By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog
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Red church, blue church. Aargh. Thanks Kaimi for the tip.
This article just makes me feel bad, in many ways. It’s insulting and panders to euro-trash who instinctively hate Bush, but still…. ouch.
I couldn’t help but notice that they have a quote from a Julie Smith. I doubt it’s our T&S Julie Smith though.
The best part is this quote. Note the name:
But when it comes to policies many of them are queasy. “I voted for Bush. I thought Kerry was dishonest. He was evil almost,” said Julie Smith, out shopping in the prosperous and devout suburb of Bountiful, just outside Salt Lake City. “I like Bush because he’s a good man and I think he’s got wonderful ideas, but I don’t think it’s worked out the way he thought it would.”
T&S doesn’t have link commenting, or I’d have noted this there.
Dang, too slow.
WHAT?!?!?!? I thought Bryce would say something like “great minds think alike” or “the Westchester mafia strikes again!”
So, that’s not THE Julie Smith after all? Shocking!
Centerville is a district???? I lived there 18 years and nobody told me! What does that mean anyhow?
That article is crap. What was the point of it? To show that Mormons vote for Bush but aren’t especially excited about him?
Utah is controlled by the white, multi-steepled temple.
The Capitol building has steeples!?
It was really interesting that this UK newspaper ran a story like this in the first place. . . .
Yes John, the Guardian is so well known for its unbiased approach. I can’t imagine why they would single out Utah for its conservatism. :)
I think he’s talking about the one Gayle Ruzicka had installed on the roof of her house.
Steve, you need to learn to spell. The word is “aaaarrrrgggghhh,” not “aaaarrrrrgggghh.” That’s four “r”s, not five, and three “h”s, not two. Use your spellcheck next time, or we’ll have to ask you to save your commentary for that other blog.
The Guardian is a paper written by idiots for idiots, and we should lose no opportunity to say so.
It wasn’t me!!!!
I’m in Texas, not Utah (cue Hallelujah chorus) and I am not a RETIRED schoolteacher. I’m 29!!!
And my quote, had I been a retired school teacher in Bountiful, would have been along the lines of, “I voted Libertarian. Don’t blame me.”
Julie, I’m a 29 year-old retired schoolteacher. I did it for a semester, retired, then became a lawyer.
Politics in Utah could be an interesting topic. It’s a shame that like so many other things involving Mormonism, the topic gets divided to two extremes. On the one end, you’ve got stupid articles like this that paint Utah as Mormon-controlled and dominated. Laws are made in the temple, not the Capitol.
On the other end, there are those who like to pretend like the Church in no way influences the law. Or they excuse it by saying “Aw shucks, it happens elsewhere.” I’d like to see a thoughtful look at the Church and politics.
I would too. Mat Parke should post something on it.
Mathew doesn’t read comments unless you bait him — but that’s a good idea, HL.
Another fine opportunity to point out that neither party has a monopoly on Christian values.
I guess I’m going to get slammed for this, but while you’re all nervously chuckling that the article is misrepresentating Mormons as knee-jerk knuckleheads who will vote for anyone who wears an elephant pin and pays lip service to God, I’m thinking that that’s actually a pretty good summary of American Mormons, for the most part (90%, give or take).
This is my family, for heaven’s sake. My parents are school teachers who think liberals are all evil because they support (whatever that means) abortion, gays and welfare and that no Mormon can be a member in good standing and a Democrat at the same time. Like the people in this story, they couldn’t agree with Bush less on education, they think he screwed up the war pretty royally, and they wish he’d take the skyrocketing debt a lot more seriously, but they will not utter a word of complaint because by gum he talks to God and therefore all is well in Zion, yea it prospereth (on the backs of the working classes, but who cares about them anyway?).
I don’t think it’s funny. I think it’s a shame that it could be possible to deceive even the very elect with such an incompetent baboon. I think British readers have a right to be alarmed that the world’s superpower is in the thrall of the most reactionary population in the western world.
Sorry. Inauguration Day has put me in a foul mood. Four more years of the wolves guarding the White House, huzzah.
The article is simply bad. It doesn’t present any thinking, just a “look at these fools!” sort of attitude. Your post would make a better, more thought-provoking article.
Agreed, rJ, except that anon business makes he/she look like a big chicken… :)
Okay, I’ll side with anon and sign my (fake internet) name. Most of my family is exactly like those people in the article. (Yeah, Bush is a terrible president, but I can’t vote for that flip-flopping, French-loving, Liberal Kerry.)
