Sometimes it feels like our two-party system is always in constant gridlock. Other times it feels like our only choice is between the lesser of two evils.
While some might say that we need more alternatives, more parties, I’m happy with our two-party system. I believe it creates the right amount of balance to meet our society’s diverse needs.
Besides, having too many choices can take away from our collective freedom to make decisions. In the New York Times a few years ago, Alina Tugend wrote, “Although it has long been the common wisdom in our country that there is no such thing as too many choices, as psychologists and economists study the issue, they are concluding that an overload of options may actually paralyze people or push them into decisions that are against their own best interest.”
But just as too many choices can hinder the decision making process, having zero choices is equally as bad. For many people in Utah, it often feels that there are no choices. For decades, Republicans have dominated the Utah political scene, mainly, as some have argued, because Utah’s large LDS constituent base has felt polarized by the Democrat’s social issue platform.
As a member of the LDS Church myself, I find that I am often treading the lines of both parties; but in my heart, I’m a Democrat. My parents are also Democrats and my grandparents, too.
So with state elections coming up, I see several areas on which Democrats could focus so that Utahns have another choice at the polls this year:
A stronger push for public education. If we are going to fix our public education woes, we need to fund public education like any other competitive field. Doing so would attract our best and brightest individuals into the field of teaching.
A stronger resolution to expand Medicaid and provide health insurance for Utah’s poorest families.
A more concerted effort to improve Utah’s air quality, including a stronger push towards more accessible renewable energy.
And a stronger resolve for government transparency and ethics reform. It was a tragedy to see John Swallow abuse his public office and then get off with not so much as a slap on the wrist, all while Utah taxpayers lost out on $4 million.
Utah desperately needs more balance in its legislature; focusing on these issues might bring that about.