get something done by meeting in the middle. This fight for ideals in politics has been going on since John Adams. It's not about fear in my opinion. It's about values. How do you meet in the middle on abortion? How do you meet in the middle about increased taxation and religious bigotry and your free speech being suppressed and economic policies and political correctness and socialism taking over our democracy and intrusion of privacy by federal police agencies? A stand must be taken on these things because it's an erosion of values and a break down of the constitution and freedom. This isn't about fear. It's the opposite. It's about patriotism and being brave. The media spreads fear. Trump isn't frightening, he's just flawed and rude.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 20, 2019 6:04 a.m.

    @ NoNames

    "Stop imposing one-size fits all on 320 million, diverse people."

    Then why support a guy that sees everything as "only I can fix it?" Trump isn't out there re-balancing the separation of powers. He's leveraging everything he has to haul more power to the Executive.

    Also, please tell me which provides the bigger umbrella:

    Only certain people can marry and I don't have to serve those who disagree with me.
    No restrictions on what we believe about marriage or how we practice this in our private lives, but this gets checked at the door of public accommodations.

    Abortion is morally wrong and this view should be enforced upon all.
    No restrictions on what we believe about abortion or how we practice this in our private lives, but this gets checked at the door of someone else's private life.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2019 12:53 a.m.

    Get tid of the two party system and eldct the most qualified individuals with a focus on the country. Get rid of lobbyists, all the $ out of our elections, have term limits and our country can be great again. We have allowed our politicsl system to become corrupt. We can change this.

  • I.M. Fletch Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 8:05 p.m.

    Name a presidential republic with a multiparty system that is flourishing, then you can gripe about how the two party system pushes us towards the wings and doesn't work.

    While Westminster style parliamentary multiparty systems seem to push governance towards the center, presidential multiparty systems seem to empirically show a higher degree of polarization and instability in general.

    Given the Constitution, and despite it's imperfections, I'll stick with our two party system. And I'll consider the current Trump/Clinton/Sanders polarization a problematic blip rather that a long term trend.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    June 19, 2019 6:14 p.m.

    The problem is that far too many issues have become federal matters. We used to joke about not making smalls things "a federal matter". Today, almost everything is.

    Large, rural, Western State endured decades of a 55 mph speed that didn't much bother small, crowded, Eastern urban States. In Nevada, for several years, single car crashes on rural highways were a major cause of automobile deaths. People falling asleep at the wheel driving the hypnotic and idiotic 55 mph over hundreds of miles of empty, flat, straight roads.

    We finally got congress off our backs and States can once again set speed limits. Urban areas can still set limits at 55 or lower if they like. But rural areas can drive sensible speeds. We can all get along.

    We do likewise with gambling, alcohol, prostitution, rent control, zoning, and many other issues.

    Want to reduce the partisian divide? What to get money out of politics? Get national politics out of areas best left to the States: Elective abortion, health care, public lands management, definition of marriage, education, marijuana, and funding & paying for most government services.

    Stop imposing one-size fits all on 320 million, diverse people.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    June 19, 2019 5:02 p.m.

    We all want an improvement...then reality sets in.

    U-UP, Evan McMullin, Ross Perot, Ralph Nader...we want change, but when we think a moment, we realize they will need support from those already in office to get anything done. It would take a slate of candidates nationwide to bring any real change.

    Libertarians have tried that for years with no success. They have to sneak themselves onto the GOP stage to even get any press. The ground game, with homemade yard signs is loyal, but too small to get any traction.

    Bernie Sanders isn't a Democrat, but he ran as one to get any publicity at all.

    The Trump model was to hijack the GOP, which he did. But party support wasn't forthcoming. We have an outsider, swallowed by the machine. And he won the election!

    What hope does a dark horse have in a system like that?

    A third party sounds great...but not when you think it through.

  • deseret pete Springville, UT
    June 19, 2019 4:52 p.m.

    The biggest fear people had ( advocated by the Democrats and main stream media ) was that Trump would ruin everything . It did't happen -- he has been doing what he said he would do and that was why he was elected and the people like promises kept. --- You may not like his bedside manner or leadership style but the job of draining the Swamp is not for sissies. You have to roll up your sleeves and get a little dirt on your hands because these Swamp creatures are holding on for their political life as you can tell by the number of swamp creatures running for President with an agenda most Americans would be ashamed of --- Unfortunately most of the people running has been in the swamp for years and the rest thinks they like the perks of the Swamp. and don't want to let go. ---

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 19, 2019 3:02 p.m.

    @Sportsfan
    I like term limits too... but it will never happen. To many people are afraid of losing power/representation.

    Some say use elections as term limits. That doesn't work either (for the same reason).

    Everybody's afraid of letting the other party win (and having a government that sees you as the "Enemy" in power).

