Democracy Is Overrated | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Democracy Is Overrated 

Utah's Green Team, What's the R Stand for?

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Democracy Is Overrated
Was it nuance that was missing? That's what Deseret News opinion writer Boyd Matheson tries to persuade us about Mike Lee's now-infamous tweet bashing democracy. People just don't understand, and they take things too literally. Blah blah blah. "We're not a democracy," Lee tweeted at 7:34, the night of the vice-presidential debate. The next morning—at 12:24 a.m.—he sought to clarify, even with a glaring typo: "Democracy isn't the objective; liberty, peace and prospefity are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that." So, what was he reacting to? Harris had just talked about the threat "to our troops who are sacrificing their lives for the sake of our democracy and our safety." Only Lee could think she was talking about what he calls "rank democracy." Lee also swiped at the evil media, about which one follower noted "the Deseret News has gone full-lib." Lee has spent considerable time trying to 'splain to us that the media is bad and democracy means chaos. Authoritarian regimes say the same thing.


Utah's Green Team
The United States may be out of the Paris Climate Accord, but a "high-profile group of Utah business and political leaders" has now committed to combating climate change. Say what? KSL reported on a virtual event by Thomas Friedman of The New York Times in which he called on the state to lead out on "market-driven, green energy solutions for the air and climate." The group includes U.S. Reps. John Curtis and Ben McAdams and Sen. Mitt Romney, among others. There were more than 100 signatories on the document, and they are mostly focused on businesses leading the way. For now, it's just words, but words matter.


What's the R Stand for?
The election is right around the corner and the only question in Utah is by how much will Donald Trump win? This, despite a vigorous debate over who said what and how it plays in Mormondom. A Y2 Analytics poll puts Trump up by 10 points, and it doesn't seem to matter than he's not your mother's religious zealot, or that he denigrates The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or is base, misogynistic, racist and inconsistent. Utah Policy asked if character flaws mattered. They don't. The Salt Lake Tribune ran a story about how Mormons became so Republican. It was largely due to former church President Ezra Taft Benson and his dive into conspiracy, the Red Scare and McCarthyism, saying you can't be a good Mormon and good Democrat, too. The LDS faithful are in a heated exchange about that line of thought. But the "R" in Utah not only stands for Republican but "choose the right," as well.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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