I guess I’m not sure what your complaint about the article is. You don’t think that the voting rationale of Americans is newsworthy? Especially when it is so irrational?
I saw another article that found that many Bush supporters in Wisconsin voted for Bush because they felt like, since he got us into this mess, he should have to get us out. From this standpoint, I have to agree with Steve’s “Aaaarrrrrgggghh!”
Pheo, I’m not sure such a position is irrational, indeed it’s not that different from my own view. (i.e. I sure wish the Democrats had nominated someone I could vote for because I’m sure not pleased with Bush)
I’d also caution that typically these sorts of interviews don’t do the probing questions to really understand the point of view of these people. This leads to superficial comments that can be twised or portrayed as mere stupidity.
Clark, I’ve only just started to get my feel around the bloggernacle, but I have a feeling any Democrat you could vote for would never get the nomination. That’s like saying the election is the Republicans’ fault because they didn’t nominate Howard Dean. Good grief.
Even if we assume that the Guardian article is completely correct, thereâ€™s something feeble and a little contemptible about simply holding someoneâ€™s beliefs up for polite ridicule because you disagree with them.
P.S. My apologies if I’ve misunderstood your position, Clark. Shoulda put the disclaimer in the last post.
Clark, what you say makes sense about the quality of the article.
Regarding the quality of candidates for president: The Democrats could have nominated Jesus and Bush would have won the “family values” vote.
From a recent Mad Magazine ad storyboard:
Frame one: “Jesus of Nazareth says, ‘Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.’ ” President Bush’s response: “Jesus favors more government handouts for welfare cheats.”
Frame two: “Jesus of Nazareth says, ‘Judge not, that you be not judged.’ ” Bush’s response: “Jesus is soft on crime.”
Frame three: “Jesus of Nazareth says, ‘Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s.’ ” Bush’s response: “Jesus will raise your taxes.”
Frame four: “Jesus of Nazareth says, ‘Do not resist one who is evil. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other.’ ” Bush’s response: “Can we trust Jesus to fight the War on Terror?”
Frame five: “Jesus — Wrong on social services. Wrong on crime. Wrong on defense. Wrong for America”
Frame six: Bush (waving and smiling): “I’m George W. Bush and I approve this message… Bush & Cheney 2004.”
Here is the graphic for the ad:
You obviously donâ€™t know anything about where true power comes from (political or otherwise). Lucky for you, Iâ€™m willing to share a few secrets. If you think youâ€™re ready, read this.
And DKL, despite all the trolling crap you occasionally put us through, linking to that site has redeemed you in my eyes.
I just don’t read the article that way, David. Okay, so there is some contemptuousness in it. But isn’t the contempt valid? Aren’t the people portrayed in the article fairly representative of the shallow, knee-jerk thinking common among conservative, religious voters in America?
I can only assume that what you and Clark find missing from the article is a long and nunanced analysis of why people vote for candidates who are obvious screwups. This article merely raises the question and lets you draw your own conclusions. To some, that’s insinuation; to others, it’s thought-provoking. I found it thought-provoking.
Tom wrote Aren’t the people portrayed in the article fairly representative of the shallow, knee-jerk thinking common among conservative, religious voters in America?
That is a very loaded question. How is one supposed to answer that question either way if one does not agree that shallow, knee-jerk thinking is common among conservative religious voters?
err… oops. I meant, the “occasional challenging of assumptions”
Well, it’s simple John. You’re supposed to repent of your blind, knee-jerk ways and see the light. ;-)
The Guardian article certainly does not make it obvious why the contempt is valid. In fact, the presumption that contempt is valid in the absence of any real case that it is valid is what makes the Guardian article itself a blind, knee-jerk reaction.
Iâ€™m not even saying that it is not valid to show contempt toward these people. I am saying that if all Iâ€™m doing is sneering at them, Iâ€™m not doing anything very serious. If I pretend to be making a serious point when Iâ€™m simply sneering at them, then Iâ€™m doing something feeble and a little contemptible.
I think you are right about the nomination process due to the anti-hawk vote by Democratic activists. Someone who I strongly disagree with on domestic issues but would have voted for, like Leiberman, really didn’t have a chance.
But that’s rather the point isn’t it? Republicans (and even some Democrats) who may not like Bush will vote for him because he is the lesser of two evils. I really wished I had more of a choice, but I didn’t.
