Saturday, May 5, 2012

Dems Make Good Scouters

So, there I was m at Scout-o-rama trying to enjoy it - and I did for the most part. My wife was on the committee in charge of publicity. She worked with my son-in-law the past few months on the development and execution of a web-based game for Scouts to gather clues to find the location of Honorary Chairman Shawn Bradley's bicycle. The former NBA player and Eagle Scout has a custom built bike that is quite unusual. But then anything customized for a 7'6" guy has to be somewhat unique.

Congressman Matheson and I

And because my wife was on the steering committee, we got to go to the VIP breakfast before it all started. This is where the political part comes in. The only politician present was our only Democratic Congressman, the Honorable Jim Matheson of the 2nd District, now running in the newly gerrymandered 4th (I told him I had ended up in the 2nd and would have been glad to vote for him had he stayed).

I overheard him talking to someone about his thirteen-year-old son he is trying to motivate to finish up his Eagle Scout requirements. The point being, Matheson seemed like such a normal dad and nice guy. I found him most friendly and genuine. He's a politician so maybe he's well practiced at it. But still . . . .

I didn't take the time to tell him the story how his family was a part of the reason why I became a Democrat. Back in 1980, I split my ticket voting for Reagan for President (I've already confessed that error) and Scott Matheson for Governor. At least I knew how to pick two winners.

My conversion to the Democratic Party began when I witnessed the heckling of Jim's mother, Norma Matheson, Fist Lady of Utah at the time. It was in the Wilkinson Center Ballroom at BYU, of all places. I don't remember what was said but it was rude and gave me the same bad feeling some of the modern tea-party criticisms have hurling accusations challenging the patriotism and decency of good Democrats today. I do remember a heated discussion at the back of the jeering crowd between Omar Kader, my Poli-Sci 170 teacher who also served at the time as Utah County Democratic Party Chair, and some Republican political leader in attendance. Kader was attempting to have the anti-Matheson hecklers reigned in. They should have been. Jim has a nice mom. And he's a good dad and supporter of Scouting himself. He can't be all bad.

Shawn Bradley, my youngest son, and my two oldest grandsons at Scout-o-rama
My son-in-law put uniforms on the pre-Cubs so they would "fit in."

[Addendum of the next day, May 6, 2012  -  I should note for the record to clarify that Shawn Bradley is not a Democrat. He sought election to the Utah House as a Republican, but lost. Too bad, because he could have added a giant heap of moderation to that troubled party.]

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