Monday, March 26, 2012

What Are the Obamacare Legal Arguments?

Nobody has a better handle than Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) on the issues now before the SCOTUS regarding the "Affordable Healthcare Act," aka Obamacare.

In essence, the underlying question is simple: If Congress has the authority under the Constitution to issue an individual mandate that Americans MUST purchase a product, in this case health insurance, does that mean Congress can compel by individual mandate that Americans must do other things as well? And, of course, what "other things" might portend will make this SCOTUS decision, whichever way it is ultimately decided, a landmark decision with far-reaching implications either way.

As readers of this page can attest, I have opposed Obamacare from the moment I first learned about it. Apart from the legal nuances which are many and a bit obtuse for the casual observer, the fundamental question for me has always been this one: Does it make rational fiscal sense to foist this decision on the public at a time of record national debt and deficits, when all the cost estimates either from the independent CBO or other economists who have studied it confirm this will become by far the most expensive entitlement program ever launched in American history?

One can argue that Obamacare was conceived to "bend" the cost curve in future years associated with medical costs in this country, and that's certainly a worthy goal, as Medicare and Medicaid costs have nearly swamped our budget, but the scoring on the Act has proven it cannot be paid for in its present form without massive tax hikes. Now we await the judgment of the SCOTUS, and while we wait the fifty states and their residents remain frozen in uncertainty. If there were one word to describe Obama's legacy it would be that one - UNCERTAINTY.

Lee shares his views here in the third video in a series describing what's at stake and the probable outcomes as he sees them:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

American Free Enterprise's Last Gasp

Law professors and community organizers just don't get the secret of the American freedom agenda, according to Mitt Romney in this victory speech in Barack Obama's backyard. This may be the final voice of reason when it comes to the contrast between government solutions and the free enterprise system.

I can hardly wait for the general campaign that will draw a clear distinction between these two vastly divergent philosophies. People tell me there's no hope to change things, they tell me things have deteriorated too badly to rescue the country, that America's in decline, that our debt and deficit picture is so bleak it can never be reversed now short of a general economic collapse.

Well, I just don't believe it. Ronald Reagan was famous for reminding us that "it's always morning in America." I still believe that. Every two years Americans have the privilege under our Constitution to go to the voting booth and change direction when they think things have gone awry. They did that in 2008, and got more than a few disappointing surprises since then. In 2010, they rejected the Obama agenda in resounding fashion by a record-setting reversal in the People's House, and booted Nancy Pelosi from the Speaker's chair.

In 2012, they have the chance to reshape America's policies once again by sending Mitt Romney to the White House and taking control of the Senate. As of this week, Republicans are leading in key Senate races across America, suggesting they may accomplish that important task. It's the reason we are a resilient nation, one that cannot be suppressed unless our wounds become self-inflicted. Our problem is not about enemies who can attack us from without - our problem is the divide within our borders.

But my faith in America remains steadfast. It's never too late to turn things around.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Over the Rainbow - Eva Cassidy

One of my all-time favorites, didn't know until tonight it was on YouTube (isn't everything?) . . .


Those Maddening Mormons - Who Are They?

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a living Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gives an introduction of the Church to students at Harvard Law School on March 20, 2012.

Meet the Mormons:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Obamacare Two Years Later

Remember what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in urging member of Congress to pass Obamacare two years ago? Said she, "We have to pass this bill so we'll know what's in it." It was a stupid thing to say, because two years later we now understand the travesty that was foisted on America. There were specific promises attached to its passage, as highlighted by President Obama in an address to a joint session of Congress on 9/9/09.

Here's a reminder:

A sampling of entrepreneurs (business owners who hire people for those who don't speak French), react to Obamacare here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Evangelicals and Mormons - Bridging the Gap

I was en route to something else this morning, and stumbled over a wonderful analogy that caught my eye. This has been a political season of Mormons vs. Evangelicals, it seems, during the Republican presidential primary sweepstakes, but I found one writer this morning who seems willing to try to close the gap politically if not all the way on the differences in religious interpretation.

Stephen H. Webb
Others are also closing ranks behind Romney. Jeb Bush announced his endorsement of Romney this morning on the 43rd anniversary of Mitt's and Ann's marriage. He might be late, but better late than never.

Not only does Stephen H. Webb contend the Mormons believe in Christ, he avers they are obsessed with Christ. Here's the rarest of the breed among Evangelicals - he has actually read The Book of Mormon, unlike so many who engage in piling on the ad hominem attacks with which most Mormons are so familiar. Webb says he is not moved by The Book of Mormon stories, but admits there is nothing in the book to diminish the traditional views of Christ, only that it adds stories about Christ with which he is unfamiliar.

Webb offers this insight:

"Every page of the book prepares the way for its stunning climax, which is a literal appearance of Jesus to the ancient peoples of America. For Joseph Smith, the ascension of Christ after the resurrection makes possible his descent into the Americas.

"Non-Mormons, of course, do not believe that Jesus visited the Americas, but why should they be troubled if Mormons tell stories about Jesus that seem far-fetched? Imagine the following scenario. Your family gathers at the funeral of your dearly beloved grandfather, a world traveler. Your relatives begin telling the familiar stories about his great adventures. Soon, however, you notice another group of mourners at the other end of the room. As you eavesdrop on them, you realize they are talking about your grandfather as if they knew him well, yet you have never heard some of the stories they are telling. These new stories are not insulting to his memory, though some ring more true than others. Indeed, this group seems to have as high an opinion of your grandfather as you do. What do you do?

"Do you invite them over to meet your family? That is a tough call. Many of your relatives will dispute the credibility of these stories, and some might make a scene. Others who think the stories are true will feel left out — why didn’t Grandfather tell us? The funny thing is, though, that this other group knows all of the stories your family likes to tell about the deceased, and the stories they add to the mix sound more like mythic embellishments of his character than outright lies. Clearly, the two groups have a lot to talk about!

