Provo recently reminded residents through its YouTube channel about its “neighborhood chair” program. This program involves residents in each of Provo’s 34 neighborhoods regularly electing one of themselves to serve as a “chair,” who will then host periodic neighborhood meetings in which residents may discuss their various concerns and/or suggestions, while providing a regular line of communication about such issues between neighborhood residents and city councilors.
We urge you to participate in this program, along with your like-minded neighbors, to help champion the principles of a virtuous free society over the practices of centralized political command-and-control, as exemplified by Vision 2030 and/or Vision 2050 (see our previous blog entry).
In doing so, please remember that it’s better to save than to condemn, and to toss figurative life-preservers than to cast figurative stones—and that the best way to defeat our enemies is by humbly striving together with them to unite around objective truth-and-righteousness, thereby helping them to become our friends over time. Our statist adversaries often have good intentions, but foolishly pursue those goals through bad methods—and, so, we need to help them to redirect their efforts from the wrong means to the right ones, instead. Tools like persuasion, contract, volunteerism, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, economic activism, et cetera, are always better ways to accomplish anything than unilateral coercion, which is generally acceptable only as a last resort in defense against aggression.
Alongside trying to proselytize our neighbors to embrace freedom, these neighborhood meetings may also be good opportunities to actively seek out virtuous wise neighbors to encourage to run for city office.
Speaking of elections, we’d like to mention another very important political meeting to attend, although it’s not directly related to Provo…
Utah’s two major parties will hold their biennial precinct caucuses next Tuesday to elect both county and state delegates for the next two years. This year, those delegates will scrutinize candidates for public office and then convene to narrow down their options to one candidate for each office as their party’s official nominee—or two candidates (in some cases) who will then face each other in a primary election so that voters may make the final decision. Next year, those same delegates will follow a similar process to choose candidates for party offices.
Party officers, by the way, generally belong in one of two categories—one sort believes that the grassroots should govern the party through sound parliamentary procedures facilitated by respectful officers, while the other sort believes that the elites should rule the party, and should violate party rules as much as they can get away with in order to finagle the grassroots into doing whatever the elites want. This dichotomy generally parallels the timeless universal spectrum between those who favor “bottom-upward” political systems that help citizens to defend their rights against others’ aggression, and those who favor “top-downward” political systems that reign over society.
This endless political struggle is currently manifesting itself in a raging conflict over Utah’s longstanding caucus system, as many liberty-lovin’ Utahns (represented by Keep My Voice) want to continue it, while certain statist politicians (represented by Count My Vote) want to destroy it in favor of primary elections alone, and are allegedly resorting to lies, harassment, threats, and bribes to accomplish this goal. Primary elections alone were used from 1937 to 1947, and were shown to reduce voter participation; they also render votes more affected by both biased journalists and wealthy donors, and allow the “spoiler effect” in which candidates may win with only minority support, as we recently saw when “liberal” John Curtis defeated two “conservative” Republicans in a primary election to become the Republican nominee with only minority support. These sorts of problems encouraged Utahns to adopt a hybrid caucus-convention-primary system in 1947 that has persisted until recently with only minor adjustments.
So, please encourage your like-minded Republican neighbors to participate in their respective caucus meetings to help preserve Utah’s caucus system, while upholding wise virtuous rights-defenders to both public and party office. And please feel free to report any victories to us that we might want to share with others.