However I do truly think that Democrats could have nominated a figure that would have still pleased liberals and would have brought in a lot of conservatives. The fact is that they didn’t even come close. The whole nomination process was eye rollingly bad. (Of course I’d say the same of the Republican nomination processes of 2000 and 1996)
Getting back to the Guardian article, I tend to agree with David. The point of view doesn’t “raise the question and lets you draw your own conclusions.” Far from it. I don’t want a detailed and nuanced discussion. Simply some recognition that there is more to these people’s opinion than the soundbites clearly chosen for sensationalizing power.
But that gets me into a critique of the problem of the media which is typically less a political bias than superficiality and sensationalism. Heaven help us when the Michael Jackson trial starts…
No, Clark, I don’t think the Democrats could have nominated “a figure that would have still pleased liberals and would have brought in a lot of conservatives.” Don’t you know that all Democrats are liars? Rich white men who pay lip service to helping the poor when all they really care is pushing forward a radical homosexual agenda?
No, I think the rancor has gotten so out of hand, yet voters just lap it up, that this is not possible.
As I’ve said, I’m still pretty new here and just getting to know people, so maybe this is a bit exaggerated, but it seems to me that the conservatives who post here are always trying to hold the liberals’ feet to the fire here for being accomodating to others’ points of view. What the conservatives label “relativism,” insinuating that it’s atheist and amoral, strikes me more as humility and respect. Humility that I know I don’t know everything. Respect that others’ hold their differing religious or political views to be as sacred as I hold mine. It’s as simple as that.
But maybe that’s what liberals are doing wrong. Conservatives love to tell liberals what liberals think. In fact, I think they like to talk more about what’s wrong liberals than with what they think is right with them. There has been quite a row recently on the opinion page of the local newspaper about what liberals really think. Everyone who writes in is conservative. I find it funny how obsessed they are with characterizing the “other” instead of examining their own flaws a little more. They’ll take the most extreme, ridiculous aspect of a nuanced argument and paint the whole argument with it. How is that not shallow? More than that, it’s arrogant, it’s hateful, and it’s destructive to already endangered spirit of civility in this country.
So maybe it’s hypocritical and even childish of me to dismissively assert that conservative religious voters are mostly shallow and knee-jerk, but that’s the prisoner’s dilemma, eh? Both sides could agree to be civil, but that would leave them so vulnarable they wouldn’t dare try.
So let’s just be mean and nasty. It’s all we have left. Maybe that’s why I like the article. It gets it.
Once again let me bring up the name of Leiberman. I think he would have beaten Bush easily but there was no way in h*** that the strong anti-war sentiment was going to give him the chance. That, despite his being very liberal on the issues Democrats say we ought to be about.
You’d be surprised at how many very conservative Mormons are very pro-Leiberman. He’s an example of how Democrats could do things. I don’t think they will in the least. Indeed I think if anything they’ll engage in more of the self-destructive habits of the last few decades. Heavens the only time Democrats win is when Republicans selfdestruct.
Conservatives love to tell liberals what liberals think.
Are you somehow implying that liberals don’t love to tell conservatives what conservatives think?
If that is the case, then what was up with the demonstrators at the Inauguration, yelling Ra-cist, Se-xist, An-ti-gay. Wasn’t that an example of liberals telling conservatives that conservatives are racist, sexist, and anti-gay, without any real input about whether conservatives think they are racist, sexist, and anti-gay?
They’ll take the most extreme, ridiculous aspect of a nuanced argument and paint the whole argument with it. How is that not shallow? More than that, it’s arrogant, it’s hateful, and it’s destructive to already endangered spirit of civility in this country.
Where you’re losing me on this is that it seems like you are describing liberals here. If it is so bad that conservatives do this, then why are liberals also doing it?
That’s what I’m saying, John. Political discussion has become so hypocritically nasty that it’s almost pointless.
Tom, out of curiosity, what period of US history the last 100 years are you speaking of when it wasn’t like this? There have always been people who are “shrill,” to use the word of the moment. Yet at the same time there have always been people engaging in rational discourse.
It’s out there if you look.
I agree with john fowles. Just this afternoon, a liberal coworker took the time to carefully explain to me the growing rift between social and fiscal conservatives. Funny thing: Iâ€™m the only conservative person he knows.
Itâ€™s really easy to poke fun at Utahns because itâ€™s all the rage to mock conservatives. The truth is, I could walk 5 minutes to the Government Center/Faniel Hall/Quincy Market area and in an hour get some real whopper quotes from liberal Bostonians about how evil the conservatives are. But siting mindless liberals doesnâ€™t make people snicker with self congratulation.
