Bernie Sanders looming large in race to lead Utah Democratic Party

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  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    April 21, 2017 2:13 p.m.

    Pops said: "I have many problems with socialism, but by far the most important is the issue of personal freedom. Even if Big Government could provide less expensive health care than the private sector, it represents the loss of personal freedom to obtain whatever health care I wish to have and am personally willing to pay for."

    So do you op for personal freedom, and not use the local police or fire departments, I mean sure is a lot more expensive to hire people to sit and watch your property personally, instead of socializing the costs.

    But according to your logic, your freedom is being compromised by having joint interest?

    So do you have your own personal property watchers, or are you happy to have some socialized services?

  • IceCreamGhost Sandy, UT
    April 21, 2017 12:44 a.m.

    Bernie Sanders has some kooky ideas, but he has a following because he is one of the only politicians that doesn't sound like he's in the pockets of special interests. His candor is refreshing and while his rhetoric sometimes reminds me of the student running for class president (chocolate milk in all of the drinking fountains!) I feel like he really is genuine in his zeal.

    Republican or Democrat there is no denying that money has too much influence in our politics. I think it would be wise for both parties to pay attention to the thing that makes Sanders popular with so many people : He is looking out for the common man.

    Not passing laws selling your browser history for ad revenue. Not trying to ease the air and water quality standards so that a factory upstream can save a few bucks. Not trying to save profits for pharmaceutical companies or big banks from ever having to take responsibility for reckless investments. He is laser focused on ways to make lives of regular people better.

    As a Mormon and a Christian I find nothing wrong with that. You don't like him? Vote for someone else. The political spectrum has room for everyone.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    April 20, 2017 9:09 p.m.

    I will credit Bernie Sanders with being candid on where he stands on the issues. At least we know what we are getting if he was elected. Not so much with Trump. As the Democrats move to the left and the Republicans continue to fracture we will continue to have divided government and little if any progress on healthcare, immigration and other issues critical to voters. It is difficult to find common ground when both political parties have no desire to compromise. Working with the opposition is now considered an act of treason and a sure path to being voted out of office by party loyalists.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 5:57 p.m.

    Sanders is an accurate figurehead for the Democratic Party.

    April 20, 2017 5:35 p.m.

    @marxist - I have many problems with socialism, but by far the most important is the issue of personal freedom. Even if Big Government could provide less expensive health care than the private sector, it represents the loss of personal freedom to obtain whatever health care I wish to have and am personally willing to pay for. If millions of people were willing to put their lives on the line on the battlefield to give me freedom, I'm surely not going to vote it away because I might get cheaper health care or free stuff.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 20, 2017 3:22 p.m.

    Bernie Sanders and his socialist "free stuff for everyone" policies do have a great appeal to people who don't expect to have to pay for all that "free stuff". Perhaps they have never bothered to observed the dismal failure of socialism in other countries, especially after they "run out of other people's money to spend."

    But, Bernie still sounds great to some people. Others prefer to take advantage of the opportunity to pursue happiness and become filthy rich through hard work and innovation, rather than subsisting at slightly better than poverty levels and doing as little as possible to enrich their situation (other than clamor for the evil rich to fork over their earnings.).

    Utah is not a place where Bernie's ideas will appeal to a majority of people. If ti does, then we are truly doomed.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 20, 2017 1:48 p.m.

    Marx understood labor’s plight, which would actually bring capitalism down. Um, did you not observe the collapse of the USSR and the break-up of the eastern, socialist bloc? Which system actually failed/was brought down? Are you unaware that capitalism has brought China out of its economic dark ages and improved the quality of life for billions around the world over the last 30 years?

    And we kept a very corrupt career politician and her equally corrupt cabal out of the WH

    Favorability and respect are not the same things

    Kasich did not get the nomination, but he was not booed off the stage. Had he tried to speak to liberals, though, he would have been given how absolutely intolerant they are.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 20, 2017 1:40 p.m.