"However you decide to handle the situation, there is no need for you to change your love for your grandfather. There is also no need for you to react to this other group’s love for your grandfather as if they are intentionally threatening or dishonest. Whether or not you decide to expand your family to include this group, you can still welcome them as promoters of your grandfather’s memory. And the more you love your grandfather, the more you will be drawn to discover for yourself whether these new stories make any sense.

"Of course, Jesus Christ is not your grandfather, and the stories we tell about him are grounded in Scripture, not family lore. Still, the Book of Mormon raises a question for Christians. Can you believe too much about Jesus? Can you go too far in conceiving his glory? Let me answer that question by posing another. Isn’t the whole point of affirming his divinity the idea that one can never say enough about him? And if Smith’s stories are not true, aren’t they more like exaggerations or embellishments than outright slander and deceit?"

David French
As I read the article, the logic was inescapable. I asked myself if we had an Evangelical Christian in the presidential sweepstakes with a chance to win the nomination and beat Barack Hussein Obama in the fall, what would Mormons do, all things being equal? My bet is they would unite behind the candidate who had the political clout and will to win. David French is suggesting after last night's Illinois victory that Evangelicals need to unite behind the eventual winner, suggesting the big numbers don't lie, all other considerations aside.

I was troubled by a cable news network interview last month with a prominent Evangelical who proudly boasted that by his estimate over 30 million Evangelicals stayed home in the election of 2008 as a protest against the eventual nominee, John McCain, who went on to lose badly to Obama. If that statement is true, then we have the Evangelical Christians to thank for the failed presidency of Obama. That said, after the economic meltdown we witnessed at the end of the Bush administration and its bungled attempt to right the ship with TARP, there appeared to be no chance of rescuing John McCain, so let's be honest about that.

But this campaign cycle one thing is clear - Mitt Romney has made no attempt to do two things: Court the voters from the Tea Party, and court the Evangelical vote. Rather, this cycle he has moved ahead without making a concerted effort to round them all up. Because Gingrich and Santorum have continued to split their votes, Romney has outdistanced both of them in the delegate count.

After last night in Illinois, Romney is about halfway in the delegate count needed to secure the nomination. Assuming he is successful in securing the nomination, as Webb points out, the Evangelicals and the Tea Party will then have a very clear choice to make. They can put aside their ideological purity requirement of the nominee and come join the party, or they can sit it out in protest and hand another four years to Obama.

One would be foolish to think all can be forgiven in that coalesced constituency, but time and chance will have worked its magic for Romney in much the same way events worked in favor of the Obama candidacy.

We sometimes forget how nasty and contentious the primary battle between Obama and Hillary Clinton became. They found a way to work together, nonetheless, and making her Secretary of State was a master stroke of coalescing two very bitter rivals into a common agenda.

The so-called "Mormon Moment" is now becoming much more than a contest of competing religious traditions. Before this campaign is over there will be a full and no-holds-barred frontal attack on Mormonism, the fury of which we can scarcely imagine today. All the calls for civility aside, there will be no stone left unturned in attempting to marginalize Mitt Romney because of his Mormon tradition.

It seems the Obama campaign strategy will relish the opportunity to take on Romney and Mormonism. I think we are going to see an ideological battle of gargantuan proportions. The ideology of Marxist government where the state controls and taxes everything that moves so the redistribution of wealth is complete and comprehensive, or the Mormon view that the Constitution is divinely inspired and must be re-enthroned to ensure individual liberty and self-actualization. We are staring down the barrel of what portends to be the most interesting presidential debate this country has ever witnessed, and political pundits and junkies are now poised to have that battle play out.

In recent weeks, Obama's campaign has already attempted to deflect the conversation from his administration's abysmal record on its policies. How they can go on ignoring the Constitutional requirement to at least take up the House's budget proposal in the Democratic-controlled Senate is baffling. It's more than baffling, it's unconstitutional. I predict that will also be the fate of the Obamacare law, and Romneycare right along with it. The constitutional issue over the individual mandate will be settled by summer in the SCOTUS, and many of us believe it will go down in a 5-4 vote.

We have heard in recent weeks about the Obamacare requirement for free contraception, a Republican war on women, a Democratic sympathetic response to a woman who turned out to be nothing more than their hired shill in a Congressional hearing, and boastful misleading rhetoric like, "Osama bin Laden's dead and General Motors is alive." The American public deserves a better debate than one centralized around such trivial pursuits. Let's bring on the debate about what we want America to be - another socialist nation or one that is free from tyrannical government interventions.

If the Evangelicals and the Tea Party continue to wait for the perfect candidate to satisfy all their ideological requirements for purity, they will be left standing on the platform as the train pulls away from the station. Time to get aboard and focus on what matters most. . .

And that would be defeating Barack Hussein Obama.

Religion needs to become the interesting footnote in this story, as Article Six of the Constitution mandates, rather than the headline to every primary race in every state. Don't underestimate Romney's conservative creds - he's the real deal who will win the hearts and souls of conservatives everywhere, not just in Utah.

Webb concluded his article with these words, acknowledging the differences still exist in religious traditions: "If you had to choose between a Jesus whose body is eternal and a Jesus whose divinity is trivial (as in many modern theological portraits), I hope it would be an easy choice."

I would say in conclusion, if your choice about who you put into the Oval Office this November is between an avowed Mormon or an avowed Marxist, I hope it would be an easy choice.

Choose well, America.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

For Every Rational Intelligent Voter To Digest

Today, I come to you as the bearer of really bad news if you consider yourselves rational, intelligent voters. Consider spending seven minutes to watch the most disturbing video testimony I think I have seen in recent years. For everyone of you who casts an informed vote, this is what you are up against in the welfare society that has been created by the liberal left.

As soon as I wrote those lines, I found renewed hope. Maybe he's so dumb he won't be able to make his way to the voting booth in November. . . at least we can always hope. . .

Friday, March 16, 2012

Orrin Hatch Dominates Caucus Night

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
I know a losing position when I see one. And last night I had one.

As anyone who reads this page will know, I love and have defended the Utah caucus/nominating process. After last night I am even more resolved to keep it alive and prospering.