Clark Goble: what period of US history the last 100 years are you speaking of when it wasn’t like this
This is a very powerful point, and the only thing that I have to add is that it goes much farther back another 100 years to the accusation that Jefferson raped his slaves. I’m reading a book right now, a large section of which focusses on the political strife between the Jacksonians and anti-Masons in the 1820s. The stuff they said about Andrew Jackson makes much of what is said about GWB seem tame.
I know there are always arguments that can be made that things aren’t really any different now than they’ve ever been. We don’t have senators caning each other on the Senate floor, after all. But that doesn’t mean that political rancor is getting more civil. The whole red state-blue state nonsense, regardless of whether it’s accurate or not, is defining people. When people begin to discuss secession and emigration, then I think it’s pretty bad.
I’m heavily influenced this week by an article I read that suggests that technologies such as TiVo, iPods and blogging are isolating people from those who think differently from them. We are becoming more rigid, more egotistical, and more contemptous toward “the other.” Maybe the article is bunk ludditism. I guess I think it has a point.
I think the problem Tom is that the media is focused in on the sensational to the exclusion of real attempts to explain the way things are. Thus the focus on rancor. I honestly believe that the nation is nowhere near as divided as most claim. Further I honestly don’t think most liberals and conservatives have trouble talking to one an other.
Hold on, people. Julie is only 29? That’s really weird to me for some reason. Waaaay too mature to be my age. I was always comforted by thinking of her as a 33 year old smarter older sister.
(note to Julie: these assumptions have nothing to do with any pictures I may have seen of you– I haven’t seen any!)
I thought Kristine was already the big sister around here.
Coming back to the discussion a little late, it’s so funny to see the two opposites accuse each other of the same thing. John Fowles says it sounds like Tom is talking about liberals; Tom says he’s talking about conservatives.
If that alone isn’t evidence of how screwed up both sides are, I don’t quite know what is.
Regardless of who’s talking about who, it strikes me as odd that anyone would defend the Guardian article.
john, I think I’m actually the grandma :)
We agree! The article is crap! Crap I say! And I’m not just saying that because they classify Centerville as a district. I’m saying it because it is crap. Certainly something more interesting could occupy that space discussing what this person has learned from hanging out in Bountiful. Like a review of the Mandarin or complaining about the demise of Carmack’s for the second time.
a random John, I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Let me address the Lieberman idea.
Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Show me one example of a Democrat beating a Republican by showing how much he supports President Bush. Why not just vote for the Republican? Yeah, Matheson did this in 2002, but that was a really close election. Lieberman on the ballot would have caused the Democratic base to stay home, and Bush would have won in a landslide. The Bush-lite strategy is a sure loser.
Republicans always talk about how much they like Lieberman because he is practically a Republican. It has nothing to do with him being less French or less of a flip-flopper.
Until someone can explain how Kerry would have destabilized the world like Bush, driven our economy into the ground more than Bush, and divided our country like Bush, I will continue to see Bush supporters like the Guardian sees them. Sorry.
And chew on this: Teenage pregnancy and abortions went down during Clinton’s presidency. They are back up during Bush’s presidency. What percentage of Bush supporters voted for him based on that one issue?
For the sake of my blood pressure and my sanity, that will be my last overtly political post until Spring.
You make a very good point, Pheo. I take it to mean that anyone who could appeal to a majority of swing voters wouldn’t appeal to the Democratic base. I agree, and I think this is a telling point about where the Democratic agenda stands vis a vis mainstream opinion.
Until recently, I thought Democrats didn’t have anyone they could put up who has the charisma or the ability to challenge some of the Republican candidates. But then Barack Obama appeared on the scene. This guy’s like Clinton Jr. I’m not saying he’s a lock or that there wouldn’t be issues with his candidacy, but he’s better than John “Duck Hunting” Kerry.
Sorry, I know I promised, but a few more thoughts.
It is sad that elections can’t be decided on the ideas that really matter. Bush beat Gore because he was the popular jock and Gore was the annoying know-it-all. Bush was the guy people would have a beer with. His average intellect was (and is) a huge plus for him politically.
Then he won again against the elitist, fake Kerry. Bush is equally an elite, but he was never called on his fake Texas ranch, purchased when he decided to run for president. And don’t even get me started on the whole flight suit episode.
