2024: What I Want, Expect, and Wish For – Part 2

Here are more things I want to see but likely won’t in American politics and government in 2024; things I expect to see but would rather not; a bit of wishful thinking, because at least that makes me smile for a minute; and a few things Americans can do.

This is the second of two posts. The first focused mostly on presidential candidates. This one takes up other themes, most of which relate to the presidential race somehow. Nearly everything does.

What I Want (continued)

I Want Us Not to Tolerate Violence or Rampant Tyranny in 2024

I’d love to see a mass outbreak of common sense and spirited Americanism when darker forces resume their rampage this year, as they probably will. Here’s what I mean.

2024: What I Want, Expect, and Wish For – Part 1, Presidential Candidates

Here’s what I want — part of what I want — to see, but likely won’t, in American politics and government in 2024; some things I expect to see but mostly would rather not; a bit of wishful thinking, because at least that makes me smile for a minute; and a few things Americans can do this year.

This is the first of two posts. This one focuses on presidential candidates, with an MLK Day bonus and an election denier bonus (to use a phrase I don’t like, because no one denies the 2020 presidential election actually happened). The second post considers other topics, still mostly in our national politics and government, and therefore somewhat related to a presidential election year.

I Want Different Presidential Nominees

I want to see the major parties nominate presidential candidates other than Donald Trump and Joe Biden. In this I am with the majority of Americans, supposedly, but that may not matter. In any case, both men are known quantities.

2022 Election Results and Reflections

We’re less than eight weeks past Election Day, that increasingly fuzzy temporal landmark, and I don’t want to speak too soon, but I think the 2022 election is finally over.

Georgia’s routine, belated runoff is history. Counties and states with more or less functional election apparatus have long since released their official numbers. And in the last few days three more things happened. Pennsylvania finally certified its results, the final tally in the State of Washington gave one US House seat to the Democrat candidate who had trailed earlier, and, though an appeal is pending, an Arizona judge rejected Kari Lake’s challenge to that state’s gubernatorial results.

I waited to finish and post this commentary until after my own county in Utah, aptly named Utah County, certified its results — on schedule — just before Thanksgiving, because my friend and neighbor Sarah Beeson was in an Alpine School Board race so close that we didn’t know the outcome before then. She won by 60 votes or 0.28%.

After that, I waited for Georgia and some non-electoral things. I don’t do this for a living, you see. And who wants to pore over politics at Christmas? But Christmas is now 364 weeks away. Let’s get this behind us while it’s still 2022, shall we?

David’s Opinionated 2022 Election Guide – State, County, and Local Races

Among the contested races and measures on my 2022 election ballot are races for Utah State Treasurer, Utah State House District 53, Utah County Commission Seat A, Utah County Clerk, Alpine School Board District 4, a proposed amendment to the Utah Constitution, and approval of a proposed Alpine School District bond issue. There are several uncontested races, which is unfortunate, no matter how good the lone candidates in those races may be.

Here I present state, county, and local contests in the order in which they appear on my ballot. With so many races it would be awkward to separate information and opinion, so I don’t. (In my previous post, on US Senate and House races on my ballot, which fairly drips with opinion, I did.)

Please remember that mailed ballots must be postmarked by Monday, November 7. We can also leave our ballots at drop boxes around the county through 8:00 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, November 8).

David’s Opinionated 2022 Election Guide: US House and Senate

As before, in my 2022 election guide I’ll comment almost exclusively on races which appear on my own ballot. This post looks at two races for national office; the next will consider state, county, and local races. The race for one of Utah’s US Senate seats pits two-term incumbent Republican Mike Lee against three challengers named on the ballot and some write-in candidates. The leading challenger is Evan McMullin, who appears on the ballot as unaffiliated but has the Utah Democratic Party endorsement and relies heavily on Democratic money. The race for US House of Representatives in Utah’s 3rd District has 2.5-term incumbent Republican John Curtis facing three challengers, including Democrat Glenn J. Wright.

I’ll provide links to the Senate candidates’ official campaign websites and to the one debate in the race. Then I’ll tell you what I think. Then I’ll do the same for the House race, but more briefly. Finally, for any reader who hasn’t had enough already, I’ll say more about Mike Lee and Evan McMullin.