What happened last night in Utah is indicative of the very best the representative republic our founders envisioned. That vision involved putting power in the hands of the people, ordinary citizens of this great country, who were handed the keys to the powerful engine of freedom and liberty. The founders believed the majority of Americans could be trusted with such power because their intent was to divide and separate the throttles of government into three branches, executive, judicial and legislative. Central to their idea was that the people would be vigilant because they were free citizens, and resist any encroachment by the federal government into their lives.

Their design of the government was that it become a representative republic, meaning the people would elect representatives directly by simple majority (democracy) to then represent them in a divided federal government (representative republic). The intent was to limit power, to discourage centralization of power and to keep power in the three branches in check so no one in America could consolidate power and impose tyrannical rule.

Last night we witnessed the process play out under the same rules as existed in 2010, but with a much different result. Even though Bennett and Hatch cast identical votes in favor of TARP, it was obvious the memory had faded in the case of Hatch. The anger level was decidedly down last night. People genuinely feared three things: Obama's consolidation of power, the effect of Freedom Works threatening to take over Utah politics (Hatch painted himself as a victim very effectively), and fear that Utah would lose its clout in Washington without such a strong savior figure as Orrin Hatch. I really believed that people in my caucus thought life without Orrin Hatch was inconceivable.

The democratic process where majority rules happens at the cellular level in the caucus. A simple majority of 51% determines who the elected representatives will be to go forward to the nominating convention where candidates are chosen. That's what is meant by a representative republic. Those representatives, elected at the grassroots level by their peers, then make bigger decisions for the majority who sent them forward to do the people's business in the divided representation available to them in the executive and legislative branches.

Organizing support at the grassroots is what the caucus is all about, and Hatch had a formidable organization that turned out their supporters in record numbers. People who say it was the Church's appeal just don't understand that the Church says all the same things in a repeat of all the same press releases and over-the-pulpit statements in every single election cycle that I can remember. Nothing really changes.

I was instantly aware of the shift in demographics last night. Very few young or even middle-aged folks were there at our caucus. The average age was in the sixties and above. Someone who attended Orrin Hatch's home precinct caucus quipped that he was the youngest one there.

Hatch skillfully deployed a Terry Woods interview with Jake Garn, Norm Bangerter and Jim Hansen, who all talked about Orrin's clout, influence, seniority, knowledge, experience - you name it he has it - and posited the "what if" list of horribles associated with not returning Orrin to the Senate. Then they trotted out negative ads against Liljenquist that drowned him in a sea of doubt about his viability. You don't win six terms in the Senate without knowing how to win an election. My advocacy of Dan's credentials as an acceptable alternative to Hatch landed on deaf ears.

So basically my position last night was DOA. One lady after I laid out my position and offered my slate of candidates I was supporting: Mitt Romney (President), Dan Liljenquist (Senate), Gary Herbert (Governor) and John Swallow (AG) challenged me with, "Well, I can't vote for you, because Mitt Romney endorsed Hatch and that means you don't support Mitt Romney." Wow, I didn't have a response for that convoluted reasoning. Romney's endorsement last go around for Bennett was a non-starter. This time, however, the "I need Orrin Hatch" appeal was compelling.

You win or lose in the court of public perception and opinion. But the majority made their will known in our caucus, and it was overwhelmingly supportive of Senator Orrin Hatch.

The only story remaining is whether or not Hatch will garner enough support at the nominating convention on April 21st (60%) to avoid a primary race. If I were a betting man like Mitt Romney, I'd betcha $10,000 he will.

Never underestimate a canny old six-term Senator with a big war chest who can muster the octogenarians to his side and instill the fear of God in those who believe he is a national treasure who cannot be replaced and is indispensable to the nation in the fight against all things Obama.

In the case of Orrin Hatch, he cannot be replaced until he dies. Let's all pray for his health and longevity now.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Liberty and/or Tyranny

We all declare for liberty;
    but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.
With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself,
    and the product of his labor;
    while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men,
    and the product of other men's labor.
Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things,
    called by the same name -- liberty.
And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties,
    called by two different and incompatible names -- liberty and tyranny.

-- Abraham Lincoln, 1864

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Changing of the "Old Guard"

En route to something else this afternoon, I stumbled over this. I had a strange feeling that is somehow relates to Utah caucuses this week. Must be my need to see the "old guard" changed in Washington D.C., where Orrin Hatch resides at the top of the target list. Enjoy!

Someone who saw this asked me if I'd ever seen the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. And the answer is yes. I've seen it twice. Now all I have to see is the changing of the other Senate seat in Utah this year, and I can say I've seen THAT happen twice too. Please join me on Thursday night at your caucus and vote for state delegates who will take back Utah's other Senate seat and return it to the people, since Orrin Hatch is not willing to surrender it voluntarily.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Can America Be Saved From Tyranny?

The short answer to this question is yes.

I've heard the radio and cable TV pundits batting this question around routinely. Controversy sells. The latest round features a one-word description of a young lady uttered by a professional talk radio professional who should have known better. However, he took the bait and now all his commercial sponsors have abandoned him.

He's concerned (as we all must be) about the loss of freedom in this country when taxpayers are required under the provisions of Obamacare to fund promiscuity through the distribution of birth control devices. When that didn't play so well with the Catholic Church, the president and his administration switched course and demanded that insurance companies provide contraceptives freely to their insureds. All of it makes for great fodder on Twitter, but deflects the conversation from the other abysmal policy failures of this administration.

Controversy drives ratings, calls attention to the combatants, and the question remains in the minds of many, "Can America be saved from such tyrannical acts as we have seen in steady procession over the last seventy or eighty years, and particularly the acceleration of tyranny we have witnessed in the last three years?" Personal righteousness and obdience are key elements. Here's what anchors my faith in my answer:

Samuel F. Smith
Samuel F. Smith, a Baptist minister, wrote his great poem soon after the Church was organized. He titled it simply, America:

My country! ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble, free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills.
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.
Let music swell the breeze
And ring from all the trees,
Sweet freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.
Our fathers’ God to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light.
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King!
(Hymns, 339).

