In his first speech as Utah’s 18th governor, Spencer Cox was not shy about the divisiveness we are seeing in Utah and around the nation. “We are facing a crisis of empathy, a scourge of contempt.”
“Conflict and passionate debate around ideas can be healthy,” he said. “But contempt and contention will rot the souls of our nation and her people. And this division isn’t just ugly or unfortunate. It is dangerous.
He also said that in a day where we have more knowledge at our fingertips than at any point in history, we have “somehow become more susceptible to disinformation, conspiracy theories and lies….We are sadly more divided than at any point in our lifetimes.”
Governor Cox quoted former federal Judge Thomas Griffith calling for “civic charity” as the means to save our Constitution. “We must seek to understand one another, to treat each other not as enemies but as friends and to secure justice for all without demonizing and ostracizing those with whom we disagree,” wrote Justice Griffith.
He quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who gave a sermon on loving our enemies.”The words of this text glitter in our eyes with a new urgency. Far from being the pious injunction of a utopian dreamer, this command is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. Yes, it is love that will save our world and our civilization, love even for enemies.”
“It’s our turn to write Utah’s next chapters,” Cox concluded. “Our greatest days are yet to come.”