ON Kilter: Equality won

OPINION – The 2012 election is now behind us and if anything can be concluded from it, there was a clear winner which means there was a collective vote that was not sufficiently appreciated by the Republican party.

Let’s dismiss any notion that I do not recognize that the Obama presidency has failed the American people in catastrophically consequential ways; it has – not to be redundant here, but the National Defense Authorization Act is one example.

That said, Barrack Obama did not just win this election by a narrow margin. It was not the close race that was predicted by the polls preceding Tuesday. The president took the office for another four years in a landslide victory capturing not only over 300 electoral votes but apparently by the popular vote as well. This shall not be disputed.

What can be disputed, or rather what we should be asking, is why?

Was it really that he was doing such a fantastic job that the country just had to have more?

Or was it that the country was so collectively adamantly opposed to a Romney presidency?

This will be the sophomoric debate that will likely consume the majority of the discussion with regards to the race. But the arguments against both of them are largely presumptive and permeated with parroted and uninformed predispositions of socialism, corporate elitism, and other such nonsense.

So I advocate peeling back a layer or two and recognizing a rising certainty: The Republican Party is in trouble.

Last night’s message from America arguably came from its largest core of voters that includes the 47 percent, the single moms, the legal immigrants, the students, the gay community, and all the other minorities that were collectively ignored or dismissed. What the Republican party failed to consider is that collectively these minority groups form a majority and they have spoken loud and clear:

Keep your religious beliefs out of politics and out of our lives.

Turning here locally, Republicans held their ground and statistically hold a majority which includes overwhelming membership in the Mormon church, i.e. most of our elected officials in Utah belong to the church. One might ask if that is a problem for anyone but those who agree with the religion of Utah’s politicians.

Of course those who subscribe to the idea of religiously-influenced politics see no problems at all. They will tell you, if you don’t like it you can leave.

But given the message the rest of the country just sent the religious right, and given that Utah is pining hard to bring more growth and industry to its state, is there not some writing on the wall that should not be ignored?

Washington County projects growth numbers in the coming years tallying in upwards of half-a-million people.

Do they really think that growth won’t include a more diverse voting base? One that will not tolerate personal ideologies being played out in governing policies? People have different ideologies and this is the discussion that needs to be had.

It is something not said aloud very often here in St. George but the religious influence here is overbearing. This is not at all to say that people who are religious are in any way bad or misguided. Quite the contrary.

But it is to say that they themselves should be the ones who most poignantly recognize that the very freedom they have to practice is premised by rights set forth by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. They should understand that those who do not share their beliefs respect their right to those beliefs, but are gaining strength in their message sent by the majority of the country last night which is that our religions do not belong in politics.

It could be reasonably argued that equality won the election.

See you out there.

Dallas Hyland is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not necessarily representative of St. George News.

Email: dhyland@stgnews.com

Twitter: @dallashyland

Copyright St. George News, StGeorgeUtah.com Inc., 2012, all rights reserved

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15 Comments

  • Brett November 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    You are deluded my friend if you think you can separate values and religion. You also do not understand the Bill of Rights. Yes, we have separation of church and state. In other words, the Government cannot mandate a state religion nor persecute another. However, the notion that free-thinking citizens cannot express their values in politics based on religious belief is border-line Marxist

    There are many value-based political positions. For example, I can never understand how someone can be an animal activist and refrain from eating meat, but kill her baby in utero because it’s convenient. See where I’m going here? I’m sure that you can think of several examples for conservatives (the reverse of that paradox is one I suppose.) The point is, we don’t want you to believe in Jesus, Allah, nor Budda. But we believe, and have every right to believe, that killing another person (including abortion) is wrong!

    If the message from the election is that Americans (well half of us) want religious values out of the political arena, well … Isaiah said it best nearly 3.000 years ago…

    “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

    Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

    Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink;

    Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

    Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”

    I’m not one for citing scripture in my comments, but he got it pretty right on the money. And, thank heaven! Your marxist pals and you haven’t taken that right away from me yet (because you would if you could. Admit it!)

  • Tyler November 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Well Repubs, what do you expect? We live in a whole new society where there’s a lot more diversity of ‘normals’ . i.e. LGBT, single moms/dads, the mass majority of American population living and dealing with urban life, (St George area included in that demographic, definetely not small-town Utah anymore), high poverty, more people without work, giving up finding work, etc. etc. This is FAR from the more lay back, conserved days of yesterday’s America, or early Bush days – or even the 90’s America. This country is going through major changes, I’m not saying it’s all bad, but let;s face it.
    So from this aspect, if anyone is surprised that highly religious, conservative, traditional Romney lost in today’s urban-dwelling, fast-paced, in some cases, troubled America, quite frankly you’re foolish to say the least…

  • Curtis November 8, 2012 at 11:07 am

    The Republican Party is clearly in trouble because they have failed to attract members of various special interest groups. I believe that has much less to do with the religious beliefs of the Republicans and much more to do with their economic policies than does Hyland.

    However — religious beliefs color both sides of major issues – Obama care and the welfare state is an example. While the mandate may pre-empt my free agency, don’t we have the obligation to care for the least among us ? Religious beliefs do and should influence politics. The ethical and moral values that are part of religious beliefs should influence politics.

    Elected officials in Utah and Washington County are predominately Republican and Mormon. The population of the state and county as a whole are predominately Republican and Mormon. Are we supposed to set up a quota system to assure the non-Republicans and non-Mormons are represented?

    I’m sure state and local politicians are acutely aware that the demographics of their constituents are changing. They will change their ways when the votes of the changed electorate tell them it is time to do so. Why should the likes of Orrin Hatch or Alan Gardner start changing their political stances when they are re-elected with over 65-percent of the vote?