This poem was first put to the tune of Great Britain's national anthem in 1832 at a Fourth of July celebration. God had finally replaced the King of England as the Supreme Ruler, God and King in the hearts of our forefathers, the founders we celebrate! The words indicate that Samuel F. Smith had also gleaned some insight about this land of America — truths which, he no doubt was unaware, had been revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Joseph learned by divine revelation between 1827 and 1829, while he translated The Book of Mormon, that God is the author of our liberty and that to retain it, the inhabitants of the land must be protected by His mighty hand. While we are sometimes tempted to believe we can protect liberty by elections or legislative decree, there really is no other power that can protect our God-given liberty.

Joseph Smith received revelation that went even further. These truths identified the “Great God” implored by Samuel F. Smith as Jesus Christ. The truths revealed in The Book of Mormon declare if we are to enjoy the protection of His might, we must accept Him as our God and keep His commandments. When I ask myself how we are doing as a nation today, it gives me pause. To save the nation, we must save the home with priesthood power.

“Behold,” says one revelation, “this [America] is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ.” (Ether 2:12).

Samuel F. Smith's words, “Protect us by thy might, Great God, our King” imply that the God of the land is also King of the land. And this is also true.

The Book of Mormon, quoting Jesus as he spoke here in America, reads:

This land shall be a land of liberty. . . and there shall be no kings upon [it]. . .
For I, the Lord, the king of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words. . .
For it is a choice land, saith God. . . wherefore I will have all men that dwell thereon that they shall worship me.” (2 Nephi 10:11–19).

The history of the people described by The Book of Mormon makes clear that enjoying this God-given liberty while we inhabit the "choice land" depends upon acceptance of and obedience to Jesus Christ.

We learn from the record that more than two thousand years before His birth in the flesh, Jesus Christ led a small colony of people from Asia to America. When they first set foot on the land, He put before their prophet leaders a two-way test, “that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off. . . when they. . . are ripened in iniquity.” (Ether 2:8–9).

It was the test of the two ways, stated elsewhere as "We have beheld that the great question which is in your minds is whether the word be in the Son of God, or whether there shall be no Christ." (Alma 34:5).

The descendants of this people who first came to America, known as the Jaredites, became a mighty nation. They flourished on this continent for two thousand years. When they obeyed Christ in righteousness, their civilization prospered. When they rejected Him, they eventually annihilated themselves in civil wars. Mormon's abridgment of their history can be found in the Book of Ether. Having read it again recently, it gives light to our present circumstances in America.

In 600 B.C., about the time the Jaredites were destroying themselves, Jesus Christ made provision for another small colony to come to this choice land. He revealed to them, as He had to the Jaredites, that He is the God and King of the land. If they accepted and obeyed Him, they could always remain a free, prosperous, and happy people. However, if they chose to reject Him they would invite certain destruction.

The Jaredite record was made available to their prophets so they could be made aware of the consequences of the two ways. As always, He has left the choice to obey or reject His words in our hands.

The thousand-year history of these people subsequent to the Jaredites records their division into two factions — Nephites and Lamanites. It seems they alternated roles at times. Sometimes the Nephites were righteous and prospered, and other times the Lamanites repented, were righteous and prospered. The key provision associated with prospering was remaining humble and repenting, so counter-intuitive to today's standards where we seem all too quick to arm ourselves and think our safety comes from being weighed down with nuclear arms. The fact we accumulate this weaponry is always couched politically as "defensive measures" to deter others from attacking us. However, recent history will show we have been quick to pull the trigger in the offensive use of our weaponry when we presume to police the hot spots in the world.

After Christ's post-resurrection visit to the land of America, when He ministered personally among them, all who survived the destruction accompanying His crucifixion — both Nephites and Lamanites — were “converted unto the Lord.” United as one in Christ, they built a society described this way:

There were no contentions and disputations among them [for about two hundred years!], and every man did deal justly one with another. . . There were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and. . . the Lord did prosper them exceedingly in the land.
Surely [concluded Mormon who abridged the record] there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. (4 Nephi 1:2–7, 16).

However, after that happy interlude things began to change. Pride, and every accompaniment of evil that ensued, found place in the hearts of people. They turned away from the God of the land. They rejected Him. By the end of the fourth century A.D., as a result of contention, crime, and carnage, their civilization had disintegrated into chaos.

They had proven themselves unworthy of protection by the “might” of the God of the land, and the scattered remnants of these people dwindled in unbelief until they had reached the state of degradation in which Columbus found them when he landed on this continent.

Lehi, the first prophet who led his family and a few others to America in 600 B.C., prophesied “there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.” (2 Nephi 1:6).

No one who came here has escaped this everlasting decree “that whoso should possess [it] should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off. . . when they. . . are ripened in iniquity.” (Ether 2:8–9). The truth of the two ways is inescapable.

We who live in America today cannot escape this everlasting decree. And the Lord has said, “My word shall be verified at this time as it hath hitherto been verified.” (D&C 5:20).

Jesus Christ, the God and the King of this land, led Columbus to it.

He led the Pilgrims to Plymouth.

He sustained and gave victory to the colonists in their Revolutionary War against Great Britain and the tyrannical reign of King George.

He established the Constitution of the United States (see D&C 101:80).

Over a period of some twenty-six centuries He gave the revelation to scores of prophet leaders who authored of The Book of Mormon, detailing the lives of the former inhabitants of this land.

Moroni, at the direction of Jesus Christ, finished the record and hid it up in the Hill Cumorah, where, under His surveillance, it was safely preserved for some fourteen hundred years.

By the power of Jesus Christ, the God and the King of this land of America, the record was brought forth, translated, and published in 1830. Joseph Smith said he did it "by the gift and power of God." For over 180 years it has stood as a tireless message of the divinity of Jesus Christ to all who will receive it.

And so you ask, what does all of this mean to me today? Whether one accepts The Book of Mormon as scripture or not, Moroni provided an editorial comment after he had abridged and assembled all the records associated with the destruction of two vast civilizations that had inhabited the American continent. His sober reflections and warnings to us in the latter days provide the answer:

And this cometh unto you. . . that ye may know the decrees of God — that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done. (Ether 2:11).

