Monday, August 17, 2020

Many Mormons Abhor Trump's Immoral Character-- But Not In The Voting Booth, At Least Not In Utah


Kristian Right by Nancy Ohanian

Like virtually all of America, Utah voted for FDR all 4 times he ran. In fact, in the first reelection bid, Utah's 4 electoral votes went to Roosevelt with 69.34% of the vote in the Beehive State. In 1948, Utah's bonds with the Democratic Party were still strong and Truman beat Dewey 54-45%. Then the GOP lucked out. They ran Eisenhower and Utah was never blue again-- except once (kind of). In 1964, like almost all of America outside the worst of the Confederacy, voters were revolted by the right-wing extremism of Barry Goldwater (moderate by today's standards of Republicanism) and Utah voted for LBJ 55-45%. But that was it; Utah became one of the GOP's main bastions after that and Democrats haven't been able to catch a break there since:
Hubert Humphrey- 37.07%
George McGovern- 26.39%
Jimmy Carter- 33.65%
Jimmy Carter- 20.57%
Walter Mondale- 24.68%
Michael Dukakis- 32.05%
Bill Clinton- 24.65%
Bill Clinton- 33.30%
Al Gore- 26.34%
John Kerry- 26.00%
Barack Obama- 34.41%
Barack Obama- 24.75%
Hillary Clinton- 27.17%
The entire state government is run by Republicans. The last time a Democrat won a gubernatorial race there was in 1980 and the last time a Democrat won a Senate seat was when Frank Moss was reelected in 1970. (Moss was defeated by Orrin Hatch in 1976.) The state Senate consists of 23 Republicans and 6 Democrats and the state House has 59 Republicans and 16 Democrats.

Could November bring a partisan sea-change for Utah? Probably not, but Lee Davidson's column in the Salt Lake Tribune-- Latter-day Saints laud Joe Biden at national event, say he reflects their values better than Trump-- gives one something to think about.
Dr. Robert Taber, co-chairman of LDS Democrats, said Democrats in the church will likely hear “a lot this election from supporters of the Republican president about tradition and how that means we, as Latter-day Saints, must support him,” as most members have voted Republican for decades.

But he said church tradition also includes those members who flooded the airport in Salt Lake City a few years ago to protest Trump’s ban on immigration from Muslim countries, and more recently members who marched for “school safety, fairness for women, and Black lives.” He said it also includes former Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, who announced he will vote for Biden.

Scott Howell, the former minority leader of the Utah House, said he is often asked how he can be a church member and a liberal. So he quoted writings from the late church apostle John A. Widtsoe.

The apostle defined a liberal as “a crusader for the betterment of human race,’ and wrote in a church magazine that “members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not need to look elsewhere for a more liberal church than ours.”

Howell added, “I am here to tell you that our country needs Joe Biden and we need to stand tall in our wards [congregations] and our stakes [clusters of congregations] and in our community and not be afraid to be LDS and be a Biden supporter.”

Howell also told stories from the 30 years that he has known Biden, including how he reacted-- according to reports of church leaders-- when they presented his genealogy to him in a private meeting when he visited Salt Lake City and the Huntsman Cancer Institute a few years ago.

“Joe opened up the book,” Howell said. ”He began to cry. He said his entire life he wanted to know about his [ancestors]. He tried to find out about these good men and women. And that’s the character of Joe Biden.”

He added, “He’s religious. He’s Catholic. He’s dedicated to it.”

Several participants ticked off lists of policies where they say Biden may be closer to Latter-day Saint beliefs than Trump.

Roberts said the election “gives us the chance to move forward on women’s rights, pay equality and reasonable day care for working parents. It gives us the right to move forward for good, decent, affordable housing for all and to adjust an inhumane immigration system where we no longer keep children in cages.”

Babies In Cages by Nancy Ohanian

“Immigration and refugees align greatly with what our church has focused their efforts on,” said LDS Democrats-Idaho Chairman Jordan Morales.

Josh Dickson, national faith engagement director for the Biden-Harris campaign, said Biden shares many values held by Latter-day Saints, and has been working to reach out to members.

“We believe that Latter-day Saints see strong contrast between the Biden-Harris family-first opportunity focus agenda and President Trump’s continued attempts to separate children from their parents, put kids in cages, abuse his power, deny refuge to the stranger and normalize racism and incivility.”

The Democratic event came after the unveiling in recent days of a Republican group called, “Latter-day Saints for Trump,” led by former Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. That group attracted attacks on social media for using a picture of the faith’s Salt Lake Temple as the background for pictures of its board members. The church declined comment on whether that was appropriate.

Howell, the former state senator, also attacked the ad during Saturday’s Democratic event, complaining about its use of “our very sacred temple that is used for healing, not dividing. The temple is a healer. For them to use that and for them to go out and promote that the way they have, it’s just dead wrong.”

Also on Saturday, more than 200 Latter-day Saints signed an op-ed in the Arizona Republic opposing Latter-day Saints for Trump, saying it gives the impression that the church supports a president that signers said is the antithesis of many of its beliefs.
That said, I'd bet on Trump winning Utah without breaking a sweat. The state is too far gone and the coronavirus hasn't hit it hard enough yet to make a difference. There have only been 46,652 cases-- 14,552 cases per Utahan-- and 363 deaths. Unless those numbers triple before the election, not likely, dissatisfaction with Trump's leadership won't be strong enough to move the state away from him.

Time to watch this one again? Sure, it's always time to watch this amazing campaign ad-- and let me just say that one book I would LOVE to read is the Lindsey Graham autobiography, a year or two after he leaves the Senate and politics. So if he is defeated in November and then hired for a job by Biden, then I want to see the book after the Biden job is finished.

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At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That Latter Day Saints are little more than a business-based sham religious organization designed to enhance and defend a quasi-monopoly enjoyed by a connected minority. Since Trump is good for their profits, . . .

At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I call for the democrap party to be euthanized, the implication is that it be replaced by a truly left, progressive party.

Instead, the democraps are looking like they are becoming rebranded republicans.

are American voters really that fucking stupid? a stupid rhetorical question.


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