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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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Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues

Pappas: The trouble with voting for McCain

By Nicholas Pappas

Last month, John McCain was in New Hampshire. It’s possible he was too old to know exactly where he was, but his timing was impeccable.

The New Hampshire reporters egged him on about Mitt Romney, his greatest adversary in the race for the White House at the time. He twisted his face in a trademark Republican grin and called Romney a pig.

In fact, the exact quote was, “Never get in a wrestling match with a pig. You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.”

Quite the metaphor. On Super Tuesday, Utah conservatives voted overwhelmingly for Romney. He garnered 90 percent of the vote. Nine of every 10 Republicans voted for a “pig” over a war hero.

Romney eventually realized he wasn’t going to win the nomination — not this time. He suspended his campaign in an attempt to make amends with the party he embraced, a party whose candidates treated him like the kid who was picked last in dodgeball.

So now, Utah is left with a quandary. Should we vote for the man who called our prize fighter a “pig”? Or is it possible, just possible, that a state so predominantly conservative could learn to embrace a Democrat?

I remember the last election. It seemed improbable to me that Bush could actually win. So improbable, in fact, that I threw a hotel party downtown to celebrate Kerry’s victory. The rooms were packed. The drinks flowed. The gathering dwindled quickly. Bush, as you might have guessed, rampaged Utah. He received three votes for every one for Kerry. We looked around at each other and wondered if every last person who voted for Kerry had made an appearance at the Residence Inn.

The morning breakfast buffet was bitter. The orange juice was full of pulp.

It wasn’t always this way. Believe it or not, Utah used to vote for Democrats. Franklin D. Roosevelt received our vote every election, and Truman after him.

Since that time, only the tragic death of John F. Kennedy would get us to vote Democrat.

After many short presidencies in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Spencer W. Kimball became the prophet at the end of 1973 and would remain until 1985. He was a strict moralist, and his long tenure made a lasting impression on the growing population of the faithful. It became almost a calling for members to vote for the Republican party.

So, here we are. Romney, the man riding the white horse, is gone. All that’s left is a firecracker that barely got 10 percent of the primary. McCain is an enemy to his own party, and the sour taste he has left in the mouth of a religious Utah population will not be washed out quickly.

It also doesn’t help that the self-proclaimed moralist has recently been accused of philandering with someone to whom he wasn’t married. He denies it, of course, but it shows that he can get dirty without wrestling with Romney.

It will be an interesting election here in nine months — enough time for the Democrats to give birth in a state known for replenishing the earth. Hillary doesn’t stand a chance, but Obama is developing quite a following, even among those with temple recommends next to their voter cards.

It’s wishful thinking, but you’re all invited to my party downtown on Nov. 4. I will put some sparkling cider next to the wine. The Curacao will be Cougar blue. It’s time to put our differences aside and vote together.

Don’t give your vote to a pig. You’ll both get dirty, and McCain will like it.

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