    • Tyler November 9, 2012 at 1:40 am

      Fact: Repulicans are old white men accustomed to traditional (old fashioned) ways. They hurt themseves by not reaching to the minorities, women, youth and the overall diversity of our country. Fact #2: Whites are now minority. Ponder that. Good bye!

  • Barakus November 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    You talk about how equality won? Equality didn’t win – Equality got the biggest shaft ever! Who is contributing more to the US? I’m gonna say more Romney voters. Who gets more government (MY AND YOUR MONEY) assistance? I’m gonna say a lot of Obama supporters. If things were equal, the weight of your vote would match how much you are taxed. I’m middle class by the way, but I see how this works.
    Have you considered why Washington County and Utah will see a rise in population? Because Utah isn’t as in debt or trouble as the other states – it’s been managed much more effectively. Utah is doing something right and to say that it’s a shame that Utah didn’t vote out more republicans is exactly why Obama won – people don’t get that once the 1% and other wealthy hard-working Americans who have built their businesses are taxed more than 50% of their earnings between the government and state…they will say to themselves “Well screw this, why work so hard to provide for those who aren’t contributing?” They close their business, take their earnings and go live comfortably, layoff their employees, and we are much worse than before.
    When recreational drugs and gay marriage are you top priorities then you are the problem. It’s all about money and the fact that Obama won last night means that half of this country gets what’s happening in Europe and the other half are so so self centered and either want government hand outs or to be part of the “popular high-school side” with Hollywood and the other idiots who pretend to know everything! Yeah, those people who bash churches and don’t see any shame in anything where nothing is sacred. Equality is gone.

  • Ron November 8, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Wow! Romney really got it wrong, didn’t he? It’s not the 47% who are victims. It’s the 1%, who might have to give up one of their 5 or 6 luxury houses to pay the same percentage of taxes they paid back in the 90s (without suffering for it) in order that their fellow citizens who didn’t have the same luck (yes, luck–hard work doesn’t guarantee success if luck fails to play into the process) can get medical care and so that more kids can get a decent education. I mean, my heart just bleeds for those folks who worked SO hard for all those millions in order to be able to live in a replica of the castle of Versaille and vacation on the Riviera . . . How are they going to explain to their kids that they can’t have another pony?

    • Gunther November 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      Yea, you got it all figured out Ron. Lets tax all the rich people until they quit providing jobs and wealth for others. Then that revenue quits rolling in. Raise taxes on everybody then so the government can keep long their pockets. Soon all the jobs and the lifestyle Americans once enjoyed will be gone. Then everyone in the cities who voted for Obummer will be wandering around jobless and drinking vodka just like they do in other third world countries.

      • Tyler November 9, 2012 at 1:41 am

        Get educated you ignorant person.

    • Barakus November 8, 2012 at 11:34 pm

      Hey Ron, I know you want to hate rich people, but the last time I checked no poor person ever gave me a job. Your so full of it to credit others successes on luck.

  • Jade November 9, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Romney and his ways are evil. Repubs and Mormons of Utah, dig deeper than your brainwashing Fox News and cult leadership. Thank God that Obama won. Majority always wins and usually knows what’s best.

  • Barakus November 9, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Call repubs evil and out of touch as much as you want, but please tell me how Obama is going to get people off of food stamps and raise the unemployment. He is depending on taxes from those who don’t “give their air share”…well what if those who are going to be taxed so much don’t want to give pay out that much? I hear Costa Rica has is really a nice place! Did anyone read how that business owner in Vegas laid off 22 out of 114 people the day after Obama won? he understands what’s going to happen to his income thanks to Obama’s plan…that’s just one of how many business owners across the US who are going to either do the same thing or close up shop – THE SAME THING IS HAPPENING IN EUROPE!!! They are falling apart and Obama is leading us right to it!

  • Barakus November 9, 2012 at 9:35 am

    By the way, just an interesting piece of reading for anyone who doesn’t want to believe what’s coming and that Obama is going to “continue” to fix the economy, go the http://www.theblaze.com, and read the list of companies that have either laid off, will lay off, or are closing completely. Pretty bad news to get right before Thanksgiving and Christmas. I guess the country is either full of morons who don’t comprehend how the economy works or we can expect marijuana to be legalized in many more states because you had to be out of your mind to vote for a guy who would trigger this. Keep i mind, this only the 3rd day after the election…how many people will be laid off six months from now?

  • ken November 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Barakus you cite a website owned by Glen Beck and you want people to take your comment seriously? Yes out of touch would be correct. Could you please provide the link about the business owner in Vegas who you say layed off 22 people the day after the election. I understand your hate for Obama but at least try to be truthful which I understand is hard when you only can puppet what others say. Remember that link please, thanks.

  • ken November 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    @Barakus..I found the articles about the Vegas business owner and I have to laugh. He refuses to give his name or company name but yet he is willing to say that it is 22 Hispanics that were “layed off”. I call total BS on this story and believe it is a total fabrication. Provide details showing this isn’t a made up story.

  • Barakus November 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Umm, Ken – go back to the blaze article I linked and click on each of the names of the companies in that list…that will send you to a “credible source” that cites the layoffs. I’m guessing you only believed what you heard in the main stream media…no wonder.

    I can’t prove the Vegas story since I only heard the same details as you did. But what if that’s the mentality of business owners…which it seems like it is. The comical part is that when people are loosing their jobs left and right and this country goes in to chaos mode, people will still blame those who have money and are successful than others…not Obama and not themselves.

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