Finding Our Rhythm Again After COVID-19

Over the years, I have learned something about performing music: Most of the time no one can really tell if you play a few wrong notes, but they’ll immediately pick up on a break or a pause, no matter how slight. The predictable patterns of sound and space that form the rhythm of a song are taken for granted until taken away.  And, once removed, their absence is profoundly disorienting — both to the player and her audience. Like a melody, the daily details of our lives float along over…

Death of the Democratic Party

“However [Political Parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, unprincipled and ambitious men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people” – George Washington, 1796. If the Coronavirus crisis has revealed anything, it has revealed that certain Parties and players will drop any pretense of constitutional allegiance when the opportunity arises.  Both Parties have elected people in positions of power locally and nationally that have essentially thrown the Constitution to…

A wartime governor?

“Some people might not have realized that World War III has already begun” – Tweet by Nayib Bukele, President of El Salvador, March 22, 2020 One of my favorite moments in an epic movie, “The Godfather”, is when Al Pacino’s character Michael Corleone, turns to Robert Duvall’s character Tom Hagen and says “You’re out Tom. You are not a wartime consigliere”. Duvall’s character had been a long standing attorney representing the family’s (legal and illegal) interests with a stellar track record. Yet he was removed in a period where a…

A Plea to Congressman Curtis

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom” – Benjamin Franklin Dear Sir, I write as a concerned constituent and believe I speak for many Utahans when I sincerely inquire after the state of our current representative governance. The Coronavirus phenomenon has clearly become a politicized boondoggle and I perceive flawed analysis of the problem and little critical inquiry into the proposed solutions. I must ask: where is our principled leadership? In your town halls, in our governor’s responses and elsewhere I hear the concern for our citizenry’s well-being and…

Fear, Freedom, and the Aftermath

On the first day of March 2020 Anno Domini, I boarded a train with a dear friend in Long Branch, New Jersey and headed to New York City to watch a hockey game. As the train headed north it became more packed at every station on the route, mostly with fellow hockey fans. A majority were wearing blue clothing proclaiming their allegiance to the New York Rangers. Some were in the orange and black of my beloved Philadelphia Flyers.  For me, watching a hockey game in Madison Square Garden was…

Freedom From Fear

Allowing government officials to impose edicts curtailing civil liberties in the name of safety is the irrevocable first step toward totalitarianism. I do not know anyone that has caught COVID-19. If I do, they either do not know it themselves or they are not telling me. Likewise, I do not have the virus. If I do, I show no symptoms.  I was in New York City on March 1st. I walked quite a bit of Manhattan after sitting in Madison Square Garden with 18,000 other hockey fans. The train there…

“A Very Stable Genius” portrays a very unstable President

Pulitzer-prize winners Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig have put the last three years of Trump into one book: A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America. It’s a condensed recap with on- and off-the-record sources guiding us through the behind-the-scenes drama that has unfolded in the White House. The authors portray a president who most of the time acts like a spoiled 12-year-old who thinks it is impossible for anyone to be smarter than him. He is surrounded by staff who are either true believers or believe they…

Not An Apology.

“Only Nixon could go to China.” —Old Vulcan proverb. When I started writing columns for cachevalleydaily.com a decade ago, there was an agreement between me and Eric Frandsen, CVD’s editor, about what my schtick was. As I had been on my occasional spots on KVNU radio, I would be the boorish Philly guy that took a sledgehammer to “Utah nice” when discussing events related to Utah; especially on the subject of politics.  Many of my CVD polemics were republished on Utah Politico Hub, where I served the same purpose. The…

Six Thoughts on Trump’s Impeachment

As the House votes to make Donald Trump the third president in American history to be impeached, I had some thoughts. 1. The Imperial Presidency was curbed after Nixon resigned, but it’s grown back up. Congress no longer views itself as a co-equal branch of government, at least not when “their guy” is in office. The return to the Imperial Presidency ramped up after 9/11 under GWB, kept going under Obama, and now it’s full-fledged under Trump. Why do so many hate politics? You look at what both parties said…

An open convention?

In 1968, Hubert Horatio Humphrey was chosen by delegates to the Democratic Convention in Chicago on the first ballot. He did so without contesting a single primary election in any state. The diminishing number of people as old as I remember that convention, which was marked by riots and clashes between Mayor Richard Daley’s police and the Chicago Seven (or Eight) and their epigone. A fond memory of the convention was Dan Rather (I think) “reporting from the floor of the convention,” meaning literally on the floor, where he had…