Best Advice on Extremist Groups: Ignore Them

lavarr policy insightsUtah has two relatively new advocacy groups on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Alliance for a Better Utah is a left-wing extremist organization promoting ultra-liberal causes and attacking conservatives and conservative causes.

The main headline currently on the group’s website is, “Better Utah Releases Attack Ad On Love/Ryan.” The ad depicts House Speaker Paul Ryan throwing granny off a cliff and says Rep. Mia Love supports him.

On the right-wing end of the spectrum is the Utah chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded, ultra-conservative fringe group that is quick to attack even conservatives and Republicans who aren’t pure enough and don’t pass the organization’s litmus tests.

These extremist groups don’t represent the vast majority of Utahns. They don’t care about the views of most citizens or the leaders we have elected. They pursue their own rigidly ideological agendas. Their specialty is political hatchet jobs.

They have every right to spout their views. And Utahns ought to do the intelligent thing: ignore them. 

The New Sutherland Institute. Speaking of interest groups, the Sutherland Institute, under new leadership, seems committed to being a responsible and practical voice for conservative values and solutions. I had breakfast the other day with Boyd Matheson, the new president. He is the former chief of staff to Sen. Mike Lee and is an excellent choice. He wants to seek conservative solutions to society’s problems and bring people together, not just engage in ideological warfare. He wants to make Sutherland an “idea factory for policy entrepreneurs.”

So, welcome Boyd Matheson to the public policy world. He will make a solid contribution.

Quote of the day.  “If Trump is the nominee, he’s going to run into a billion-dollar buzz saw.”

–Stuart Stevens, former Mitt Romney Advisor, quoted in Wall Street Journal. Stevens noted that Trump is ill-prepared for the general election. He hasn’t focused on organizing a real campaign. Hillary Clinton has 1,100 staffers; Trump has 200. “You’re talking about running a $1 billion to $2 billion startup that is going to have to be operational almost immediately, and that’s just incredibly difficult to do. Plus, he (Trump) has created a culture that says he doesn’t need to do this.” He’s going to face a barrage of advertising from Clinton and liber super PACS that will try to define him early in the general election.