Thursday, August 27, 2009

Retro Politics

I love living in Utah. I was born here, raised here, and moved back here after living away because I like it here so much. The scenery is spectacular, the cost of living is low, the liquor laws are not half as weird as the rest of the world thinks they are, and, for the most part, the Mormons exercise don't bug people who don't bug them. It's a nice place to live. Over the past five years, with the election of Jon Huntsman Jr. to the position of Governor, it got even nicer. Despite his Republican status, Huntsman pushed for equal rights for everyone, even gays and lesbians, the loosening of liquor laws, and energy efficiency in order to battle global warming. Sadly, those days are over now.

Earlier this summer Huntsman was tapped to take the post of U.S. Ambassador to China. He took the job, leaving the state in the hands of previous Lieutenant Governor Gary Herbert. I swear that the day Herbert was sworn in to office the calendars here in the state turned back to 1986. You see, Herbert is not only a good old boy, he is the king of the good old boys. He is a big believer in "traditional family values" -- most of which were last updated when Reagan was in office.

He still likes Ike.

Today Herbert showed his true colors for the first time. During a press conference he said he thought giving gays and lesbians legal protection from discrimination was "going too far." He said that while he supports protecting people due to their gender, religion, or race, the line has to be drawn somewhere, or else we will end up giving protected status to everyone, even those with "blonde hair and blue eyes." Yeah, that's similar.

The gay issue is only the tip of the iceberg. Herbert has said in the past that he doesn't believe in global warming. He has also said he supports economic growth in the state, which could include increasing mining rights. Oh, and he has said that he doesn't want to raise taxes, but would rather find ways to cut programs -- like education. Basically he is saying that he wants to undo anything progressive that has happened not only under Huntsman, but under his predecessor (an education supporter) as well.

Surprisingly, I am not mad at Herbert about any of this. I am actually pissed at Huntsman.

You see, Herbert has never pretended to be anything but what he is. If he could have had a sash made that read "good old boy" I am sure that he would have. Yet, Huntsman, a progressive, picked him as his running mate -- and then left him in charge. He had to know that all of his pet causes, the environment, equal rights, would be crushed under the wheels of Herbert's RV, yet he walked away. Oh, and as he walked away he promised he was leaving the state in good hands. Well, I guess they are good. You know, in the ways reruns of "Leave it to Beaver" are good.

Maybe though, this is Huntsman's last progressive act. Maybe he knows what will happen when Utahns have a taste of what could be, and then have it taken away. Maybe he's really a closet Democrat.

At least I hope that's what it is. It's the only way I will make it until the special election in 2010. By then I am almost positive acid wash denim will have come back in style. After all, it only fits...

10 comments:

Chief said...

It is too bad that our Governor and the L.G. run together. They should be on separate tickets so that they are elected on their own merit, not on the coattails of their running mate. I'm not sure, but I think most other states have them separated.

It's a shame. I hate this butthole, really, I do.

Yellow Trash Diaries said...

Don't even get me started on the issue of gay rights-- my head starts spinning. It seems so common sense-- they teach kindergartners how to be kind and treat others how they would like to be treated, for God's sake.

Anonymous said...

This is a very well written article, you should write for television news...em

Dunc said...

Having lived in Nebraska for my entire life, I most certainly feel the pain...

Anonymous said...

This is a very well written piece. I agree with everything you have said. Education in this state is appallingly limited and we have legislators who crow that other states should follow our lead to get the "most for the least." Gosh, does that say bundles about the feelings of the government? By the way, you do indeed have the world's most beautiful girl child--her grandmother must be very proud.

Summer said...

Girl, we live in Oklahoma. I feel your pain. I feel like slamming my head into a wall everytime I open the local newspaper. The right wing here have hijacked Jesus and changed the teachings to meet their own personal agendas which doesn't include kindness or equality. It sickens me.

*Akilah Sakai* said...

Scary! Hopefully you get someone progressive back in there in 2010.

Susan said...

It's amazing how tenuous progress can be, isn't it? You think you've gotten somewhere, never dreaming it might be taken away. It's like a political bunny hop.

Kelly said...

It's amazing how backward people and politicians can be. I am proud that I live in a state that legalized gay marriage! Our reception halls, and wedding chapels are booming, too bad we sold off our DJ business, people are coming from all over the mid-west to get hitched!

Your baby girl is beautiful! So much hair, and pretty curls!

Phil said...

Oh no! Where is your fish? I loved that little red fish! Change is bad!