I highlight these inescapable truths today as a warning against the ongoing anti-Christ trend in America today. The assaults against our liberty and our freedom continue unabated and they are accelerating at a pace I never imagined possible a few years ago. When government becomes the solution to every detail of our lives, we lose the freedoms God gave us. It is little wonder Connor Boyack was inspired to produce a masterful book, Latter-day Liberty. I commend its contents to you.

A backward glance helps put things into perspective. There is a useful list of atheists that may surprise you with some of the names. Others are more familiar. It should not be surprising they outnumber the true and living prophets by a wide margin, and their writings and teachings have gained significant traction in recent years.

My Dad has been routinely cleaning out his files, and he simply cannot throw any of it away so he gives most of it to me. It's really a scrap from his most recent pile that prompted today's blog post. Some years ago reference was made in a Deseret News editorial to “a super-duper, eager-beaver atheist” who “does not like Christianity” at all, “and is out to destroy it. . . In a national magazine [this atheist] is quoted as thundering from her ‘pulpit’ ‘Churches are leeches. . .’ Now that she has moved on prayer and Bible reading in U.S. public schools,” the editorial continues, “her next targets, it appears, are tax-exemptions for churches, ousting chaplains from the armed services and omission of ‘God’ in courtroom oaths, on money and in the pledge of allegiance.” (Norman Vincent Peale, Deseret News and Telegram, 3 July 1964). No one would doubt the anti-Christ agenda in America has accelerated since then.

There was another scrap in Dad's pile from an undated and unattributed magazine that advanced and argued the thesis that America is no longer “the Christian land of the Pilgrims.” It's probably something of the same vintage, so the arguments against Christianity in this country have abounded for many years, for the most part unchallenged.

Then my eye settled on another scrap, this one a Pew Research Center poll dated July 16, 2010. "By the year 2050, 41% of American believe that Jesus Christ definitely (23%) or probably (18%) will have returned to earth. However, a 46% plurality of the public does not believe Christ will return during the next 40 years. Fully 58% of white evangelical Christians say Christ will return to earth in this period, by far the highest percentage in any religious group. Only about a third of Catholics (32%) and even fewer white mainline Protestants (27%) predict Christ's return to earth by 2050. Among religiously unaffiliated Americans, 20% also see Christ returning during the next four decades."

Now don't misunderstand, I do not believe a public poll will either hasten or delay Christ's return. What this does demonstrate, however, is that a significant block of the inhabitants of America are either indifferent or openly hostile to the reality of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer, and are ignoring His words as revealed in the scriptures and through living prophets. At the very least religious bigotry is certainly in evidence in this current presidential campaign.

President Marion G. Romney
President Marion G. Romney observed: "In distinguishing communism from the United Order, President David O. McKay said that communism is Satan’s counterfeit for the gospel plan, and that it is an avowed enemy of the God of the land. Communism is the greatest anti-Christ power in the world today and therefore the greatest menace not only to our peace but to our preservation as a free people. By the extent to which we tolerate it, accommodate ourselves to it, permit ourselves to be encircled by its tentacles and drawn to it, to that extent we forfeit the protection of the God of this land." (Ensign, September 1979, First Presidency Message).

Much earlier, President Romney cited a quote from President McKay with another sober warning: "Relying on that part of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which reads, 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' the United States Supreme Court has ruled against Bible reading and prayer in public schools. By so doing, said President David O. McKay, 'the Supreme Court of the United States severs the connecting cord between the public schools of the United States and the source of divine intelligence, the Creator himself,' who, of course, is the God of this land." (Relief Society Magazine, December 1962, 878).

The inroads that creeping socialism have made in America need no further explanation. I have written previously about the reality we have all observed that we are in large measure a socialist government now. We say, I don't want socialism, but don't take away my Social Security benefits, my Medicare for my knee replacements, my Medicaid for my family members who can't afford coverage, and don't touch my food stamps. And how is such an attitude NOT socialism?

What I am advocating is that we no longer wrest meanings that aren't there from the First Amendment. Communism, socialism, atheism, secular humanism, or any other anti-Christ influence, must never be allowed to weaken our conviction further that Jesus Christ is the God and the King of this land. May nothing discourage our determination to obey His laws, so we may merit His divine protection as a free nation!

On such conviction and such obedience hang all our hopes so well expressed in Samuel F. Smith’s patriotic hymn:

Our fathers’ God to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light.
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King!
(Hymns, 339).

The acid test of our convictions can easily be judged by our eagerness or our indifference about a simple exercise in freedom. I speak of the caucus/nomination process. A poll released today said more than half of the residents of Utah have no intention of attending. 72% reported they didn't know where to attend. It's not that hard - go to It's another test of the two ways:

Either we engage in freedom's liberties, or we ignore our God-given privileges.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Utah Caucus Night - March 15th, 2012

Utah is now within days of caucus night, to be held on March 13th for Democrats and March 15th for Republicans. Since I know nothing about what the Democrats are doing (and don't care), I will focus on what I know best - the Republicans.

Utah has a unique caucus system, not well-known by other people around the country, and perhaps not understood even here in Utah. I am currently a state delegate from my little country precinct, and intend to stand for re-election again next Thursday night (fair warning to any potential opponents who don't agree with me). Let me give some perspective and add to the many voices who are encouraging a record turnout at the caucuses.

Who Your Delegate Is Determines Who the Candidates Will Be

In Utah, the candidates who represent each political party are chosen by delegates at state and county party conventions. The process begins at the neighborhood or precinct level, like it will again next Thursday night. Typically a precinct includes 1,200-1,300 homes, so a precinct is roughly the size of a neighborhood. There are about 3,500 Republican precincts in Utah's 29 counties.