In presenting my own views, I’ll focus on the two leading contenders in each race. The third-party and write-in candidates are unlikely to move the needle. In case you’re curious, the relatively new United Utah Party, which wants us to want them — hat tip to Cheap Trick — has no candidate in either race.

Silver Linings and Points of Light

I share many Americans’ gloom in the present political moment. My conservative concerns are legion. But I see points of light in the night sky. I see silver linings to the dark clouds, suggesting the light still burns beyond them.

To be sure, I don’t always write cheerfully.

  • Four posts ago I wrote about not giving ourselves permission to hate people. Hatred is as dark as darkness gets.
  • Three posts ago I wrote about social media censorship and possible measures against it — for a future day when we may have a government which isn’t in bed with Big Tech.
  • Two posts ago I wrote about the rush to reimpeachment and its motives. My thoughts were not sweetness and light.
  • Last time I described a dark and detailed dream about freedom, truth, and their enemies’ raging lust for power. I’ll let you decide, when you read it, whether you think it was really just a dream.

In one or two of those sober posts, and in private conversations with several readers, in person and online, I promised happy thoughts to come — because there are some.

I have three potentially therapeutic things for you. (In some cases I may have to explain the cheering effect.) They are danger signs we don’t see yet, those happy thoughts I promised, and things to do.

Impeachment, Etc.: What’s Going On?

People keep taking me aside, literally and virtually, to ask me privately what’s going on in Washington, DC, as the violence of January 6 and Big Tech censorship intersect with a frenzied rush to impeachment, during President Trump’s last two weeks in office.

Here’s what I see. But first, fair warning: This may be too pessimistic for your tastes. And the causes I see for hope and optimism are subjects for another day.

Violence Is Violence

The violence at the Capitol seems to have come, perhaps not equally, from both extremes of our political spectrum. The far-right criminals who participated have more in common with the leftist criminals who joined them than they have in common with Trump voters generally. The vast majority of Trump voters doesn’t approve the violence any more than it approved last summer’s much greater violence by the Left.

(Theoretical tangent: I don’t view the political spectrum as a straight line; I see it as circle. The ends — the extremes — curve back around and meet each other. Far-right and far-left radicals are practically indistinguishable; their body counts and even their ideologies are more alike than different.)

Twitter Doesn’t Like Free Speech. They’re Not Alone.

Twitter’s leftist partisanship has grown more overt in recent months. Likewise YouTube and Google generally, and Facebook. Lately they’ve trumpeted it for all to hear, to the great delight of American leftists, whose commitment to free speech shrinks as their power grows.

(Note: Some leftists’ delight is not complete. They publicly blame the Big Tech leviathans for not suppressing even more political speech they dislike.)

I Don’t Need Twitter (Mostly)

I never followed President Trump on Twitter, and I don’t recall ever seeing one of his tweets in its natural habitat. I’ve only seen them in stories and columns about his tweets. But on Friday afternoon I read Twitter’s absurd justification for banning a President of the United States, and I went home and deleted four of my five Twitter accounts. At the time I didn’t realize I was part of a trend.

Something We All Can Do: Stop Hating

I wrote very recently of the 2020 election and its aftermath, and I didn’t plan to write today. I try to avoid politics on my Sabbath, in my reading, writing, and posting. Today I’m making an exception, as hatred rages through our public square a little more overtly than before — an exception for a thought which for some is religious, and for others is at least moral, not simply political, I hope.

One Nation, Not So Much

Whatever sources you choose to consume and believe, the news abounds with evidence that Americans are not a united people. Unity for its own sake is of limited wisdom and value, but unity based on true principles and righteous purposes is precious beyond rubies. Disunity is unstable, uncomfortable, and often dangerous, if cultivated.

On the 2020 Presidential Election and Its Aftermath

In the two months since Election Day I’ve been increasingly intrigued by the certitude I encounter in people on both sides of this question: was the 2020 presidential election stolen? If you’re certain it was or certain it wasn’t, I wonder: why do you think what you think? We’ll talk about this.

I’ve also been thinking that people on both sides are missing something important about the US Supreme Court. This leads to unreasonable expectations and fears about the Court’s possible interventions. We’ll talk about this too.

I have some specific thoughts about what should and shouldn’t happen tomorrow, when Congress meets in joint session to observe the counting of electoral votes, and what should happen thereafter. I’ll mention them as we conclude.