    Marx wrote the The Communist Manifesto in 1848 which is the basis for modern Communism. I think this is enough said. Communism and Capitalism are polar opposites even as Communist China or Russia and their social/economic model are opposites from that of the United States constitution. One is based on BIG all-powerful governement and the other actually restricts government and its powers and perfers that the power reside not at the federal level but at the state and local level. One is based on a free market economy while the other has nothing to do with freedom but instead imposes its will from the the top down on the people.

    Anyway - this is obvious stuff we are talking about here. I'm not suggesting you are a bad person for preferring Communism over free market Capitalism, I am just saying please don't try to marry the two because they are indeed opposites in every way. America was NEVER founded upon the principles of the Commuist Manifesto...quite the opposite. Communism is a world wide failure in every major population. Capitalism produced the worlds greatest superpower.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 12:54 p.m.

    "No one really respects Bernie"

    He consistently had the highest favorability ratings of any of the 2016 candidates in either party.

    @Thid Barker
    "Today's democratic party would boo JFK off the stage at their conventions and rallies and he would be shouted down and protested at most liberal universities in America! "

    The closest the GOP had to Reagan was John Kasich who was considered to not be conservative enough for the radicals who voted for Cruz or Trump.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    April 20, 2017 12:40 p.m.

    If the Utah Democratic Party wants to survive, its tent needs to be big enough and welcoming enough to have a significant number of moderate active Mormons inside the tent (think James E. Faust).

    "Republican-lite" may not seem very appealing to soldiers in the army of Bernie Sanders. But, at least it got Jim Matheson, Bill Orton, Wayne Owens and Scott Matheson elected in Utah.

    Fully embracing Bernie Sanders and 90% of DNC policies in Utah is like hanging a sign on the door that says, "Active Mormons need not apply."

  • HappyDad Cedar Hills, UT
    April 20, 2017 12:31 p.m.

    I have never been more disgusted with the Republican party than I was during the last election cycle. I unregistered from the party last October. Had the Democrats had an even half-way decent presidential candidate, with a half-way decent chance of winning, they might have gotten my vote. I will continue to vote almost exclusively for conservative candidates, whether they be Republican, Democratic, or Independent, if I believe they are honest, sincere public servants who have palatable policy views. As it is, with the national Democratic party sliding ever more to the left, it is unlikely they will ever get my vote. The state Democratic party shifting further left and continuing to openly disdain the religious majority in the state is not going to encourage an independent voter like myself to come into their camp.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 12:20 p.m.

    @banliberals "Having Bernie Sanders as the leader of the DNC is heaven to the GOP! Its the gift that keeps on giving! "

    You Utah conservatives had not processed what has happened to our country. We have elected a very corrupt business tycoon who has surrounded himself with fascists. They have targeted the American middle class, and marked them for destruction. Why? Because they believe moderate income folk are incompetent and don't deserve to live.

    You right wingers ought to at least try to figure out what Steve Bannon means as a self-described "Leninist."

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    April 20, 2017 12:00 p.m.

    @ Patriot: You are absolutely correct! Today's democratic party would boo JFK off the stage at their conventions and rallies and he would be shouted down and protested at most liberal universities in America! The radical left has completed their take over of the democratic party! No room for moderates any longer! The party of; "Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country" is dead! All that remain of a once proud, freedom loving, patriotic party are a few very angry liberals, very nasty feminists, volunteer victims, entitlement damaged America hating race baiters and dividers and Trump haters! Behold, today's democratic party!

  • Alan Naumann Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 11:54 a.m.

    We need a work ethic of organizing to win elections. People are mosltly the same. We want mosltly the same things. Affordable heslth care ( I refused to carry Matheson's anti Obama's ACA literature), more funds for teacher salaries (we are still last in the nation), clean air (time to start working on this) and less military (time to focus on domestic issues), care for public lands and a transition to clean energy economy. We need to stick to issues people care about, that are not being addressed by an extreme monopoly party that is getting worse. We need an ethic of willingness to walk door to door and talk directly to your neighbors. Going to conventions, just isan't enough. The recent Salt Lake County Convention was an example of what not to do. No trainings, no discussion, no debate about what to do. Just elected new county party leaders. Then the new leaders start by campaigning for others, rather than focus on the county party. Insiders don't have all the answers, or we would be winning elections. We need new leadership committed to engaging the grassroots. Go Jjlianne Waters Go.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 11:51 a.m.

