Webb Wrap: Trump brought out his base and hurt Utah Democrats . . . I need to get out of my bubble so I can hate my kids’ music

I don’t know who’s going to win the 4th District. I don’t know where those final votes are coming from. But I’m surprised that incumbent Democrat Ben McAdams didn’t win rather easily. He has always been well liked and his approval ratings have usually been the best of the congressional delegation.

McAdams is a Democrat and a centrist in a Republican-leaning congressional district, but he fits the district well. He had an enormous amount of money. The race was the nastiest in decades, but both sides were about equally nasty. Republican opponent Burgess Owens wasn’t a really strong candidate. He campaigned as a culture warrior focused on broad conservative themes, rather than as a practical problem-solver.

At the same time, it appeared on election night that Salt Lake County Democrats might pick up four or five House seats. But as vote-counting has continued, those leads have slipped away and the races are extremely close with votes yet to be counted.

So what happened in Salt Lake County? All I can figure is that Trump got the Republican base out in a big way. Trump creates election magic with his base.

In 2016, Trump won Utah with only 45% of the vote. This year, he won with 58%, a strong showing. I think a lot of Republicans turned out to try to save Trump’s presidency, and they voted for down-ballot Republicans while they were at it.

Salt Lake County incumbent Mayor Jenny Wilson was winning with only 52 percent of the vote Wednesday night. Incumbent at-large Council Member Shireen Ghorbani saw her lead shrink to only 84 votes out of nearly half a million cast against a Republican candidate who was not well known.

A lot of the legislative and county races are too close to call, like the congressional race. But it appears the Republicans are overperforming, and it’s probably because Trump motivated his passionate base to get out and vote.

Good Read. The Hill lists some Republicans who could serve in a Biden administration, including former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, with ties to Utah. Others are former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and a few moderate Republican House members.

Reader Response. Eric Hosfelt, from West Jordan, responded to Webb suggesting that Trump should concede: “The probability of Trump losing the election is real. However, there is a larger issue that needs addressing.  That issue is election reform that ensures that US elections are a true reflection of the will of the citizens of this nation. When we have more individuals voting than the eligible population of their counties, when we have election counting staff correcting ballots that are not signed, addressed or properly filled out, when we have poll watchers thrown out of vote counting areas, when vote counting locations cover their windows so they cannot be observed, when we literally have ballots that magically show up in the middle of the night skewing the results for one candidate, we have a problem.  States can set the standards for any election within their particular state.  However, in an election that is deciding Federal offices there needs to be a standard for all states to adhere to.  I want Trump to press his defeat forward with vigor and resolve.  Not so much to have him declared the winner, but to force states to conduct fair and honest elections.”

Parting Shot. I know it’s the sacred obligation of every older generation to hate the next generation’s music. I remember well how much my parents’ World War II generation hated my Baby Boom generation’s music. That evil, hip-shaking rock-and-roll. But I don’t hate my kids or grandkids music because I have no idea what it is. I never hear it. I’m stuck in the ’60s and ’70s with the Mamas & Papas, Credence Clearwater Revival, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel, and so forth. I create playlists and listen to radio stations that play nothing but oldies. They deliver only what I want and I never hear anything else.

When my kids were young they’d hate to drive anywhere with me because I’d roll down the windows and crank up the oldies just to embarrass them. I used to blast the teenagers out of bed on Sunday mornings with the dulcet refrains of “Jeremiah was a bullfrog . . .!”

OK, so here’s the (not so serious) point. All of this is another example of the fragmentation and isolation of modern society. In the really old days when there were basically just three TV networks and not very many radio stations, everyone heard everyone else’s music. And everyone heard a lot of the same news and information. Everyone watched a lot of the same TV sitcoms and variety shows. They were called “variety” because they featured a wide range of music and talent. In those days, we had both a lot more in common and, at the same time, we couldn’t help but be exposed to lots of different ideas and information.

Today, we never have to get out of our bubbles. We can customize and restrict everything we see and hear to our own specific tastes and seldom get exposed to other stuff. Simon & Garfunkel sang, “I am an island,” and we really are.

I would really like to hate my kids’ music, so can’t we all just come together, share common experiences and have unity? And I know you all would really love Three Dog Night if you’d just listen to them.

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