Saturday, April 23, 2016
What an Independent Would Like to See in Coming Elections?
Interestingly enough, I have a friend who is running for Lt. Governor of Utah, Kim Bowman, and I had the chance to ask him a couple of questions before his nomination became official. I asked him if I was an eligible voter, who as an independent is looking for a change in everyday politics, but leans conservative, how would you earn my vote? His response, "I'd present you with the hard facts about the way things are going. For example, that our population is getting older and we don't have the infrastructure to take care of them. My version of fiscal conservatism is to spend $10 today to save $100 next year. That's what I'm talking about doing with our aging programs, because it's a heck of a lot more expensive to wait until people are really in need." I liked that answer because it showed that he had a plan that he was willing to present an idea that could challenge the everyday thought of a conservative. However, I believe there is a point that is missing. I am an Independent, and as such I do not hold to a political party. Over the past 12 years (as long as I've been eligible to vote) I have seen partisan attacks get worse. This includes the Utah elections of 2016. While I am not an eligible voter in the state of Utah, I have an eye on it because my friend is running. One area I have seen it get worse is in the idea that porn is a public health hazard. I have seen marriages end, teenagers struggle, and people lose their jobs over the use of pornography. In that way, I could see the current Utah Governors thoughts as to why he needed to label porn as a health hazard. Instead, I have seen Bowman Supporters lash out at the Governor saying he has no idea what he is talking about. He is just this old religious minded guy that needs leave his religion out of politics. It is the same problem I see in the national elections. People do not want to open a dialogue with the other side. I have even seen it in my friend's campaign and his rhetoric. Looking back to when I first met Kim Bowman, we had a discussion based on Gay Marriage. I am a conservative who believes marriage is between man and a woman, but also believe in fair treatment by the Federal government. How do I believe that can work? Through civil unions. But in our discussion Bowman said, "Wilde, I love you as a friend, but twenty to thirty years from now my kids will see you as a bigot." He could be speaking truth. But there is a way that could change, and it starts with our elected officials. It is not enough to just get elected and push your agenda. We have seen how that plays out. Nothing gets done, and everybody blames everybody. You have to open a dialogue. I believe Kim Bowman can do just that, but is he willing? So far, he has talked about the progressive agenda, and it won him a ticket on the ballot as a democrat. I am proud of him. But if he is to earn the vote of Independents. He will need to show that he can work with the other side, and have a civil conversation. That is what many Independents want to see from both sides, Democrats and Republicans. If that becomes the norm, maybe people like me will not be seen as a bigot, but someone with a different perspective, who also has the right to be heard.