I shouldn't be so hard on them. I just hope they or the public listen to me and the other moderates a little to get a better balance going in this state. I don't want everybody to agree with me or be Democrats. I just want a little respect for views other than the extreme conservatism that has taken over the Republican Party, worse here in Utah than even nationally.
What I would like to see in this state is a nice split of 40% Republicans and 40% Democrats saving 20% to be divided among the Libertarians or Greens or to remain Independents. The LDS Church actually promoted such a division at Statehood. They assigned members between the two national parties because they didn't want to have state politics defined by Mormon vs. Non-Mormon. (In those days, they had to force people to be Republicans!) My political ideal would be to have each political group or individual representative or senator share their best ideas and work out on common ground what the best way forward is for our state as a whole. Yeah. OK. Maybe a little idealistic.
Someone who prefers anonymity (although I've encouraged him to start his own blog) asked me the other day, what was the one thing that bothered me the most about modern conservative politics? He said he would give his answer after I gave mine. My response was (as if you couldn't tell already from this blog) the "religious" or self-righteous justifications for their politics along with the sometimes crusader mentality that ends justify the means. This appears to be the case even when they are non-religious with their secular dogma of conservatism and unquestionable patriotism. Historical examples that started me over the edge were the sanctimonious criminals Nixon and Agnew and the wrapped-in-the-flag felonious fraud of Oliver North.(By the way, I actually voted for Reagan- twice).
My friend's response was, "In a nutshell this is what bothers me the most. The sanctimony! The need to protect us from imagined threats. The idea that they are the arbiters of Freedom, that they and they alone understand the Constitution, the original intent of The Founders (as if they all had the exact same intent), the proper form of Government, the Scriptures. What should be taught in class. They are in effect everything they are warning you about."
Well, maybe we aren't the most temperate of passionate moderates.
But this is my philosophical problem and why I find myself sometimes feeling like a man without a country. The problems of modern US society appear to come out of the culture war that began in the 60s - youthful rebellion against war and restrictions on freedom leading to a moral-less wandering culture as idealistic as it may have been. And on the other side there was retrenchment in politics and culture, including a push back on civil rights. In religion, the camps split to the social gospel and believing whatever on one side, and on the other, again, retrenchment which for some became self-righteous fundamentalism. The Catholics, interestingly enough, seem to have gone both ways. I think maybe our LDS Church did too but not by halves. And those who rejected the restrictions on freedom sometimes separated themselves from the LDS church by choice or otherwise. Left in the middle once again, are those faithful who reject the predominantly political and cultural retrenchment without becoming libertines or intellectual apostates. That's why one of the stated purposes of my blog is to seek out faithful, moderate to progressive LDS so we can figure it out together. (Fair-minded, non-dogmatic conservatives are welcome too!)
And I'm not giving up. I swore that sacred oath to defend the Constitution on entering my federal employment and becoming an attorney. And I will keep up the fight the best way I can.
June 29, 2012
For some good news on Sandstrom's change of heart, click here.