The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Following your heart will hurt Utah

All people in Utah should vote Republican this election, not because they want to or should, but because they have to.

Politics today is a team sport. Don’t pick the candidate who best represents you and your views–pick the candidate who will do the best pork-barrel bargaining for the state.

If you don’t like that reality, then you need to get involved at the grassroots level where candidates are chosen and funds are raised.

In this election, it is too late to have a say in who will represent you. Right now, you have to make a decision about who will get the most done in Washington. In this election, that’s the Republicans.

It is quite possible that Democrats will gain the majority. But if they do, Jim Matheson will not magically become influential. Matheson voted to please his constituents, and that’s not how modern politics is done. Politics is a team sport, and he didn’t play well with his team. Like Joseph Lieberman, if the Democrats have the chance, they will probably sideline Matheson to punish his independence.

If the Republicans lose, they will still be a powerful minority. If Utah stays loyal to its red-state tradition, the Republican minority will make sure it gets taken care of.

People like Rob Bishop, Chris Cannon and Orrin Hatch were good team players. As a result, they have become powerful and important. If we remove them from Washington, we will only hurt ourselves.

When Hatch was interviewed by KUED about his platform, he didn’t seem to have one. He gave no justification for how he voted. He offered no rationale for his opinions. He toed the party’s and the president’s line and vigorously defended their integrity.

What reason did he give to vote for him? Just one: seniority. He and Bob Bennett have seniority and are therefore two of the most powerful senators in the country. That power has resulted in a ridiculous amount of federal funding that keeps jobs in Utah and improves the quality of life.

If we elect Pete Ashdown or any of the other moderate and good-intentioned Democrats running, Utah will lose its seniority. Without seniority, what influence will a traditionally red state with only 2 million people have in Washington?

Let’s face it: The American brand of democracy punishes lazy voters. If citizens aren’t active participants in the process from beginning to end, they will be forced by the system to choose between two evils. Fail to vote, however, and vocal minority groups like the Christian Coalition and Planned Parenthood get to decide.

I like Pete Ashdown. I agree with many of his positions. If Hatch weren’t hogging the slot, he’d probably make a good Republican candidate. But Hatch is right: Utahns would have to be suicidal to vote against having two high-ranking senior senators.

So don’t listen to all the Tinkerbell optimists telling you to make your voice heard. Vote according to the best interests of the state, which is Republican.

But then get out your walking shoes and checkbooks and get involved for 2008.

It is possible to improve American politics, but it must be done at the grassroots level or you’ll be forced to decide between a rock and a hard place every time.

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