Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Congratulations, Utah. You blew it.

Congratulations, Utah. You blew it. You had a chance to make a difference in this election, with your 6 electoral votes. But you chickened out.

As of this morning, with two states still uncounted, Donald Trump had exactly 276 electoral votes. That's six more than he needed to win. Six electoral votes. That's Utah.

If Arizona and Michigan swing for Hillary Clinton, Trump will have won by only six votes. If one other state, say Arizona or Idaho, had swung for Clinton, and Utah had voted for a third party, it would have forced an Amendment 12 election and we would have been spared both of these losers.

This election was a squeaker. Neither major political party can claim a mandate. Trump won by the slimmest of margins, the Republicans hold a slim majority (18 seats) in the House and only a one-seat majority in the Senate. It was more or less a coin toss.

Whether Clinton or Trump won, either way, we would have awakened to despair on Wednesday morning. There had been a glimmer of hope from the Rocky Mountains. This was a race in which a third party could have made a real difference. Instead, the Mormon majority in Utah decided to align with the Evangelical Christians in the Deep South, to abandon their principles and vote for what was expedient instead of what was right. They wanted to save their precious conservative majority in the Supreme Court.

You people have it all wrong. Haven't you seen how Donald Trump has used, abused, and manipulated the justice system for his personal gain, since 1973? Nothing's going to change. Trump is going to appoint judges who will enrich him, who will help him to amass wealth and power, and who will help him to punish his enemies, even those whose only crime was to speak out against him.

Let me put it in words you Mormons will understand: You have elected King Noah. (Now is a good time for everybody else to go and read the book of Mormon.) Of course, your other choice was the Gadianton robbers - but again, that's only if you buy into the fallacy that the election was an either/or, two-option choice.

Again for the Mormons, there are two scriptures that matter, although it's too late for you to apply them to this election:

From Doctrine and Covenants, 98:8-10:

I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free.
Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn.
Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.

And from Doctrine and Covenants, 121:39:

We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

Utah (and Idaho, and Arizona), you could have taken a moral stand, however futile it might have appeared. You could have stood on principle. And, in hindsight, now that the numbers are in, you would have made a difference in this election. But you abandoned your principles in favor of expediency, thus joining the evangelical Christians, who threw in the towel months ago. You're no better than them.

And you have reinforced the tautology that a third-party candidate will never win an election because nobody will vote for him, and nobody will vote for a third-party candidate because he will never win an election.

Let's all try again in four years, okay? Stay tuned for the next two posts.

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