    @patriot "Bernie Sanders is an old, unhinged, full blown Socialist who rejects everything in Capitalism and wants to substitute something more akin to the Communist Manifesto for our Constitution."

    I am a socialist. I am a Marxian economist. And you are completely mistaken about where we socialists are. It's too bad you don't know who Marx was. So I'll tell you. Marx was the third of the three great classical economists. The other two were Adam Smith and David Ricardo. Marx borrows from both, and completes both.

    Marx understood fully the capabilities of capitalism, but he understood that most profit comes from the exploitation of labor power. He recognized capitalism as vastly superior to what went before - feudalism. He saw capitalism as a natural phase of human progress. But he understood labor's plight, which would eventually bring it down. This is happening. That's why we must develop socialist institutions of all types, including and especially small worker self directed enterprises. And yes there is a need for big time socialism in areas like health care.

    And, both Bernie and I insist on democratic change.

  • Alan Naumann Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 11:26 a.m.

    Republican lite has,rendered the Dem party irrelevant. A work ethic of reaching out to voters and being their champion is the issue. The issues are the same for left and right. We all want mosltly the same thing. Affordable ealth care (I refused to carry Matheson literature opposing Obamas ACA), more funding for teachers, clean air, less military and more focus on domestic needs. Go Julianne Waters. Every district is different. She is committed to walking door to door anc talk to voters directly. Untill Democrats get a work ethic, conventions will never be enough. The Salt Lake County Democratic Convemtion was completely devoid of training, debate or discussion. We elected county officers, who became campaign staff not county officers. The party doesn't know what its doing. Thats why they don't win. We need champions like Bernie to remind us we dont want Billionaires to run the country, it doesnt work. Period.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 20, 2017 11:03 a.m.

    I actaully think that Bernie Sanders IS the Democrat party now. Gone are all the moderate voices such as Joe Manchin and Dianne Feinstein least to the extent these senators are now booed at Democrat party rallies as Feinstein was recently for rejecting a single payer -- full Socialist-- health care system. Bernie Sanders is an old, unhinged, full blown Socialist who rejects everything in Capitalism and wants to substitute something more akin to the Communist Manifesto for our Constitution. If you doubt me just go back and listen to some of his carzy rhetoric of the past year from free college to 80% taxes on corporations. Also this goes beyong just crazy Bernie -- it extends to all the far left media sites and lobby groups. The Democrat party is actually dead and even Bernie suggested the name be replaced with the American Socialist Party. Yes this is the same Socialist thinking that sent Greece into bankruptsy and desperation having to be bailed out by the EU. The toxic-anti free speech-far left college environment now feeds this lunany into the minds of immature young American kids. JFK couldn't get elected for todays Democrat party.

  • banliberals SLC, UT
    April 20, 2017 11:00 a.m.

    Having Bernie Sanders as the leader of the DNC is heaven to the GOP! Its the gift that keeps on giving! No one really respects Bernie, you know the guy who never had a job until he ran for the senate?

    And Obama was a disaster and has left the DNC spiraling downward, as Trump has accomplished more in 4 months than Obama in 8 years ......of course he really did that in just 4 days, it wasn't hard to beat Barack Hussein Obama!

  • David Centerville, UT
    April 20, 2017 10:55 a.m.

    I have been a registered Republican my entire life, but have crossed party lines numerous times to vote for who I believed was the best candidate--Matheson for Governor, Owens for US House Representative, McDonald for State name a few. These men were moderates, and were able to connect with moderate Republicans. I voted for McMullin, and am uncertain about where I will land politically as I do not trust Trump and am frustrated with many aspects of the state Republican Party.

