Hello. It’s Utah, the 45th entrant to this nation. We know we’ve been a black sheep of sorts. We’ve done some embarrassing things along the way.
We got started on the wrong foot having to renounce polygamy in exchange for statehood. And while that may have limited us to just one spouse to nag us, it forever subjected us to the overused, “How many wives do you have?” joke anytime we announce outside our borders we are from Utah. We, of course, turn the other cheek. We don’t reciprocate with, “You’re from New England? How many witches have you burned at the stake?” Or, “You’re from the South? How many bathrooms have you segregated?” Or even, “You’re from Oklahoma? I’m sorry.” We simply give a polite but insincere chuckle, hand you a Book of Mormon and pray for your soul (and sense of humor). After all, our inclination towards passive aggression is only overshadowed by our propensity to proselytize.
And while the tired polygamy jokes have endured, our brand of politics has churned out an abundance of new material along the way. Our Legislature once took a break from meaningful policy discussion to debate, and ultimately pass, a resolution designating an official state handgun. After all, guns don’t kill people nearly as often as stupidity, so why not pass a resolution showcasing both?
Just this past Legislative session there was a resolution declaring pornography a health crisis. Apparently, carpal tunnel is becoming quite the epidemic.
You may call us weird; we prefer “peculiar.”
But like the prodigal son, we’ve returned to sanity. Unlike the vast majority of states that have hosted a primary to date, Utah gave a big “heck no” to Donald Trump. He left the Beehive State with as many delegates as apologies he’s offered for his ridiculous comments—zero. Despite having the built-in advantage of having three wives over his lifetime, he finished a distant third.
On some level, I get the Trump movement. There is a pent-up frustration in this country. Even the national GOP and its talk of fiscal responsibility is just that—talk. For all the “establishment” angst with the possibility, if not probability, of Trump as the GOP nominee, they have nobody to blame but themselves for (not) leading in a way that paved the way for a Trump candidacy to seem like a viable alternative to the status quo. It’s time the Republican Party mantra of personal responsibility be applied inwardly.
Because of the lack of leadership within the Party of Lincoln, the idea of a non-politician businessman taking the reins is appealing. Right up until you realize that businessman is Donald freaking Trump. Swapping the status quo for Donald Trump is akin to trading in a 2002 Buick that runs for a 1972 Volkswagen without an engine. Trump’s unrealistic over-promising even has politicians scratching their heads. For a guy whose success should be rooted in the foresight embedded in a detailed business plan, his depth on the issues is shallower than a puddle in the Mohave desert.
Trump isn’t what’s wrong with politics, he’s what’s wrong with humanity. His narcissism only ends where his sociopathic self begins. The problem is politics—on both sides of the aisle—have devolved to a point making his success possible.
To his credit, The Donald tried to warn us. He once said that politicians shouldn’t be allowed to use teleprompters so we could determine whether they’re smart. Unfortunately for him, his off-the-cuff, mindless diatribes have revealed he has the acumen of a bar stool. Fortunately for him, most his supporters share his intellect. The others, I have to think, are just opportunistic. I am almost certain, for example, Governor Christie was promised a lifetime supply of Trump Steaks in exchange for his support. In classic Trump fashion, however, the heir of his dad’s fortune once again reversed course and used a teleprompter at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee a few weeks ago.
And it’s not just his intelligent quotient that’s lacking. On a scale of playground bully to presidential, Trump’s temperament clearly favors the former. I am almost tempted to vote for Trump in hopes of seeing a Secret Service agent ordered to give a foreign dignitary a wedgey. You can’t so much as question the color of his tie without a barrage of tweets that would get most grade school kids a spanking. Even those paper mache pillow cases they hand out on airplanes—that disintegrate instantly upon being drooled on—are thicker than Trump’s skin. Yet, somehow, people still support his run for Childish-in-Chief and shockingly want his (small) finger on the nuclear button.
Speaking of over-compensating for a small body part, the former reality TV star’s habitual use of hyperbole and single syllable superlatives even led to the creation of his own word—yuuuuge, a word he often uses to supplant any substantive policy discussion.
For example, if asked how he would force Mexico to build the wall, Trump would merely respond, “The wall just got yuger.”
Reporter: “But Donald, really, America wants to know how Mexico would be forced to pay for the wall.”
Trump: “Lyin Ted is yuge liar. That is why I call him ‘lyin Ted.’ Cause he lies.”
Reporter: “Um, okay, what does that have to do with the wall?”
Trump: “I’m rich. I am worth many, many billions of dollars. I’ve built a yuge company.”
And so on and so on.
Despite Trump doing his best to mimic a Medieval Monarch by emblazoning his name in gold on everything he owns, his greatest electoral strength shockingly lies with the blue-collar class. The self-proclaimed nativist’s populist platform of controlling the border and rolling back free trade agreements resonates with those who feel their jobs are being jeopardized by these foreign threats, domestically and abroad. But if you believe that a man who has both outsourced jobs and passed over American job applicants in favor of immigrants has anybody’s interest in mind but his own, you probably also believe his wife married him for love.
As Republican Party elites have tacitly begun to coalesce around Trump’s candidacy, looming is a classic opportunity for Republicans to put country over party.
But if more states had the good sense that Utah displayed in rejecting Trump, it would never have to come to that.
You’re welcome, America.