Stop the Presses! Hold the Phones! GOP Elects Its First Black Woman to Congress . . . From Utah?!!
By Ken K. Gourdin
Everyone knows that most Utahns are racist; further, everyone knows that most Mormons (especially Utah Mormons) are racist; and further still, everyone also knows that rural Utah Mormons, especially, are racist. Thus, “everyone” is scratching their heads this morning, wondering how one particularly-inexplicable result could have occurred in last night’s election.
Mia Love will be the first black Republican woman in Congress. And she’ll have been sent there from Utah – backward, provincial, racist, sexist, unenlightened Utah. (If only we – full disclosure; I’m using the “royal” we here; I’m not in Ms. Love’s district, so, alas, I didn’t vote for her, but I would have if I could have, even though I’m backward, provincial, et cetera – had been more enlightened, we wouldn’t have passed up the chance to send another white guy to Congress! (Sigh!) I can’t figure out why more of Utah’s backward, provincial, et cetera, voters weren’t positively salivating at that very prospect!
Racism, sexism, and other backward traits notwithstanding, Representative-Elect Love somehow overcame so many strikes against her to convince a majority of voters in her district to vote for her. It seems that party loyalty combined with commonality of religion really do trump all. After all, it’s not like Representative-Elect Love has anything else going for her. I mean, if, somehow, she were only more articulate, intelligent, and likeable, this election result would make much more sense; alas . . . I can’t wait for the trolls to come out of the woodwork to explain how, although Representative Elect Love somehow convinced a majority of voters in her district to vote for her, all of the backward, provincial, racist sexists who did so actually held their noses while casting their votes!
With all due deference to whomever it was that coined the saying that there are at least three kinds of lies, “lies, damn lies, and statistics,” voter tallies from the Love-Owens race are revealing nonetheless. Love’s district takes in four counties: Juab, Sanpete, Salt Lake, and Utah. Salt Lake County, notwithstanding its status as the seat of the headquarters of the Mormon Church (aka Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or LDS), has the lowest concentration of Mormons of any county in the state (and hence, presumably, its inhabitants are more enlightened, egalitarian, unbigoted, et cetera).
Notwithstanding its status as Utah’s very Seat of Enlightenment (and hence, the one county – in contrast to the rest of benighted Utah – in which a black woman might be expected to do well), however, Salt Lake County is the only county in which Representative-Elect Love lost. She carried the other three counties – all which one might expect to have greater proportions of un-egalitarian, unenlightened, bigoted voters than Salt Lake County – by large margins. As reported in The Deseret News of November 6, 2014, here are the numbers:
*Seat of progressive enlightenment in Utah, notwithstanding the fact that it’s also the site of the headquarters of the backward, unenlightened, et cetera, Mormon Church.
I suppose the takeaway from Democrat voters the Love-Owens race is that it’s OK to be a white, male, Mormon office-seeker in the state of Utah – as long as you’re our white, Mormon office-seeker. Conversely, no matter how egalitarian, progressive, and enlightened we are, if your politics and/or your religion are wrong, we still won’t vote for you, even if you’re a black woman. (Either that, or Representative-Elect Love somehow still managed to advertise her campaign effectively, even while concealing her race and her gender from the voters she was attempting to persuade.)
And, as a side note, what makes last night’s election results all the more inexplicable is that, although a vast majority of Utahns (aka a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy) are known for never passing up an opportunity to vote for a policy that will favor their own party (regardless of the policy’s soundness), they soundly defeated Constitutional Amendment A, which would have changed the current bipartisan setup of the state’s Tax Commission by allowing the governor to appoint more members of his own party.
(Sigh!) What is the world coming to? Surely, Jesus’ Second Advent is nigh!