Newsletters and Updates

It’s time for some new leadership

It doesn’t take too much time looking at the news to realize that there are a lot of problems in the world. With all of the fires, the protests, riots, disease, and anger, do we really want more of the same leadership come this fall? 

 

The fundamental problem is this: Republicans blame the left, and Democrats blame the right, but they both refuse to put their heads together to find any solutions. In this era of hyper partisan politics, it seems everyone is pointing fingers. But what good does pointing fingers do? Blaming the other side does little good to improve our country’s outlook. What we need more than anything are politicians who want to fix this mess and are willing to do so. 

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We Need Political CPR

If you are losing heart over the attitudes of many legislators and with local and national partisan divisions, perhaps it’s time for some "CPR"!

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United Utah has emphasized the need for more cooperation, collaboration, and compromise. These are the C's of our CPR. It means worrying more about good policy solutions than glib partisan rhetoric. Compromising to find common ground has resulted in some noteworthy legislation, but these bipartisan efforts are too few and too far between.

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The Goldilocks Solution for Police Violence

With the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha Wisconsin, it is clear that we need to find a solution. The protests and riots are not likely to go away on their own. So what should the solution be? 

 

In the children’s fairy tale, Goldilocks goes through bowls of porridge, chairs, and beds, and discovers that moderation is a good thing. In our scenario, we have one side that wants to bring in troops to try and force people to go home, while the other side has struggled to make adjustments to the police force that are both significant enough to make a difference, and not so repressive that the police force quits. Like Goldilocks, we need moderation here. 

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Power Corrupts

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That quote is attributed to a British politician—Lord Acton. It is still as applicable today as it was when he lived in the 19th century. And it is also just as true in Utah as at the federal level. 

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The Problem With Cancel Culture

We all have disagreements with each other. There are no two people who are identical in their beliefs and thoughts. However, as we gather into liberal and conservative groups, and shut each other down, what do we gain? 

 

The excellent book “Crucial Conversations” by Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny, and Ron McMillan would ask what our goals are. If our goals are to persuade people to join our side of the fight, and to win votes, are we doing so by stepping into Cancel Culture or what the book calls “silence or violence”? If we wish to bring voters over to our side, Cancel Culture does not help us. 

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Reopening Schools At Teachers' Expense

Despite warnings from medical professionals, Utah is pushing forward with reopening schools this fall. Teachers are, yet again, going to bear the brunt of the burden. 

 

Utah’s spending per student is the lowest in the Union, and well below the national average for per student spending on schools. This means that teacher salaries are low, and materials and supplies are in short supply. This becomes particularly concerning at times like now when teachers are being asked to go the extra mile for our students.

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Taking the Political High Road

I noted an anniversary a few days ago that relatively few people would remember. It was on August 9, 1974 that Richard Nixon resigned as president of the United States as a result of the Watergate scandal.

That scandal was a tumultuous moment for our country. A president had been accused of breaking the law—obstructing justice by attempting to cover up a crime. A recording of conversation in the Oval Office uncovered that he had, indeed, broken the law. After a two year investigation by the press, the Senate Watergate Committee, and the House Judiciary Committee, (and a Supreme Court decision), President Nixon finally resigned. President Gerald Ford was correct when he said at his inauguration that day that "our long national nightmare is finally over."

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Looking for Moderates with Passion!

One person told me yesterday that they had been hoping for a moderate party to form for a long time. They jumped at the chance to join the UUP when it was organized.

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Patriots Pave a Way Forward

While celebrating Independence Day with my family, I have a patriotic playlist we listen to. It’s pretty eclectic—from Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” to “Is Anybody There?” and from the soundtrack of the Broadway play 1776 to Katy Perry’s “Firework.”

But one song was particularly striking to me this year. It speaks of our nation being on a “long, hard ride” with “a ways to go” as we seek “better days.” It lauds the fact that “we’re not the same, but that’s what makes us strong.” And most importantly, it repeatedly affirms “this is still the place that we all call home.”

The song is Dierks Bentley's "Home." Ironically, it was written in 2012, a year that seems almost idyllic in retrospect. Eight years later, we’re facing a global pandemic, staggering unemployment, and nationwide protests against racial inequality. We are truly on a long, hard ride with a ways to go. 

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The United States and a United Utah

E pluribus unum: Out of many, one. This is the  former motto of our great country. Thirteen states came together through compromise and strife to become one. Had they remained 13 individual states, they could not have lasted, for they were not strong enough on their own. They needed the strength that comes from unity. 

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