I know everyone says that they are concerned about waging an unnecessary and unwise war and about the fiscal insanity of the administration, but when it comes to voting, they vote for the guy that they can best relate to. (I actually thought this was true with Clinton, too. Many voters, I think, saw Clinton’s infidelity as something they might do if they were put in the same situation.) So even though Bush doesn’t ever attend church (as far as anyone has been able to tell), he is considered more religious than Clinton, a flawed but genuinely religious man.
Do liberals have the stomach to play the political game at the level necessary to win election? Will they make the next Republican candidate an object of derision. I think they might have to do just that to win next time. And, yes, this makes me sad.
Pheo, among Evangelicals, churchgoing isn’t really a sign of religiosity. Likewise I think there are many consistent churchgoers who aren’t really faithful. So I don’t think I agree in the least with your Clinton/Bush distinction. I do think you have a point, but it isn’t about Clinton being the guy people could relate to as much as they could relate to him a whole lot more than Bob Dole who was one of the worst candidates in recent memory.
I agree with John H about Obama though. We’ll see what Obama does in the Senate. Right now there is so much expectation we may find he can’t live up to it.
Likewise I think people are downplaying issues far too much. Despite the important of charisma and being someone people feel they can relate to, the fact is that issues still count for a lot.
“And chew on this: Teenage pregnancy and abortions went down during Clinton’s presidency. They are back up during Bush’s presidency. What percentage of Bush supporters voted for him based on that one issue?”
Complete and reliable data regarding the number of abortions during Bush’s presidency have not been released, as far as I know. The CDC and the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) have not released data beyond 2000.
Regarding Lieberman, I strongly disagree with your comments Pheo. I think people liked Bush in that he wanted to actually take the fight to the source and seemed engaged on the issue. Yet they were very uncomfortable, even among his supporters, with some of the ways he did that. Lieberman would give those voters a choice.
Further calling Lieberman basically a Republican. Well that just boggles the mind. He is anything but a Republican. The fact someone as liberal as him is so popular among many Republicans ought to say something. The only real issue is whether the Democratic far left would vote for a hawk. And given the state of the Democratic party I’m not sure they would.
I thought Barack Obama was born in the West Indies, which means he cannot be President or Vice President. Is this correct?
Clark, your point about Lieberman seeming far to the right because of being a hawk rings true. Perhaps I have a bit of political tunnel vision.
Obama was born in Honolulu in 1961. Would he have been disqualified from running for the presidency if he was born a few years earlier (before Hawaii was a state)?
Sorry that this is two days late, but it wasn’t “senators caning each other on the senate floor.”
Charles Sumner, a Massachusetts Republican, was caned by Preston Brooks, a member of the House of Representatives, in May 1856 after Sumner had given a speech denouncing “The Crime Against Kansas.” “It is the rape of a virgin territory,” he declared, “compelling it to the hateful embrace of slavery.'”
The Massachusetts senator proceeded to denounce a number of Southern senators, including Senator Andrew Butler of South Carolina (who shares a name, but thankfully, no close family relationship, with my son). Sumner accused Senator Butler of taking “the harlot, Slavery,” for his “mistress” and proceeded to make fun of a medical disorder from which Senator Butler suffered. At the rear of the Senate chamber, Stephen Douglas muttered: “That damn fool will get himself killed by some other damned fool.”
Two days later, Senator Butler’s nephew, Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina, entered a nearly empty Senate chamber. Sighting Sumner at his desk, Brooks charged at him and began striking the Massachusetts senator over the head with a cane. He swung so hard that the cane broke into pieces. Brooks caned Sumner, rather than challenging him to a duel, because he regarded the Senator as his social inferior. Thus, he wanted to use the same method slaveholders used to chastize slaves.
So, there was a caning on the Senate floor, but it was one of those low-lifes from the House that did it.
Great story. It’s that type of working together amongst the legislature that we need to encourage.
I think of that story and chuckle each time I drive through the tunnel named for Sumner here in Boston.
Where do you live? I suspect that it isn’t in Boston proper, or I would likely know you. We should have lunch sometime so I can cane you!
a random John, I live in Milton. Drop me an email. I’d love to have lunch, but I’m not into S&M.
>Until recently, I thought Democrats didn’t have anyone they could put up who has the charisma or the ability to challenge some of the Republican candidates. But then Barack Obama appeared on the scene.<
I watched Barack’s keynote speech and was absolutely mesmerized . . . and teary as well.
On a replay, I taped it.
Sometimes, I still watch it, and believe I’m watching history in the making.
If I were a guy, I’d make a prophecy….:)
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