    Too many people see a vote for a 3rd-party candidate as a vote for the party they don't want. The only thing a 3rd-party or independent candidate can do is split the vote for the candidate most like them. So they end up insuring someone like them can't win.

    I know... it's messed up.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 19, 2019 2:18 p.m.

    What most people fear is... the other party being in power.

    It shouldn't matter which party is in power. They should both represent us. We're all Americans. Either party should represent us. But in reality they don't. They see the other Americans as their "Enemy". Ask Barack, or Hillary, both called R's America's biggest "Enemy" (not Russia, China).

    When our leaders see the other half of America as their "Enemy"... we have a problem in America.

    When our leaders see us as their "enemy"... they aren't representing us. And that's a big problem.

    ===

    The problem with a 3rd party is... Nobody dares vote for that 3rd party. Because it leaves you open to losing your representation, and then being represented by the "Enemy" if you vote 3rd party.

    So we are stuck voting for the 2 parties. Or risk being the vote that lead to your party losing power, and you becoming the "Enemy" of your own Government. That's not good.

    So we are stuck. Voting for a party (instead of a person). Because we are afraid of becoming a person the current regime sees as the "Enemy".

    When you live in a country where the Government sees you as the enemy.. not good.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    June 19, 2019 11:41 a.m.

    What we are learning from the 2016 election is that Russia has studied America’s political process for years, our divisions, and have pinpointed the weak links and how to exploit them to Russia’s advantage by manipulating the American electorate from under cover. Their tools are the very computer and marketing technologies acquired from the West. Keep an eye on China who may be next.

    It’s a scary new world in which America loses control of its electoral system. Our fatalism and complacence for politics as usual is our Achilles heel. It can be fixed but that is not likely as long as America’s two major parties sleepwalk from one election cycle to the next with a growing number of outsiders now on top of the game.

  • Sportsfan123 Herriman, UT
    June 19, 2019 10:46 a.m.

    There needs to be term limits, people like Pelosi and McConnell have been in office way to long. They and many on both sides have proven that being in political office for long periods of time is a source of wealth and power, through the lobyist system corporations foreign and domestic have the ability to effect policy and laws for their benefit leaving the average american citizen as an after thought. Two recently retired long term politicians in Hatch and Harry Ried are both prime examples both started politics as average citizens and both retired as millionaires, both pocketing millions from lobbyist's over decades.

    This in my opion is the biggest problem, where politicians get paid to pass laws from private interest groups instead of simply passing laws that benefit the american people.

    This in a sense is a legal bribe and it is the primary catalyst that drives the corruption we see in our govt on both sides.

    We need to have a convention of the governors to take back our country and hold recall elections to remove anyone who has served more than two terms in office regardless of party offiliation.

    The extremist need to be removed and anyone talking socialism need not apply

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    June 19, 2019 10:28 a.m.

    Get big money, especially corporate money, out of politics. A 3rd party cannot currently compete with the boatloads of cash in both parties.

  • n8ive american Shelley, Idaho
    June 19, 2019 10:20 a.m.

    On one side we have a party of Nationalism, America first ideology. On the other, we have a party pushing socialism, wealth redistribution.
    It would be nice if there were something, someone, in the middle. But after our last president, things have become too divided. Each side has gone further away from the center. How will it end? Don't know. Right now we have politicians getting more and more extreme. One side pushes harder left so the other pushes harder right to counter. Back and forth, farther and farther apart with the average American in the middle of a political tug-of-war.
    A third, independent party would be best for America. Or do away with the political parties all together. Vote for the best person for the job.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 10:12 a.m.

    The flip side is if you do not pay attention to warning signs, you are courting trouble. Ironically, do not be afraid of your fears, they have a purpose. The idea is you have to not let your fears overpower you, to make you panic. As for the past presidential election, it was not just fear of what Clinton would do - her record and positions were clearly against my positions; and Trump's agenda were along the lines of what I believed to be the right course. I agree agendas are not usually given much attention after elections, but Trump honored his. Which impressed me.

  • Dart Thrower Ogden, UT
    June 19, 2019 10:03 a.m.

    Boyd, good points, but the people fanning the flames of fear are politicians themselves. Right wing radio, the NRA, then Fox News has demonstrated that constantly beating "fear the others" drum pays great dividends, both for the entity beating the drum and for the broader cause. Now equivalents on the left are using the same tactics to try and enrage the base. People who are afraid vote and vote often. Being middle of the road yields nothing.

    I fear (no pun intended) that outside interests (Russians and others) will continue to fan the flames. The more they can get us to fight internally, the weaker we become as a nation. At some point there will be catalyst - we lose a war, a great depression, a pandemic - that will force people to consider, then back, the common good.