Sunday, April 15, 2012

Davis County Democrats: No Longer in Hiding

We had a great time at the Convention yesterday afternoon. We filled the room at Farmington Jr. High. There were 363 delegates sent from precinct caucuses. The speakers commented that it was more than they had seen in 30 years. It was by multitudes more than two years ago when I thought a couple of dozen people could easily stage a coup and run away with the county convention sparsely seated throughout the auditorium at Layton High.

We opened yesterday with some cute, little, Girl Scouts doing the flag ceremony and we joined them in singing "America the Beautiful." A woman with a big silver cross gave a nice, Protestant invocation. The MC rambled and brought enough bad jokes of the Mormon High Councilor variety to make all us LDS Dems as uncomfortable as in any Third-Sunday Sacrament meeting.

We had great speeches from a slate of great candidates, even some in competition with each other. It's exciting to be hopeful there may actually be a living, breathing opposition party in the State and even in Davis County.

The best line from the speeches in the general session was in the midst of a list of all the things the Republican State Legislature has done, "They don't even want us to know how we procreate!" That was in reference to the bill that was even too much for our Republican Governor, who after public outcry, vetoed the legislature's attempt to cut off sex education in Utah public schools.

In our State Legislative District 18, nearly seventy of us crowded into a classroom to vote on a contested nomination for the State House. (The public school teachers in the group noted the crowded classroom wasn't too far off from their everyday reality.) We had two excellent candidates for the State House, Richard Bagley and Doug Macdonald. The vote was 36-32 for Bagley and they will go to the Primary election in June as neither achieved the 60% to avoid a run-off. I had the chance to volunteer for one of the five seats we still had for the State Convention but I held back to give others a chance and we approved the five volunteers by acclamation.

There is something going on in Utah. Besides that fact that the presumptive Republican nominee for President, Mormon Mitt Romney, is very popular around here, he is not exactly of the extreme right-wing no matter how hard he tries to pretend he is. The tea-partiers and Skousenites may vote for him but I think their influence is fading. And the Republican Party has some internal conflicts yet to resolve. Maybe they'll learn to do it in a democratic fashion.

The Democratic Party of Utah recently created an LDS Democrats Caucus. It seems to match on the political side what the LDS Church is doing on its part to encourage more wide-spread participation in the political process. I haven't joined yet as I am still a bit of a rebel when it comes to labels applied to myself (as I admittedly apply them so handily to others.)

Also in the general session was a house-keeping comment from the MC who asked, "Is there a John Taylor present? We have found your credentials on the floor and you will need them to vote." No one responded. I was tempted to shout out that I thought he was in hiding in Kaysville, but I wasn't sure how well the historical context  joke would be received.

But just maybe we Mormon Dems don't have to hide out anymore.

The sticker I picked up from the LDS Dems Caucus

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