Now that Utah State Senator Curt Bramble’s negotiated compromise with the Count My Vote proponents appears to be headed for a vote in the Legislature, cries of dismay from the extremist wing of the GOP have become deafening. A complaint by Rep. Mike Noel especially caught my eye (especially combined with his cry that Mitt Romney had – gasp! – hurt his feelings!):
“To me, the scariest voter is the uninformed voter.”
I can think of a few things more scary, Mike.
To me, the scariest voter is the voter that believes he deserves more say in how our country is run than his fellow citizens. They have a name for that: oligarchy. It sure ain’t democracy. One of the things that pushed me into being a Utah Democrat was hearing Republican delegates in 2005 call in to the Doug Wright show one afternoon explaining why they deserved more say in how the state was run than their clueless fellow citizens (especially if those citizens were registered Democrats). The arrogance of those people really shocked me. Rep. Noel makes it clear they haven’t repented.
These folks argue that it’s none of the public’s business how the Republican Party chooses their candidates. What arrogance. The taxpayer foots the bill for our elections; our system of electing our representatives belongs to the people, not to any political party.
While we’re talking uninformed voters, Mike: Which voter is more uninformed? The voter who is maybe a little superficial in how she investigates the candidates and issues, but remains open minded – or the voter who is so rigid in his ideology that his mind is completely closed to facts, evidence or any sort of rational argument that disagrees with his cherished beliefs? Neither of the above is ideal – but if I had to choose, I think we would be much better off with the first. Modern Republicans remind me of the old Mark Twain quote: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you know that ain’t so.”
The Utah Legislature in general, and the fact that we sent John Swallow to the AG’s office and Mike Lee to the US Senate, are irrefutable examples that the current system is not working for Utah.
Kudos to Senator Bramble for bucking the extremists in his party and trying to find a workable compromise that maybe, just maybe, will be a good solution that balances the rights of the public with the concerns of political activists.