    Having said that, turnout to hear Sanders was, I believe, an anomoly. Future elections are needed to truly understand the support of young voters.

    I believe one thing is certain, and that is moving Left will hurt the Democrat Party in Utah.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 20, 2017 10:56 a.m.

    "When party leadership is to the left, it makes it difficult to send a message the party is broad-based," Davis said.
    With all respect for Richard Davis, I disagree with him on this. Harry Truman warned that the Democratic Party should never try to be the conservative party because when faced with a choice between two conservative parties, voters will choose the real thing (the GOP). It’s not entirely coincidental that recent Republican resurgence came with Barack Obama trying to occupy the political center.

    The Democratic Party needs a new liberal vision. That means articulating that in a way that makes sense to Americans and appeals to their best instincts. Going back to FDR, that is when the party has surged ahead in finding broad support.

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    April 20, 2017 10:43 a.m.

    When Bernie Sanders (who, in addition to being in his dotage, is so far off the scale that he doesn't even self-identify as a Democrat) is the face of the Democratic Party, it's pretty safe to safe the party has lurched leftward. No one wants to admit it, but there was no bigger factor in Donald Trump's election than the "progressive" presidency of his predecessor Barack Obama. How could anyone with half a brain conclude that the Dems' ills lie in not being liberal ~enough~? Bill Clinton, for all his faults, understood the term "over-reach" and knew that a pivot to the center was a wise political strategy when unfavorable winds are blowing.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 10:42 a.m.

    The amazing thing I see from demos. is that they don't actually blame Barack Obama for their downward slide.

    After the disastrous Bush years, at least we Republicans placed blame directly where it needed to be - with George Bush.

    Demos. don't seem to have ANY misgivings whatsoever about 8 yrs. of disastrous Obama policies!

  • All American Herriman, UT
    April 20, 2017 10:42 a.m.

    Bernie is pure socialism, which does not and has never, ever worked anywhere. So, yes, I hope the Demcrats go as far left as they can so we moderates and conservatives can continue to elect even more Constitutional conservatives.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    April 20, 2017 10:35 a.m.

    If the Utah Democratic party moves further left it will have support from nothing more than 15% - 20% of hard core believers at best. It is true that "Republican Lite" hasn't turned many to the party, primarily because of the litmus issue of abortion. But moving further left in a moderate-to-conservative state like Utah is a ticket to further obscurity.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 20, 2017 10:32 a.m.

    I really wish all elections were non-partisan. We should be voting for people, not parties. Parties - like many like organizations are solely there for their own self preservation, and not actually achieving anything. They are fund raising machines that at the end of the day add little value to the political process.

    You can see by many of the comments posted that this isn't about any particular policy, but rather rooting for a team. Many of the problems needing solutions could be funded by the wasteful money spent by elections. If we can't get rid of the parties, we should at least do what Canada has done and dramatically shorten the election cycle to a couple of months rather than the years.

    So frustrating reading these comments where you could confuse this for a BYU versus U of U debate. Completely pointless.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 20, 2017 10:25 a.m.

    I have no problem with them moving further to the left and further marginalizing themselves. Just like the dems did not learn from forced health insurance in MA and what a disaster that was before they forced Obamacare on us, this current crop of dems does not seem interested in learning from the disastrous candidacies of Mr. Weinholtz and Mr. Snow. Yeah, keep nominating candidates without a snowball’s chance of getting elected. Is there any wonder why the GOP has a lock on Utah?

    Bernie’s turnout was due to his opponent. Who on earth views hilary as GOP-lite? Today’s dems are not left? Really?

    You WANT the church involved in politics?

    Liberals have not lost control of the SCOTUS. At best it is now 4 liberals, 4 conservatives, and 1 in between, though Kennedy votes with the liberals enough it’s really 5-4 liberal.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    April 20, 2017 10:09 a.m.

    It's amusing how liberal-leaning people choose to move to Utah--
    And then are surprised, offended, upset or complain when a majority of Utahns hold to the moral and ethical ideals Utahns are known for.

