As I was coming home from dropping my daughter off at school the other day, I stopped behind a car with a rare bumper sticker. It stood out to me as I’ve been grappling with the blowback that the internet was aiming at Utahns for voting for one Mitt Romney back in November. The sticker, a simplistic three-color design that says: “Romney for Utah” with a blue cutout of the state on the right.
Interesting that Romney spent very little money on such a design and that he decided to make Utah Democrat blue. Another example of his true colors…but I digress.
Being that I was born and raised in Utah, and that I currently live here, one would think that such a sight isn’t rare, but it’s actually the only vehicle I’ve seen with such a sticker this season. Sure, we see tons of political signs and bumper stickers like any other state, but with Romney there has always been little support in that regard, as people safely assumed that you didn’t need the reminder. There were almost no “Romney for President” signs or bumper stickers to be found here back in 2012. Either way, that morning’s stop at the light was a stark reminder that, whether I like it or not, Benedict Romney is my Senator for the next six years.
I really take no pleasure in that statement, and no, I did not cause a road rage incident with the silver-haired old lady driving the car. I just had to roll my eyes and breath a sigh of frustration that I’m surrounded by people who have no qualms with electing a two-faced, immoral, spineless carpetbagger into the Senate.
But then I went online and tried to get back into work and the reaction from the right was even more overwhelming. I knew that this would happen, but my small voice in pumping up 3rd party candidate Tim Aalders fell on deaf ears. Unfortunately, I can now say that Jan. 2nd was the first day that I’ve ever been ashamed to be from Utah.
Now it was not a surprise that Mitt won, although you have to give a handful of us in Utah some credit for trying to prevent it. It was a Herculean task from the moment that Orrin Hatch announced that his hand-picked successor would be a guy who was famous for “saving the Olympics” and losing every political race he’d been involved in, excepting that one time he became governor of Massachusetts.
On this site, we first promoted Larry Meyers, and then Mike Kennedy as challengers to Romney’s coronation. Kennedy even forced Mitt into a debate with a Republican, something that he certainly was less comfortable with than in debating a comrade-in-arms Democrat. We also highlighted a conservative 3rd party challenger, Tim Aalders. I was greatly disappointed in the President for endorsing Romney so early on, as he was re-living The Snake by taking that calculating advice (one can rest assured that such endorsements are what some of the Never Trumpers in the WH have been bragging about when it comes to “changing the President’s mind.”).
But alas, the results of 2018 were not close – Romney won with 62% of the vote. What is interesting though is seeing his support decline; 62% is a far cry from having won the 2012 presidential primary in Utah with 93% of the Republican vote and winning the state of Utah in the 2012 general election with a comfortable 72%. I can proudly say that I did not vote for him, as I saw through his kabuki act long ago – but the vote of myself and my wife for Tim Aalders were drops in the proverbial rusted bucket.
I’ve been seeing a lot of opinions about Utahns flying around out there, but before you completely crucify us for electing the nicest looking backstabber in the Senate, a few things to consider.
Like many other states, Utah has been undergoing big demographic changes. You can’t be voted as a great place to raise a family for numerous years in a row without that causing an influx of implants. Unfortunately, this means a lot of people from California, who tend to sow the political ground and culture with the same liberal salt that devastated their homeland to begin with. This has caused home prices to become distorted as well (all problems that other Western states have to deal with).
“But his religion!” screams the internet. Well, it’s pretty rare that someone running for Federal office within the state of Utah doesn’t belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, aka “The Mormons.” Meyers, Kennedy and Aalders were all practicing Mormons, yet that didn’t give them some sort of special boost. It’s one of those things that everybody just assumes and forgets about when it comes down to how they’ll vote.
What it boils down to is that Mitt Romney is a celebrity. Voters love celebrity. Celebrity rarely looses – be it Jesse Ventura in Minnesota, Arnold Schwarzenegger in California and of course our sitting President, Donald Trump (although I would argue that Trump went well beyond that – most celebrities tend to coast on their fame when running for office, while Trump had a method and a message that energized the remnants among the Tea Party voting base worked when combined with holding a massive number of political rallies).
Of course now I know the pain that conservative Arizonians feel. How often you’ve been lambasted for people like John McCain, Jeff Flake and now electing a Senator into office who openly sympathizes with the Taliban. Or those in West Virginia who saw Joe Manchin go back to the Senate or those in Wisconsin who threw out Scott Walker in favor of some low-rent Bernie Sanders stand-in. Of course, New Jersey reinstalled the corrupt child-lover Bob Menedez into office; Minnesota voted for a woman who married her brother for 8 years or in New York, voted for a dumb brat who knows how to use social media and not much else. But since they’re Blue States, and none of these people are proactively playing the role of a pretender, they get a pass.
At the very least, I know I’m not alone here. In listening to Rush Limbaugh the other day, I heard several fellow Utahns call-in to push back at some sort of Romney fetish that we supposedly have. John Nolte over at Breitbart is also keeping up the heat, pointing out that Moral Mitt always slinks away from his Righteous Indignation when it comes to his fellow Democrats. To that, I’ll be working hard to ensure that someone – anyone – will be able to make Mitt Romney a one-term Senator six years from now and restore some honor to the Utah name.