My parents did not care about politics growing up, my dad was very pessimistic about politics, or very apathetic, I guess, is probably the best way to say it. I grew up during George W. Bush's term. I remember my first big election was 2008. That was the first one that I remember very vividly. I think my love of politics stemmed from a love of watching elections and wondering why things went the way they did. Then I got into history. I got into geopolitics and then it just kind of merged into this weird little thing that I call my love for politics and American politics, like the American political system. It wasn't really any one person's influence on my life that put me on that path. It was very much my own desire to figure out why things happened, that put me on this path.
I love a candidate who is well informed. I love a candidate who does not just say rhetoric, but backs up their assumptions and policy proposals with actual peer reviewed data and academic journals. That is the candidate that I ultimately gun for. The candidate that is endorsed by the scientific community endorsed and by other respected leaders. That is a candidate that is most trusted in my opinion. I understand the appeal of someone who is not mainstream, who is saying what you like to hear. But to me, it falls flat in the face of research and science.
I think that appealing to our common humanity is probably one of the best ways to tackle this. A lot of people who are religious and don't approve of the the gay agenda or the LGBTQ lifestyle believe that we claim these special rights or whatever, that don't exist. So I think that we'd need to start off by just saying, "I'm just like you. I am a human. I have wants and needs and fears and people I love. I have a family, I have friends just like you." A lot of times people have never met a gay person, they don't know that they are normal people. They just need to be told that this is how a person is born. It doesn't mean you're broken. It doesn't mean you have had trauma.
A lot of times, people say tings like, "Why are you doing this for attention?" I think I would start off by just saying to them, you know, this is how I've always been. I've never known anything different. I've always been just like this. I've never known straight me. Who is he? I don't know who he is. I've only ever known gay me, but the way I presented myself is has been different and that's because of fear of rejection, fear of judgment, things like that. I think that these people just need to understand, why would someone choose this? You know, why would someone choose to do this, especially growing up in a religious climate?
Why would someone choose something that is so antithetical to everything that was taught as a child when it comes to being in a certain religion. I think that it just requires us to engage others it needs to we need to be more outgoing with people and like I said earlier, we can't just shut down people for them not knowing something for them not knowing a gay person. We can't cancel them. We can't push them away. We have to always embrace or else we will never change.
I would love to see the Equality Act passed. I don't know if it's going to happen anytime soon, but I'd love to see it. That's just a dream. I would love to see greater representation of LGBTQ lawmakers on Capitol Hill, but also specifically Utah's Capitol Hill. They're all just straight white guys, and they are very boring. They are very accomplished people. They have done incredible things in the financial sector and in trade and in politics, but they're not representative of Utah. We need LGBTQ people to run for office and we need them to run proudly and openly as who they are. That is the only way the LGBTQ community will impact the country is if they run. That is probably the one of the scariest decisions that they're going to make, especially in deep red states like Utah.
When it comes to government spending, my mind is constantly thinking of where I stand on that. I've worked with people who are so fiscally conservative they're basically anarchists. They don't even want a federal government. I also have friends who are so fiscally liberal that they want to live in an environment where the state dictates everyone's income. I don't really know where I fall. There are concerns that I have, like I have concerns that big banks are too unregulated. The financial sector of the United States is the reason that we went into one of the worst recessions ever. They were making bad decisions when it came to lending and borrowing.
I lean towards the need to regulate that. We need to make sure that consumers and homeowners are protected from from the fallout of these companies making huge risky decisions with insane amounts of money. That's where I fall. But also, they can't be restricted too much where they don't have any wiggle room and innovation is stifled. I see too much of both sides of the issue and so when it comes to fiscal government policy, I am almost drowning in options. It feels like like some days, I'm just like, "Oh my gosh, the inequality in this country is insane. It is one of the biggest issues in our country, we just need a huge government bailout program. We need to give everyone $1,000 a month." Then somedays I'm think, "Okay, that was a dumb idea, how are you gonna pay for that?" That's how I am. I wonder if that's just because these are issues I've studied for a decade. My mind is just constantly devil's advocating itself. I definitely fall somewhere in the middle. Candidates for higher office who proposed policies that will restrain crazy financial activity by large corporations, definitely in favor of that. Candidates that would propose tax hikes on very wealthy people, I could get behind that. That's probably where I'm at right now.
