This is not my home.

Last week, our senior Senator, prepping for his 8th term, came to lecture Utahns and tell them to “come home” to the Republican party. Come home to what, exactly?! Hurricane Donald has ripped through the GOP and left a trail of carnage. It’s not just a leaky roof and some blown over lawn chairs. There’s no home left. Even the foundations have been ripped up. What I’ve discovered in the 2016 process was the home I thought was welcoming to me, actually wasn’t. Its foundations were rotted, its framework termite-infested.…

Groupthink and the 2016 election

Groupthink is a communication theory that takes a fascinating look at the dysfunction that can happen in groups where members of the group “invest too much energy in maintaining goodwill” within the group, forming the quintessential echo chamber. Additionally, the group is subject to outside forces such as lack of inadequate counsel, poor decision-making procedures, close-mindedness or a “provocative situation causing much stress in the group.” The symptoms described by Irving Janis, the researcher who came up with the groupthink theory also describe, I believe, what we see in today’s political…

Women’s Equality Day

women's equality day

Women’s Equality Day is today. Who knew, right? Little known, less often celebrated, Women’s Equality Day came about to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment – you know, the one giving women the same voting privileges as their male counterparts. It’s been less than 100 years since ratification (so expect a big party in 2020. Just sayin’) and yet how quickly we forget. The suffrage movement was a struggle. It was ugly. It was the worst of the political process. It was an “attack on the family,” suffragettes heard. Men would…

Abortion is never the answer to helping women

A recent op-ed appeared in these pages titled “Abortion bans lead to disability and death,” which argues that “some abortion is required,” especially in developing countries. I beg to differ. Abortion leads to death 100 percent of the time, and with very rare exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother, it is a violent option that does nothing to advance the status of women. The ultimate “war on women” is the one that kills them by the millions. A Lancet article published less than one month ago puts…

10 Tips for easily following the Utah Legislature

The Utah legislature ranks among the best in the nation for state legislative transparency and ease of following the goings-on on Capitol Hill. Here are 10 easy ways you can follow along with the legislative session, which also gives you info for some awesome small talk at dinner parties. Go to the award-winning legislative site: le.utah.gov You can search for bills by topic, number or legislator. Track bills electronically.  Each time there is a change to the wording and each time it is scheduled to be discussed in committee or on the floor, you…

16 political predictions for 2016

The obligatory list-making predictions for 2016: 1. Governor Herbert will win easily. He has the highest approval rating of any elected official in the state and Utah continues to garner accolades for doing well on multiple fronts. 2. There will be a number of “campaign bills” during this legislative session, meaning bills being run to shore up re-election chances. 3. With four open Senate seats, I predict (hope) at least one woman will get elected (haha). 4. I predict two more women elected to the House. 5. Sadly, I think the…

The art of real leadership

I’m tired of it. I bet you are too. I’m tired of the screaming and name-calling that is happening in the public square. I’m tired of people afraid to speak truth because they know they’ll be flayed for it. I’m tired of people calling for “purity panels” on one hand and who talk of expanding their political party on the other. Really?? Who would want to join a party like that? The cognitive dissonance or deliberate tone-deafness required to even go there is mind-boggling. There is far too much lecturing…

Get off the sidelines and get in the game!

When Abraham Lincoln said that the “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” he was not making a pronouncement of fact. He was issuing a call to action.  If we want to see a government of the people, by the people and for the people, then WE must “highly resolve” to “take increased devotion to that cause” – the cause of freedom. Frankly, politics is a team sport and we need you. We need you to be in the game and…

The end of an era: George Wythe University finds a safe landing

George Wythe University is a school that used to operate out of Cedar City, made claims of moving to Monticello and now has a Salt Lake City home. Although I was never a student there, we toyed with having our son attend – until he interviewed with Shanon Brooks and Oliver DeMille. We quickly realized he would not be considered a “cool kid,” the school was way more of a “good old boys club” than we were comfortable with and there were some academic questions we could not get answered.…

Race for Speaker: Wait. What the heck just happened??

In case you missed the DC melt-down of the last couple of days, or you’re still shaking your head, you’re not alone. Like Ron Swanson, we’re all wondering what the heck just happened. So really – in case you missed it, on Thursday, Congressman McCarthy goes into a meeting as the easy shoe-in for the next Speaker of the House and comes out angry and no longer a candidate. Boehner is angry and now talking about staying on as Speaker for a while longer. (And by the way – he’s…