    Yes, the move-in outsider segment will continue to lean farther to the left.

    And please, no mention of how GOP Utahns voted for Trump.
    That was just a backlash against 8 years of Obama, the determination not to have that followed by another Pres Clinton and the failure of the the rest of the country GOP to elect a moral, rational Romney when they had the chance.
    Any of those things going correct (instead of the way they did) would have meant there was no such thing as a Pres Trump today.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    April 20, 2017 10:05 a.m.

    If the Utah Democratic Party shifts further left, they may be signing their death warrant. Some may lament this.

    But, increasing diversity and new factions and caucuses have already emerged within the traditional Republican ranks in Utah. There are TEA Party types (Lee), Never Trumpers (Romney), moderate Republicans (former Senator Bennett and his posterity, and perhaps the 2017 version of Orrin Hatch), and libertarians. There is enough variety on the traditional Republican side in Utah to keep democracy honest and flourishing.

    So, Utah Democrats may choose to move left. But, no need for the average Utahn to mourn the inevitable loss of all significant political power for the Utah Democratic Party.

    The rejection of Richard Davis as State Party Chairman has likely already etched the "RIP" on that gravestone.

  • Common Sense Guy Richfield, UT
    April 20, 2017 9:59 a.m.

    There are many issues. Going to the left on some of them will certainly not bode well in Utah, while other issues are much more acceptable. Hopefully, this will create room for the rise of more independents and a new third party. I am not sure the other third parties out there will be able to capitalize unless they change some of their views.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    April 20, 2017 9:55 a.m.

    Barack Obama has left the Democratic party in a spiraling downward freefall! During his watch, they have lost the white house, they have lost control of the house of representatives, lost control of the Senate, lost major influence on the SCOTUS and over 65% of all governorships in America and about a thousand other state and county offices nationwide! They look to socialist Bernie Sanders for leadership but he will be 78 years old when the next presidential election happens! True to form they offer nothing for the moderate voter, their only message is Trump is despicable and those who support him are "deplorable" (to quote Hillary) therefore, vote for me! Never learning anything from their loses, they now double down on their lack of giving voters any reason to vote for them and hold hate Trump meetings all over the country, attacking police and making complete fools of themselves! Unless the demos come up with a reason to elect them (other than how despicable they think President Trump is), they will continue to lose elections, influence and power!

  • Blue Collar Huntington, UT
    April 20, 2017 9:25 a.m.

    So yes, the democrat party will continue to further down the road of leftism.
    Which also means that Republicans will continue to dominate the state legislature.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 9:14 a.m.

    "We thought that even a Republican would not be as bad as he was because he was very damaging to the image of Democrats. He was Republican light."

    That's an ignorant idea. I'd much rather have someone I agree with say... 70% of the time, than someone I agree with 10% of the time. If I want someone that I agree with 95% of the time instead then I vote for that person in the primary but in the general I'm definitely going for the 70 vs the 10.

  • DavidMiller Bountiful, UT
    April 20, 2017 9:07 a.m.

    @Esquire is on the right track. The LDS/non-LDS proxy fight that the parties have devolved into has been hurting our political system here. Those who are primarily interested in building the influence of the Republican Party love it because they're on the winning side of that proxy fight but those who are interested in limited government lose out because it doesn't matter what a candidate believes about big/small/or no government they will get elected anywhere outside Salt Lake County so long as they are anti-abortion and have an "R" next to their name on the ballot.

    Moving left wouldn't necessarily be a problem if doing so wasn't presented in the form of a major slap in the face to anything traditional (see the “Saturday's Voyeur” stunt). From that perspective, Bernie Sanders is a good example. He promotes a radical view compared to "republican-lite" but frames it in opposition to crony-capitalism rather than opposition to family values.

    I don't think his policies are wise but "let's try to give everyone a hand up" is worth talking about much more than "let's abandon all restraint on personal choice."

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 20, 2017 8:17 a.m.

