2022 in Review: Political Lessons Learned in Utah | Opinion


Pignanelli and Webb: “The lesson of 2022: Voters who are confident in the election are more likely to vote.” — The New York Times

As is traditional every year-end, the news media provides Americans with a stream of highlights from 2022 and predictions for 2023. But their columnists have more experience and common sense than most of these beautiful, young, talking minds. (In other words, we are much older and uglier.)

Therefore, we hereby offer our 2022 political lesson nuggets, providing information for politicians in the future.

don’t put it in writing. Text messages are the newest form of written correspondence. So even if the very powerful chief of staff to the president of the United States asks him to offer hypotheses about constitutional provisions related to presidential election procedures, he politely but firmly declines. Some of Sen. mike lee‘s text messages to White House officials were likely scholarly musings. But you should have shared them via the old-fashioned technology of a phone call, or the well-tried fail-safe method of in-person conversation.

There is nothing better than basic retail policy. In the 2020 legislative session, Republican Sen. danny thatcher voted against legislation limiting the participation of transgender children in high school sports. Everyone (and we mean everyone) assumed he was politically dead, especially when he was running in a new and even more conservative senatorial district. Thatcher was not intimidated and visited all the Republican delegates to explain her reasons in a personal conversation. She not only survived the convention, but emerged as the only nominee, beating out several challengers. Regardless of one’s opinion of the bill, it is comforting to know that courage and shoe leather mean something in the 21st century.

Get your dang signatures. We’ve said this before… and we’ll say it again. The delegate/convention process is flawed and hard to predict, even for the best politicians. Rep. john curtis he barely survived the convention. popular republican legislator handy stephen No. They, along with others, are textbook examples of why it is political misconduct to avoid this exercise.

Get Your Dang Signatures – Part 2. The unpredictable nature of the delegates does not lie with the Republicans alone. Attendees at the Democratic State Convention refused to nominate a good candidate: Kael Weston — to support independence Evan McMullin. Weston could have prevented this dismissal with signatures. Just as importantly, the Democrats would have avoided the foolishness of signaling to Utah voters that they did not trust their message and their party by rejecting a Democratic candidate to head the ticket.

The quality of the candidate really matters. being endorsed by donald trump he managed to nominate many bad Republican candidates, who then lost in the general election. And yet they won several quality candidates who were opposed by Trump. In 2024, Trump himself will be the bad candidate. He may win the Republican nomination, but he may not win the general election.

There is nothing better than retail politics — Part 2. Salt Lake County Council Member Richard Snelgrove he is a popular and successful businessman and political moderate who was well-liked on both sides of the political spectrum. but legislator Susan Harrison he developed a strong message and worked in every corner of the county to defeat Snelgrove. She documented that in politics no one can take anything for granted, be it an incumbent or an unlikely contender.

If you believe it then stick to it. governor spencer-cox and US Senator mitt romney they have endured much criticism from their own party. Activists are frustrated with his moderate stances on some issues. Yet both never hesitated to articulate personal beliefs rooted in faith and conviction. Cox now enjoys high approval ratings. Romney’s polls are less positive, but he still commands respect and remains a viable contender in 2024.

Unfortunately, negative publicity does work.. Every year, the news media point out that Utahns despise attack commercials, but admit that they move the electoral needle. We suggest that much of this dilemma exists due to a vacuum of quality positive ads or humorous comparative ads. In other words, nasty ads persuade because there’s a vacuum of anything else.

Independent campaigns are rarely successful. The electoral mathematics showed that independents McMullin and Handy had a reasonable chance of winning. But voters, in the end, almost always go home with their political parties and their candidates.

learn from history. History documents that stridently partisan political actions produce limited results. The Senate Watergate hearings were deemed fair and therefore credible and impactful. The impeachment proceedings against Clinton were seen as biased, and the Republicans suffered in the upcoming midterm elections. For all the exciting results, the January 6 impeachment trials of Trump and the Commission are correctly described as partisan attacks, and therefore little can come of it.

Trust the voters and our system. In past elections, Trump, many of his acolytes and even some Democrats have spread fears that democracy and fair elections are in jeopardy. These nonsensical accusations were rejected by the majority of Americans, especially the younger citizens, who turned out in large numbers to vote. In Utah, the elections demonstrated once again that our state conducts a quality electoral process. Apparently Americans and Utahns have a higher respect for the strength of the republic than many of their leaders. Everyone should treasure this collective virtue.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a former journalist and semi-retired small farmer and political consultant. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist, and political advisor who served as a Democrat in the Utah state legislature. Email: frankp@xmission.com.


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