Politics has become a complicated, overwhelming and corruption ridden power chain that excludes the average American.
Too harsh? Perhaps. Nonetheless, in my lifetime (all 38 years of it), this seems to be the picture that has been painted and reinforced with every election cycle.
While there are touches of integrity that break through the corruption, it seems that the line graph depicting earnest efforts for unity are trending downward. As I watched the 2016 Presidential election I reached my breaking point. The decision was no longer about what was first-rate for America but rather, about who could get your party the most power (while always citing that your candidate was not as bad as the one for the other party). Party platforms have become long, overly specific documents that are meant to entice more voters into the fold but could not possibly match any single individual. Candidates are forced to accept and repeat principles that are not core to who they are but rather, simply seek to engender them to the voters who have been conditioned to believe that these principles are the most important things we can look for in our representatives. Meanwhile, words like “compromise” and “accord” have come to be synonymy with “sellout” and “unholy”.
But what does the research show?
While polarization is taking hold of more people today than it did 20 years ago, the largest group of Americans still remain in the middle. And it is this majority that is leaving politics behind.
Why learn about how the political process works? The process is just going to work against me.
Why take the time to research candidates? What they say is not representative of what they are going to do.
Why take the time to vote? The candidate for the party du jour in the state is going to win regardless.
The middle American feels disenfranchised with no incentive to change course.
If this is true throughout all of America, why do I expect Utah to take the lead on finding a solution? The answer simply lies in the people.
The question I would ask of each person who feels this way is what the current state of politics in Utah lends to those endeavors. I have spent the last year and a half trying to change the Utah republican party from the inside out. But after all of that time I find myself looking at the face of a factioned party who is continually fighting against itself while perpetuating the cycle of exclusion.
The ideas of integrity, love, compassion and accountability seem to have abandoned the vocal leaders of the factions. This is not the group that I want representing me.
I feel the wind knocked out of my sails as I type. It is a sad reality to face. But I believe that I have something to offer up by way of solution.
The United Utah Party. Have you heard of it?
I know that many people are not aware that there is a new party for people who believe that reform and compromise are needed in order to change the face of Utah politics. I will be honest in saying that the marketing has not been as good as it could be. Moderate individuals are not generally the most outspoken leaders. But change is needed and I believe change is possible if enough of the group in the middle (see the above chart) decide to tune back in and try to make a difference.
Over the coming weeks I will write more about the foundations of this party, why I have decided to try to build this effort up, about some of the 19 candidates who are running through the party in the state of Utah and how, if so desired, you can get involved. I am happy to answer any question you might have along the way and hope that you can open yourself up to a solution that might be outside of the box but has every potential to make a difference.