In each two-year election cycle, each precinct holds a meeting called a "caucus," usually early in the year of the November election. This year the date is March 15th at 7:00 p.m. During the precinct caucus meeting, people from your precinct (neighborhood) will be elected to represent your precinct as delegates to the state and county nominating conventions. As a state delegate in 2010, I was elected with a stated position of supporting Mike Lee and voting against Bob Bennett. I told my neighbors I believed they were entitled to know who their delegate would be voting for. Those who agreed were free to vote for me, and those who disagreed could pick my opponent. I won a simple majority vote to be elected. It was a sacred trust, and gave me an instant appreciation for all candidates who submit to the process of putting their names on a ballot, regardless of political persuasion.

Why Delegates Matter Now More than Ever

At the nominating convention the delegates attend, if a candidate receives 60% of the delegate vote, they automatically become the party’s candidate and move on to the general election in November. If no candidate reaches 60%, the top two candidates move on to a primary election held in June.

In 2010, the incumbent three-term senator, Bob Bennett, was ousted at the convention by the delegates and two new candidates, Mike Lee and Tim Bridgewater, emerged in the senate primary race for the Republican nomination, since neither was able to garner 60% of the vote in convention. The reason those delegates you elect next week matter now more than ever before is simple - it's time to take back the other Senate seat from Orrin Hatch. He has represented Utah with distinction, and we can all be grateful for his dedicated service. But after six six-year terms totally 36 years in the Senate (almost half his lifetime!), it is time to send someone else to represent us.

Hatch is making an argument that experience, clout, seniority, influence, and knowledge make a difference, that somehow we can't live without his expected rise to the chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee. The simple truth is that is all hypothetical political-speak for the real reason: "You must send me back so I can set a consecutive Senate service longevity record." He absolutely believes in his heart of hearts he is a Utah treasure of inestimable worth and that he is irreplaceable and an unassailable icon of mythical proportions. Well, maybe. I don't think so.

Simple Steps to Becoming a Delegate

Becoming a delegate doesn’t require you to be a politician, have extensive knowledge of political science or social issues, or be a public speaker. You are going to a meeting with your neighbors, letting them know you are committed to getting involved and striving to make a difference for your area.

Basic things to remember:

1. Determine your voting precinct - check it out to find the location of your meeting at

2. Identify people in your precinct who will vote for you (reach out to as many family, friends, and neighbors as you can), but even then all you have to do is show up, speak up, and advocate for what you believe.

No prior experience is required, you will enjoy the process and you will make a tremendous difference.

I made a determination early in January of 2010 that Mike Lee was the right U.S. Senate candidate for Utah and for the nation. He is now in Washington and is making an instant impact and producing real results during an important time for the United States. Only today, he and Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Rand Paul (R-KY) put forward a projected balanced federal budget to be achieved in five years. They are doing EXACTLY what they promised to do when we sent them there. I like to think I got that one right, and I am so grateful for the invitation extended to me by my friends to get involved.

Now I am extending that same invitation to each of you as you witness the escalation in the fight for freedom globally. You cannot change the world all alone overnight, but you can distance yourselves from the apathetic and inertia-bound tendencies seeming to grip us on matters political and religious. Now is the time to step up and to be counted in the precious free exercise of your beliefs.

The Utah Caucus System is Superb

Utah’s system of electing delegates to county and state conventions system is under constant attack. The arguments were heard again and continue unabated. Those who lose elections, particularly the bitter Bob Bennett who characterized his loss in 2010 as being "excommunicated from the GOP," contend it is "government by the few, the rich, the extreme or the political elite." Others say it is "closed, controlled and unfair" as it allows only a few to cast ballots for candidates who eventually appear on the November ballot. Still others will tell you the caucus meetings happen too early in the cycle when the average person is not thinking politics. Since Bennett's loss there are advocates for an "alternate path" to the November ballot - they want a 2,000 signature petition as a way around the expressed will of nominating convention delegates. Watch and see what happens if Hatch goes down to defeat. The outcry will be deafening. But do not be deceived. It is only a truly representative republic at work doing its best work.

On the other side of the argument where I reside, many constitutional experts would agree Utah's process is the best and most constitutionally-correct system in America. In case you hadn't noticed recently, Utah is receiving a lot of "pub" because of Lee's outspoken alignment with a traditional and "strict constructionist" point of view of the Constitution. In so many ways, Utah is emerging with a powerful voice on the national scene.

Dan Liljenquist, Republican Candidate
 for U.S. Senate
I love the Utah caucus system because it is so inherently and fundamentally grassroots by nature. It's how a guy like Mike Lee can mount a campaign and spend 1/10th of what the entrenched incumbent does and win! Dan Liljenquist is trying to mount a repeat performance this year against Hatch. The process is totally controlled by the citizens who care enough to attend their neighborhood caucus meeting and get elected to make change they believe in at the subsequent nominating convention. Those who choose to stay home, of course, have that right, but they can never say thereafter they were somehow "cheated" out of their representative republic.

Elected delegates to the county and state conventions then have the responsibility of nominating the candidates who will appear on the November ballots for their respective parties.

The Utah Caucus Epitomizes the Representative Republic

Thomas Jefferson
In my view, our system in Utah comes closest to the fulfillment of representative republic envisioned by the founders than any other I've seen. We elected representatives to vote on our behalf, rather than a direct democracy where a simple majority rules. The whole idea is captured by Thomas Jefferson in The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, No. 1685, p. 193, where he wrote, “The Constitution was meant to be republican, and we believe it to be republican according to every candid interpretation.”

Clarification:  That's not Republican with a capital "R" -- it's "republican" as in "representative republic" with a small "r." Never forget the difference.

The average Utah/U.S. citizen typically does not take the time to study issues and candidates as thoroughly as one who puts himself/herself up for consideration as a delegate to the nominating conventions. It is presumed delegates will make informed choices based upon their best judgments and that trust is imposed by their friends and neighbors at the caucus meetings at the lowest level of government imaginable. Some feel disenfranchised because they have to work on caucus night, or they are on vacation, or they forget to attend. Whatever the reasons, they may still voice their opinions among their friends and neighbors and encourage and persuade others face-to-face to their point of view in whatever honorable way they desire, even if it's just a simple conversation in the grocery store check-out line.

