I know everyone has been waiting anxiously for me to offer a voters guide to Utah’s presidential primary next week. Here it is.
First and most importantly – go vote. Even if you have no particular interest in politics you should get into the habit of participating in this “government by the people.”
Second – if you are going to vote you need to pick a single candidate because we don’t have instant runoff voting. For those who still need to pick a candidate – here are your four candidates and two dividing issues to help you choose. (If you don’t want to vote for one of these four you should have already made your choice.)
The two choice issues are party compatibility and change vs status quo.
If you prefer the Republican view your choices are Mitt Romney or John McCain. If you lean Democratic you may choose Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. If you want to see a change you can choose Mitt Romney or Barack Obama (not that the change of Mitt Romney is the same change as you would find with Barack Obama). If you like the status quo you can select John McCain or Hillary Clinton. So now, in alphabetical order, here are the individual candidates and what they offer.
Hillary Clinton – she would bring all the advantages of having a woman in power (I don’t see what advantages are related to one gender over the other, but that’s what she offers). Her baggage includes her husband who has demonstrated a willingness to insert himself into the public discussion and a penchant for breeding divisiveness (as if we didn’t have enough divisiveness already). Hillary not only represents the status quo, but she guarantees – by virtue of her name – that most of the country won’t leave the partisan rancor that we have seen for more than a decade.
John McCain – he brings the advantage of serving 26 years in federal office. He knows how our political system currently works. His baggage is that he has spent 26 years in Washington D.C. Chances are pretty good that he has friends there who are invested in keeping the current system.
Barack Obama – he has the advantage of not serving 26 years in federal office. He also has an impressive ability to inspire people and look towards the future. His baggage is that “he doesn’t have enough experience.” He has been a U.S. Senator for only four years. I’m not sure why the senate is such a guaranteed training ground for a president other than it gets you close to the action to know how things work. It seems to me that if you can’t figure it out within four years I have no confidence that you can figure it out in 8 years, or 26 years either. By the way, I think that the way Barack Obama canceled his campaign appearance in deference to president Hinckley’s funeral and personally offered his condolences to President Monson was very dignified. Many candidates would have simply expected a smaller crowd or silently called of their event.
Mitt Romney – he has the advantage of a wide variety of experience with positions of authority and no excess of experience in government. His baggage is that some people don’t trust him, some people associate him with the current administration (based on party affiliation), and some people dislike him for both of the preceding reasons.
There you have it. Make your choice. I think it’s obvious that I favor change over the status quo. I hope you do too. It would be a nice change if we had high voter turnout on Tuesday.