EDITOR’S NOTE: Dallas Hyland is a developing columnist for St. George News and blogs as The Amateur Broad Thinker. The opinions stated in this article are solely his own and not those of St. George News.
Last week, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Provo’s ban on Sunday beer sales appears to be headed down the same path as Prohibition: toward repeal.
The article quoted Lois Kelson, who owns a chain of gas stations/convenience stores–two of which are in Provo–who said the policy is bad for business.
“With an ever-changing culture in our state and city, it makes more sense to accommodate our own citizens than have them go three miles down the road to Springville to purchase it, which is where we send them on Sunday,” Kelson wrote. “It is time to be more realistic in how we try to regulate the various cultures in our city and be more open-minded and accepting of other beliefs than the predominant population of the city.”
I could not agree more. And the message is a transcendent one sorely needed here in St. George. Alcohol sales notwithstanding, there is a need for the stranglehold placed on citizens and businesses here by the predominant monoculture to be loosened a little. Scratch that. A lot.
I hear it often said that this town is run by a good old boy network.
Anyone know exactly who this good old boy network is?
With the understanding that people tend to lump things they dislike or do not understand into categorical euphemisms, I have to say this may not be the case here. This is to say there is evidence to support the claim.
Want proof? Ask yourself the last time the St. George City Council had a dissenting vote on anything.
Ask yourself why a local business has to jump through endless hoops to open a dance club but other businesses owned and operated by friends, or those deemed acceptable by said monoculture, are given carte blanche it seems.
This behavior is hardly indigenous to St. George. It happens in cities and towns across America. But here in St. George, it has a somewhat unique flavor.
A little while back, I received a message on my home phone where a man told me if I did not like the way things are run in this town I could just leave. He did not like my articles and the audacity they sometimes display.
Also, I recently attended a conference where a local rancher whose family has been here for 100 plus years said he did not mind if people moved here, but that he wished they would all just join the church and stop trying to change the way things have been for 100 years.
Good old boys. There you have it. A predominant mindset of a few people who, because they have lineage in the settling of this awesome little town, and they have some semblance of divine authority granted them, think they can maintain a status quo of sorts regardless of anyone who disagrees with them.
And what is most disconcerting about this is the fact of it bleeding into our governance.
I do not mean at all to say that a religious sect governs us here but to not acknowledge that it has an overbearing and unchecked influence is just plain dishonest.
As a young man, I raised my right hand and swore a solemn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. I included Utah in that oath and I expect Utah and all its cities to abide the Constitution and the fundamental principles of the foundation of our country, which makes a distinct line between church and state.
I do not mind at all when a person’s personal convictions are a part of the fabric of their decision-making process, but when it becomes a mandate for others in the biased fashion implied by my anonymous caller and that rancher, I am painfully mindful of what is meant by a domestic enemy.
Listen people, it is natural to want to live in a place where things function seamlessly and everyone agrees on how things should be done politically, socially and economically. But is it realistic? Furthermore, is it fair?
Did not the pioneers who settled Utah do so in part because they were fleeing persecution much like those who founded this nation did?
These are parallels sorely in need of examination here in this state because the hypocrisy set forth by it is blatant to anyone who is not from here, but is American and holds its principles dear.
We face some very difficult and serious challenges as not only a city, but a nation. But woven in the fabric of our country are some of the greatest principles of liberty ever put into practice by a country and if we hold fast to them, we can overcome these challenges while maintaining that liberty.
If, however, we allow groups to operate outside of the principles set forth by the founders of this land, we simply get what we deserve.
We should be above letting good old boy networks operate among us. These networks and the narrow mentality they perpetuate need to be exposed.
How? Perhaps a stronger and more educated voice from the community is a good place to start.
See you out there.
Copyright 2011 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.