Everyone Should be Suspicious of Incumbents

It is not my belief the founders would have approved of the current system comprised of incumbent career politicians. Bob Bennett promised he would never become one, then continued to run again and again. Orrin Hatch  (currently in his sixth six-year term) is in the same category, having served twice as long as Bennett. Neither has demonstrated the wisdom to step aside voluntarily. There's always someone who wants term limits enacted into law across all fifty states simultaneously so no state that voluntarily imposes term limits will be penalized. We must reject that argument out of hand. The founders gave every citizen the power to impose term limits on any elected politician - it's called a ballot in your hand every two years. That's why only citizens at the ballot box in America are empowered by the Constitution to impose term limits on their elected officials. A passive and indifferent electorate, however, leads to the tyranny the founders feared most. You may think your senator is the finest senator on planet Earth today, but the intent of the founders was never to send people to represent their neighbors who would then get automatic annual pay raises, perks and multi-million dollar pensions and gold-plated health insurance plans at no cost to them personally. Amazingly, only in recent weeks a bill was introduced to punish members of Congress who engaged in insider trading based on privileged information they garnered from closed-door hearings! And that's why Martha Stewart spent a year in jail - but that would never happen to a member of the privileged political class!

The caucus system makes it much easier and less expensive for citizen candidates from the grassroots to unseat an incumbent. The only vocal opposition I've heard against it comes from those who favor the incumbents. I proved to my own satisfaction that my one voice in 2010 DID make a difference. I can't even count the number of people who told me they voted for Mike Lee because of my advocacy of his candidacy.

The Caucus Eradicates the Possibility of Tyranny

In states that have a direct primary election, the choices of who will run in the final elections are made on a "pure democracy” idea. That was exactly what the founders were trying to avoid because of its tendency to eventually empower tyrants after the revolution.

The founders gave the citizens of the United States of America a government designed to protect against the intrusion on their God-given rights by all powers, foreign and domestic. However, the implied trust is a presumption that in a free representative republic the citizens would remain vigilent and actively engaged. The inherent weakness in our form of the representative republic is that we may lose those protections if we don't.

I'm writing about it today looking back on what happened in 2010 as a testament to what can happen when we are awake, alert and on task as a free people. I have every confidence the trend will continue into the election of 2012. I once heard a well-known lobbyist describe the U.S. Senators as "100 potentates." It's time to do more now than to "hope" for a "change" from the past for the sake of our future well-being as a country. That "hopey-changey" thing didn't quite work out the way we thought it would did it? After 36 years of being part of the past and all that has put us where we are today, now is the time to act.

As I have stated passionately before, we really have no other choice as the guardians of freedom's flame.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Ambassador to Washington D.C.

U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.
The first week in May our youngest daughter, Merilee will embark on her LDS mission to the Washington D.C. South Mission. There is a sweet irony in her call to serve for this father who regularly writes about politics and religion. She will likely want to discuss politics before she leaves, but what she doesn't realize is that she will have no need of it for the next eighteen months.

Instead, Merilee's mission will focus on the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. All she needs is laid out for her, and for that matter, all the world to see and understand in the four works of scripture published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: The Holy Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. She will have the glorious privilege and matchless opportunity to ignore politics, even while she is living serving others voluntarily in the "belly of the beast."

When she was born, her mother and I had no trouble selecting her name. We had a dear friend, Merilee Tanner Preece, whom we had long admired and treasured for her kind spirit, her enthusiasm, and her gentility. Our Merilee was, as they say, "well-named." She has been a constant source of joy and happiness for us as her parents. She has had many and varied experiences since her graduation from South Summit High School in our little mountain community hamlet. She's been to SUU and USU as a student, and most recently she has been living in Sunnyvale, California, with an older sister and her family while she has been working to save for her mission. She is well prepared to take this next step. My father's heart is still wrenching a bit as I think about sending her out. It never seems to get easier, especially when it's a daughter who is leaving for the mission field. Sons, no problem. But daughters? It's just harder when you're their Dad and you remember them as that helpless little infant you once held in your arms.

So what advice do I have for her? It is simple, and can be summarized in the three words my father wrote in the front of my journal: "Service to Others." Not particularly original, and probably plagiarized from many independent sources, but nevertheless still serviceable as a motto to live by. Merilee has always served well. She was a SBO in high school, she was a camp counselor at Oakcrest, she has served others in many capacities since then, but one thing has always been consistent about her - she blooms where she's planted.

Sister Merilee Goates
As she leaves to serve her mission in Washington D.C., she will be thrust into the community where politics is a way of life every day for people with whom she will rub shoulders. Even if she weren't going to Washington D.C. she would find contention, anxiety about the future, and competing ideas for what is right and wrong.

The Book of Mormon offers precious insight:

But behold, there shall be many — at that day when I shall proceed to do a marvelous work among them, that I may remember my covenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may set my hand again the second time to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel;

And also, that I may remember the promises which I have made unto thee, Nephi, and also unto thy father, that I would remember your seed; and that the words of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed; and my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel;

And because my words shall hiss forth — many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.

But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?

O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.

Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.

Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.

For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.

For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.

And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.

And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in one. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever. (2 Nephi 29, emphasis mine).

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, will be in Washington D.C. this weekend, meeting with President Obama and speaking at AIPAC tomorrow. Never before has Israel's physical existence been more threatened than it is right now with the prospects of a rogue leadership in Iran proclaiming their intentions to wipe Israel off the map. Iran is developing nuclear weaponry designed to do just that. Wars and rumors of wars, indeed! Our political interests as Americans are closely aligned with Israel's, but more importantly we are brothers in the family of Abraham, and we are brothers with all the descendants of Ishmael, including all who are of Islam, too. We are children of the same God.

Merilee will be taking the message of the restoration of the gospel in its fulness to the inhabitants of Washington D.C. at a critical time when that message has never been more timely. It is a message of peace and a promise of fulfillment, as we see in the quote cited above. It is a time of gathering, and nowhere in the United States is there a more representative melting pot for the nations than Washington D.C. and its environs.

We send her out with full confidence she will have an impact. Her message and her demeanor will change many lives for good. She is a gatherer, and she will gather many.

