COLUMN: Five Elections

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1 – I hate term limits. Not as much as I hate BYU, but pretty close. There is nothing I believe runs counter to a representative government more than disallowing an incumbent candidate the possibility to continue doing their job if the people are satisfied with them.

And the argument for term limits is always the same…throw the bums out! OK. Fine; but what if: A) The elected official is not a bum, but a smart, effective legislator who is loved by those who elected them? And, B) The candidates to replace this “bum” are not that good?

To use the term “career politician” as a pejorative refuses to admit that some politicians are really good at their job—and we should encourage them to make a career out of it.

Enter Logan, Utah.

Mayor Randy Watts unsuccessfully sought a 3rd term this week. He brought his case to the people of Logan, and they voted for his opponent, Craig Petersen. I voted for Petersen. Not because I disapproved of the job Watts did, or even because of his seeking a 3rd term. I just like what Petersen says he wants to do as mayor.

The system worked. Mayor Watts made his case and the voters of Logan told him they want to go another way. Mother Government did not have to reject Randy Watts for us—we did it all on our own.

2 – If the media has not hit you over the head enough with the following fact, allow me to pile on. The landslide re-election of Chris Christie as New Jersey’s governor is a big deal.

New Jersey is a state that likes to keep its Republicans on a short, taut leash.The Garden State is the model for white, blue-collar Democrats dominating the political landscape. You can be elected governor if you are a Republican; but, do not even think of running on a socially conservative platform. They don’t do that in Jersey.

What should make Republicans around America enthusiastic is Christie won a majority of the women vote (his Democratic opponent was a woman) coupled with the delicious nugget that he pulled a fairly sizeable chunk of the Hispanic vote.

Hello 2016!

Christie has problems. He can come off as a bully. He tends to give his blunt opinion on subjects he should avoid. And, yes, the elephant in the room is that Christie is the elephant in the room. No one wants to elect a president who can suddenly keel over dead because he could not stay on a diet.

But in a presidential election, Christie would put New Jersey in play. He is constantly in the news in the Philadelphia media market, which can sway Pennsylvania. And anyone that can get women and Hispanics in New Jersey to vote for him can certainly pull votes in Ohio, Virginia and Florida.

Show me another Republican that can do that on the electoral map in 2016 and I will support them.

3 – Deep in the heart of Texas, Harris County voters rejected a proposal to refurbish the now-antiquated and abandoned Houston Astrodome. The plan was to turn it into a convention center and exhibition site. While I understand the sentimentality from those who wish to sustain an edifice that was once dubbed the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, the reality is that the Astrodome is a sad reminder of an architectural era that should be forever forgotten.

When it first opened in 1965, the Astrodome had a grass field—but the grass died fast. Damn you, photosynthesis! And that led to the invention of Astroturf. Astroturf was aesthetically unpleasing to those who watched baseball, and it was physically punishing to play football on it.

The multi-purpose, cookie-cutter stadiums that followed the Astrodome were nearly all cold, impersonal cement monstrosities. We are better off leaving these mausoleums alone in our memories.

4 – After 20 years of smart, competent mayoral leadership the voters of New York City decided it was time to wreck things. On Tuesday, they elected Bill de Blasio to be their next mayor. Like the Astrodome, de Blasio is a reminder of the bad old days. He is the arch-type, leftist, pseudo-Communist big city liberal who thinks the answer to everything is to tax rich people.

de Blasio spent his youth supporting the Communist Nicaraguan Sandinistas back in the 1980’s—a decade when liberals still admitted that Communism was The Way. He is an advocate of Section 8 housing, which depreciates home values and sends middle-class Whites running to the suburbs. And to prove he is real leftist, he often criticizes the NYPD for what he considers to be their aggressive tactics.

This is a classic case of people having it too good. After the highly successful administrations of Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani, New Yorkers have decided to elect a man who opposes the very programs and policy initiatives that returned the city to greatness under those two gifted politicians. And for what? To strive to fulfill the ideal of a liberal paradigm that never works in big cities.

I remember going to NYC in the early ‘80s. It was a scary place. Back then, the only way you could see New York in a good light was in a Woody Allen movie. Not even Woody can save the Big Apple from the regression heading its way.

5 – And, finally, coming back to good ol’ Utah, the voters of Hyde Park decided to say no to theocratic lunacy by voting to allow beer sales in the town. We brought Hyde Park kicking and screaming into the 1930s!

I expected the vote to be in the affirmative. But what really got to me was the use of the term “mind-altering substances” by opponents of the measure. Really?

You know what else is a “mind-altering substance?” Music. You can add books to that list. Insomnia alters the mind, as does hunger. Xanax? Oh, yeah, I went there! And let’s not forget religion. That has altered the minds of those who have killed countless millions throughout the history of time in the name of their God.

For anyone to use such jaundiced language as can be found in the term “mind-altering substance” to describe something as insignificant as beer shows a level of ignorance that is worthy of scathing ridicule.

It’s only beer. And you can now buy it at a convenience store in Hyde Park, Utah. Such is the beauty of a country with free elections.