Opinionated @ CFE

Count My Vote is Elitism Wearing a Populist Jacket

Sep
13

It's a trap!A tried and tested political strategy is to appeal to the majority. Nothing wins points like tapping into popular opinion, and the Count My Vote effort is trying to do just that. Unfortunately, just like so many other efforts that do the same, they’re just the same old tired elitism trying on a new outfit. I’m not fooled, and you shouldn’t be either.

The first sign that this isn’t some grassroots effort is the money involved. So far, donors have contributed an average of $21K a pop. That’s enough money to run a pretty successful  state house race. Count My Vote has raised enough for 21 such races. That’s an awful lot of money to spend on changing the party nominating process, especially when it would have a lot of influence in state and local races.

Then we need to take a glance at the names involved. It reads like a who’s who of Utah politics. Millers? Check. Mathesons? Check. Leavitts? Check. Del Loy Hansen, Bruce Bastian, Merit Medical, and a whole host of others who have been long entrenched in the political process are also on board. It looks an awful  lot like a turf war by people with lots of money and name recognition. It’s almost as if they have a vested personal interest.

The real irony here is that the Count My Vote initiative, backed by well-financed political elites, is trying to convince you that the caucus system is somehow more elitist. It’s hard to see how switching to a system that thrives primarily on large donors and name recognition beats out a system that also allows someone willing to wear out a few pairs of shoes a real shot at public office.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxFOVtr9fbk]

Don’t be fooled by the language they use. The push to change the party nomination process is a smokescreen for further consolidating political power. If these people were really interested in providing greater choice to the voters, they’d work on allowing easier ballot access and run-off elections. Instead, they want to make sure their well-financed picks are at the top of the Republican ticket each time, an almost guarantee of winning the general election in much of the state. Sounds a whole lot like elitism to me.

Populism and Opportunism

Jan
06

One inevitable side effect of any wave of populism is that you’re going to have opportunists looking to latch onto that wave as quickly as they can. With the recent wave of anti-federal sentiment courtesy of the tea party movement, the hollow rings of opportunism have reached a similar crescendo. They range from the somewhat plausible to the laughably transparent (I’m looking at you, Orrin Hatch). To those of us with a track record of opposing the never-ending reach of federal power, it’s galling to find a bunch of wannabes and hypocrites attaching themselves to these ideals while simultaneously stoking the bonfire of crazy that seems to accompany it. It doesn’t just insult our intelligence, it makes us look bad.

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