God promised he would not forget His promises made to father Abraham, and his descendants all these generations later who now reside in Washington D.C., whether they be Jew, Gentile, Muslim or Christian will be blessed collectively and individually by her service.

"I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever." And he's sending Sister Merilee Goates to deliver on that promise.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Top Five Reasons It's Time To Retire Orrin Hatch

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has served six terms in the U.S. Senate. He unseated Frank Moss so long ago as a young upstart conservative hot shot that few voters are old enough to remember his reasoning. Hatch said at the time that Moss had served too long, and that there should be no such thing as a career politician.

That was thirty-six years ago. And now Senator Hatch is asking Utahns for an unprecedented seventh six-year term, making him 84 years old at the end of it!

His reasons for re-election are not unlike the ones Frank Moss once used: Experience, knowledge, influence, clout, seniority. In fact, the primary reason one keeps hearing from the Hatch camp has now been undermined by the announcement this week that liberal Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is retiring. Hatch has been saying if we don't re-elect him, Snowe would take the chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee instead of him. I weary of the hypotheticals, but if we don't send Hatch back to the Senate, the next Republican in line would be Mike Crapo (R-ID), not a bad alternative to Hatch, since Crapo is very conservative. Of course, that all assumes the Republicans will take control of the Senate this year, a task now made arguably more difficult with Snowe's announcement.

So herewith, my top five reasons Senator Orrin Hatch should be retired by the nominating convention, since he refuses to walk away with dignity on his own:

1. He's old. Senator Hatch will be 78 years old on election day. No politician in the history of the state of Utah has EVER been elected at that age in a statewide election. Age itself shouldn't be an automatic disqualifier, but when you've served for thirty-six years as a senator, it's definitely the number one reason for retirement. My Dad's 90 years old, and even he thinks Orrin's too old. It takes one to know one, I guess.

2. Senator Hatch has served long and well. Over the course of his storied political career (after saying there should be no such thing when he ran the first time), there are surely some votes in his record that one could find fault with. I am personally acquainted with Senator Hatch, and he helped me with an issue a few years ago. I remain very grateful to him. Some say he's not a true conservative. Some say he's just too liberal because of his cozy relationship with former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy. Some say his politics are more closely aligned with Washington D.C. values than Utah values. Well, whichever view you take of his record you are welcome to it. I have voted for him six times. I have no problem with his politics. He just needs to accept the fact he can retire gracefully, wish his competitors well, and step aside to make way for the younger generation. No shame. Be content. Be a statesman. Be happy with all you have achieved. But he won't because of reason number 3.

3. Orrin Hatch in his heart of hearts actually believes he is indispensable and irreplaceable. One could even argue that he paved the way for two Mormon presidential candidates this year by being the first Mormon in the modern era to run for the presidency of the United States (Joseph Smith was running the year he was assassinated in 1844). But we must not forget George Romney before Hatch also was a bold political pioneer for Mormons, to say nothing of Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader (but he's another story). There are 33 seats up for election in the Senate this November. Ten of those seats are being abandoned by Senators who have announced their retirement. Hatch is convinced that his Heavenly Father would be disappointed in him if he were to step aside now and not continue to use his talents, seniority and political skills to be part of the ongoing equation politically in this country. He really wants the longevity record for Senate service. However, he can be replaced, he will be replaced, and life in America's Capitol and the state of Utah will go on without him. There's a reason no one in Utah's congressional delegation or Utah's governor has endorsed him. They all feel in their heart of hearts what's coming for Orrin.

4. I'm already looking past the 3500 statewide caucuses on March 15th at 7:00 p.m. By the way, if you aren't sure where your precinct will be meeting, check out Pre-register on the site, look up your precinct by typing in your address, then plan to attend. At the caucus your neighbors will be nominated and elected to political offices, including precinct chairmen, county nominating delegates and state nominating convention delegates. They will state their position on which candidates they favor, and you will have a chance to voice your opinion with your vote. I will be going to put myself forward as a state delegate again. I will announce my intention to support another candidate this year, rather than Hatch. I'm keeping an open mind this year, but leaning right now toward Dan Liljenquist. If my neighbors agree with me in caucus and elect me as a state delegate, then I expect to attend the state nominating convention next, and there I will join with other like-minded delegates who will most likely do to Senator Hatch what they did to Senator Bennett two years ago. And when that happens, please do not buy into the media spin that it will be whacked out right-wing conservative extremists (Tea Partiers, if you must) who are tossing out Senator Hatch. Rather, it will be thoughtful, careful and seasoned observers like me who just think that 36 years is enough. It's just enough. That's all.

5. It's time to impose term limits. There's an idea that must be enthroned in our thinking as Americans if we are ever to turn our politics around in this country. It is simple. It's called term limits, and they are granted to citizens who can go to the polling places in the general elections and work their will at the ballot box. They can change government peacefully and under the banner of the Constitution of the United States every two years nationally. There is no such thing as a perpetual entitlement to an elected office in this country. Senator Hatch has had a long run, even a good run most would say, and now it must come to an end. His attitude is reminiscent of the arrogance we observed in Senator Bennett (he was 77 years old in 2010). "They've taken away my career," he said through his tears when ousted by the delegates. There is and never has been, indeed never should be any such thing as "a political career." The political class has nearly destroyed America. In each case they could have stepped aside with a proud legacy of accomplishment and service. However, each has sadly chosen to go out with a stinging rebuke by voters instead. It is reminiscent of what happens in the playoffs in professional sports. In the end there are always many losers and only one winner. By retiring and stepping aside gracefully, each could have gone out a winner in everyone's mind and been a true statesman. One can only hope Senator Hatch will accept the judgment of his peers with more grace and humility than did Senator Bennett, who recently characterized his dismissal as being "excommunicated by the GOP."

I really almost hope I'm wrong. I've stated before that I'm not much of a prognosticator when it comes to predicting political outcomes. You can dismiss my five reasons out of hand and not offend me. But this time I have a feeling.

I'm feeling that for the first time in his life Orrin Hatch will be defeated.