Vice says Utah is ready for a progressive in Congress

Mitchell Vice, who is challenging for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination on Saturday, wants voters to know that there’s a solution to the frustration many feel about today’s political system.

“I want voters to know that they have the power to create the kind of change we all want despite the frustration and resignation we experience through politics,” he says.

Vice describes himself as an “angry young man” during his formative years in California. 

“I was part of the punk movement, and I saw anyone that was over 40 as the enemy,” says Vice. “I voted sporadically, and I voted cynically, but I had some hope.”

Vice says that hope was dashed in 2016 when Bernie Sanders was unable to win the Democratic presidential nomination, losing to Hillary Clinton. But, he says his campaign is an opportunity to continue the conversation Sanders started in the Democratic party without the polarization.

“The things we want are really possible if we take responsibility for that disenfranchisement and turn it into action,” he says.

What are those things? Vice is an advocate for Medicare for everybody, overturning the “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision, and a livable wage for all workers. Affordable medical care is of particular interest to vice, especially since he had to declare medical bankruptcy once.

“When I talk with people, especially in rural Utah, they want healthcare. It makes a lot of fiscal and moral sense to create a healthy population so we don’t have to spend so much on healthcare,” he says. 

Vice laments the indifference shown by many voters in Utah. He says a lot more progress could be made if Utahns just took the time to participate in the political process.

“The people that I talk to in lodges and churches and bars get it. They’re not stupid. They just think everybody is crooked, and that’s why they don’t participate, and that’s why they don’t vote,” he says. “There’s a quote that drives me by Buckminster Fuller. He said ‘You never change anything by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.'”

Vice is one of four candidates running for the Utah Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate at Saturday’s state convention.

Listen to the podcast of our full conversation with Vice here.