Utah Policy received an award from the 2021 Top of the Rockies Contest sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists’ Colorado Pro Chapter. It is a regional, multi-platform contest for reporters and news organizations in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Contributor Jared Whitley won second place in the "Personal/Humor" category in the small newsrooms division. Congratulations, Jared!

His two winning columns are: 

Yes, I work In politics. No, I don't want to talk with you about it

"There's a funny bumper stick you'll see on some trucks: "Yes, this is my truck. No, I don't want to help you move." If there were one of those about getting people to stop asking me about politics, I would buy 800 of them.

No one warned me that this would be an occupational hazard when I pursued politics as a career, but I should have realized it. Whatever career path someone chooses occupies much if not most of their waking hours. It makes sense that people will talk to them about, whether they're colleagues or not.....

...the exhausting fact is that when people - good, wonderful people - want to talk with someone like me about politics, they don't really want to talk with me about it: they want to tell me what they think while I nod in approval. They don't want political insight; they want political therapy.

 

Is America divided beyond repair?

"Breaking up is like knocking over a Coke machine. You can't do it one push. You gotta rock it back and forth a few times and then it goes over." - Jerry Seinfeld, 1997

Our division on a visceral, tribalistic level is very recent. In 2004, Bush and Kerry each presented himself as the commander-in-chief best suited to win the war on terror. The 2000 election didn't become interesting until Election Day because Gore and Bush were so ideologically similar. In 1996, both Clinton and Dole wanted America to thrive in our post-Cold War victory.

But since then, irrefutable, irreconcilable divisions have emerged that we need to acknowledge, divisions made worse by how the fate of the entire country hangs on what tiny portions of the electorate decides.....

... How do you compromise with a party that is threatening a scorched-earth policy toward every American institution while they don't have power?

Scholar Neil Howe predicted the political unrest of 2020 way back in the '90s, and now he's predicting a decade with a secession crisis at home and war with China abroad....

We've been rocking the Coke machine back and forth for the last 20 years. Maybe it's time to finally push it over.