I do believe climate change is happening. I do believe humans contribute to it. I don't know how much humans contribute to it. I can never say with 100% certainty that climate change is 100% caused by human activity. I could definitely say we contribute a very large chunk to it and probably to the accelerating of it by burning fossil fuels. But I cannot say with certainty that I believe that it is 100% caused by humans. That's probably a little unpopular, but I I just don't see the data backing that. I just don't see how we can do that on such a global scale to really make that much of an impact on the global ecosystem, but I definitely believe that we contribute to it.
Obviously Black Lives Matter. As far as the organization, I have a little bit of experience dealing with the Utah chapter because they were pretty active in Salt Lake County when I was working on a campaign this past summer. Good people. They were always very kind, very respectful, and answered my questions. Um, probably not the best outreach to conservatives. I think that's fair criticism, but I get it. I get the injustice and the pent up rage. The outreach though, I don't know. I feel like they've definitely let themselves get labeled by right wingers as terrorists or whatever, which is a shame because Utah's Black Lives Matter are great people. They're incredible. They're very kind. They're very willing to answer questions. Just good, good people.
I think the national scene is a bit of a mess, but I think that they've done a very good job at just reaching out to people across the country who were probably in the middle, who were not sure or were not aware of what was going on. I'm very grateful for the work that they have done in teaching people like me, a suburban white guy who has a job in politics.
I think that the issue is that people felt threatened. Certain parts of the country felt threatened when people started saying Black Lives Matter. Once again, I think that comes out a place of just not knowing enough about an issue, so they feel threatened. They think that Black Lives Matter instantly means that police lives don't matter. I mean, we see the posts all the time. It doesn't mean that. It means that we need to talk more about the black lives that are being lost to police atrocity and police violence.
This is maybe an unpopular opinion, but I kind of feel like the Blue Lives Matter idea grew out a misnomer. It grew out of something that wasn't really there. It grew out of something that people thought was a threat to the police organizations of the country. I don't think so. I think it's always great to support police officers. I mean, some of the coolest people that I met while working on campaigns have been police officers and firefighters. I have the utmost respect for them. When it comes to understanding, I would say, just need to get back to basics and say "Okay, obviously police Lives Matter. Obviously, Black Lives Matter. So what's the issue? Like, why did this start? Like why did this begin?" It was because of unjustified police killings of unarmed black men. So let's go to that.
THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA
I think that the problem with the media is there are certain media outlets who have discovered that there is more fiscal gain and profit in spinning half truths, or sometimes outright lies to a certain segment of society. They have discovered that one segment of society loves to hear stuff about how stupid the left is about anti immigration, or about the right's religious tones when it comes to politics. Media outlets have discovered that it is lucrative to spend money bashing people who don't have an education, who are rural, or who are farmers. I think that politics has just become sorry. The media has become a bigger megaphone for politicians to get off their sound bites.
There are still forms of media that I respect, nonpartisan outlets like NPR, which used to be so boring but is super cool now. Or The New York Times. They still deliver the news in a way that is unbiased, and then you can decide for yourself if that is a good or a bad thing. I don't believe journalists are traitors. I don't believe your local news station is fake news. I don't believe that these people have spent decades building up their careers doing investigative work by presenting fake news to your local communities. I think it's an insult to label your local news stations or your local newspaper as being too conservative or too liberal. I think that that's just silly. I think that certain politicians in positions of authority have had their egos hurt by words written in media outlets, and as a result have completely thrown out the baby with the bathwater. I think that as a society, we need a good strong news media to check politicians, and to keep the public informed of issues that are happening in the nation's capital and in our own state capitals.