Note: This article originally appeared in the Deseret News on May 12, 2017.
Editor's note: This article from scholar Richard Davis is a response to the recent reactions to Taylor G. Petrey's piece "The failures of Mormon conservativism." These opinion articles are part of an ongoing Deseret News opinion series exploring ideas and issues at the intersection of faith and thought.
Which is it? Have the predominant conservative forces in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints led church membership on a path to political failure, as Taylor Petrey suggests? Or is the church inherently conservative and therefore the calls for more progressivism essentially contrary to the basic nature of LDS doctrine?Read more
The French election this past Sunday is being hailed as a victory for the establishment. The winner, Emmanuel Macron, was endorsed by the other candidates and parties, except for his opponent, Marine LePen. Admittedly, LePen’s victory would have been a huge upset, but Macron’s was significant because he was not a candidate of either of the two major parties that have governed France since 1958. His win is the latest sign that politics as we know it is changing significantly.
A major shift going on in global politics is the shaking up of traditional political parties and their influence in their respective nations. One example is the election of Donald Trump. Trump was anathema to the Republican establishment. And Trump, in turn, threatened to run as an independent if the Republican Party mistreated him during the nomination process, a serious threat for Republicans. Since Trump captured the Republican Party, almost unwillingly, his election was less a Republican victory than a populist one.Read more
I’m writing this on May 4, 2017, one year to the day after my father, Senator Bob Bennett, passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Dad had left office a little more than six years earlier, and he gave a farewell speech on the floor of the Senate that summed up his perspective on political parties. Its insights dovetail quite nicely with the goals and platform of the United Utah Party.Read more
Note: This article was originally published in the Deseret News on April 26, 2017.
Early in 2009, the tea party was formed by Republicans who were upset at the election of Barack Obama and the new Democratic majority in Congress. Tea party advocates held anti-Obama rallies and marches. They also crowded town hall meetings to question and shout at Democratic members of Congress. Also, they attacked establishment Republicans as RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) when they were not radical enough for the tea party. They began a campaign to unseat more moderate (but still conservative) Republicans who did not agree with the tea party.
The reaction from Democrats was disdain over such tactics. The tea party was extreme, outrageous and uncivil. Indeed, Democrats were ecstatic over the divisions in the Republican Party, including contested primaries and the unseating of more traditional Republican politicians.
Fast-forward to 2017. The scenario is repeating itself. The only difference is which side is doing what. The tea party advocates are in power now, including in the White House. Republicans control the Congress, including many who were tea party darlings.Read more
April 1, Gregg Schultz wrote an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune on Democrats voting in GOP primaries. It echoed the theme in the KSL April 2 special on “Civility: Changing the Conversation” in which our own former governor Jon M. Huntsman promoted a No Label movement to encourage Congressmen to get past the grid lock of partisan politics. But it’s not just politicians that are stuck. It might also be us.
Schultz’ proposal to frustrated citizens to reclaim a voice targets the earlier stage in the party process where a handful of delegates determine who we get to vote for.
Ouch. I feel stuck.Read more
My name is Jim Bennett.
I'm the son of the late Senator Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah), and for most of my adult life, I was a devoted member of the Grand Old Party. But in 2010, I discovered I wasn't really a Republican; I was a RINO.Read more