    Lets not confuse excitement for Bernie for anything more in many cases as an "anyone but Hillary" sentiment in many in the primaries. Same thing with the general election, many voted Trump not because they liked Trump, they just disliked Hillary more.

    Bernie will have his followers. Like Trump, he represents an anti-establishment sentiment felt on both sides.

    But that should not be interpreted as a broad base support for his agenda. Utah Democrats, if they really want to succeed, need to adopt a pragmatic centrist movement. Abandon extreme positions - the conservative core is at risk right now and at some point Utah's pro-business position will start rubbing the average person the wrong way as traffic, pollution, school quality and resource management all become collateral damage to the extreme pro-business agenda.

    There is a real opportunity for a centrist/moderate party platform here.... doesn't matter which one... to take advantage of the current situation.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    April 20, 2017 7:41 a.m.

    Amazing how people want to go to socialism and big government. They do not work very well. And they lead to autocracy. They have a siren call which acadamia has res[ponded to and taught our youth. It is a path to the likes of Cuba, Venezuela and others.

  • DougSegesman Bountiful, UT
    April 20, 2017 7:38 a.m.

    Will the party shift farther left? I hope so! The farther left they shift the less likely they will ever win another election. America rejects socialism.

  • kreese Ivins, UT
    April 20, 2017 7:29 a.m.

    Not sure about the Utah Democrats, but the national Democrat party has been shifting to the far left for years.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 20, 2017 7:09 a.m.

    The Democratic Party can bring in the left, but it also needs to appeal to centrist, mainstream Mormons. There are two issues. First, with the rise of Orrin Hatch, 1970s, Republicans have successfully and cravenly co-opted the LDS Church, convincing many Mormons that one can't be a good member of the Church and be a Democrat. The two concepts are now connected, and despite a some weak efforts, the Church hasn't done a good job dispelling that erroneous notion. Further, the GOP has misrepresented the platform and positions of the Dems, so the impression sticks with constant reinforcement. The second issue is on Utah Democrats. For the past 30 years or so, those in control of the Utah Democratic Party have eschewed mainstream Mormons. Peter Billings, a past party chairman, vowed not to allow a Mormon to be the Dems' candidate for Governor. Other examples exist. The Dems must figure out how to bring Mormons into the tent, not make it the party of non-Mormons. If that is the driving motivation, the Democrats will forever be a minority party, unlike the old days when Utah would go back and forth, and was well served by Democratic leaders.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 6:25 a.m.

    We need to understand something: with the rise of Bernie Sanders and especially Donald Trump and his election, nothing will ever be the same in American politics AND Utah politics. Old assumptions must be cast aside.

    The old belief that mainstream LDS will only vote Republican may be obsolete. One thing for sure though - things will never be the same.

    BTW, the Utah Democratic Party is not leftist at all currently. It needs to become a leftist party to grow.

  • Capsaicin Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 4:10 a.m.

    Sanders might be a registered democrat but that not actually the party he belongs to. This younger naive generation that believes in and supports people who wield entitlement spending initiatives are reckless.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 12:24 a.m.

    "Richard Davis, a BYU political science professor and columnist for the Deseret News...said Democrats risk becoming more unpalatable to Utah's largely conservative voters [if they swing left]."

    The turnout for Sanders showed Utahns want a real choice. The Democrats have tried to be the Republican Lites, and it won't sell.

    If Democrats don't move to the left they will get some encouragement from a socialist party, like what happened in the 1930's.

    The country wanted change. They got it with Trump, but not the changes they really wanted.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    April 19, 2017 11:43 p.m.

    As a 40 year registered republican I have never once checked a straight ticket. At times I have voted for Democrats locally and in state wide races. I certainly could have voted for Mr. Swinton for Senate but Utah democrats were determined to go as far left as they could in their primary. They push Bernie Sanders an avowed socialist. Dr. Davis is correct in his assessment of Utah voters. You would think democrats would learn a lesson from this past election and give those of us who don't just vote party a decent choice.