Voting in a Red State

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Today's mainstream youth are more concerned about whom they're going to vote for on the new episode of American Idol or America's Got Talent, but hopefully you, a SLUG reader, have a more important election on your mind. Despite Utah's track record of the Republican Party consuming all of our electoral votes, SLUG polled three local business owners with three not-so-simple questions regarding the upcoming Presidential Election. We at SLUG, hope that you will not use Utah's dominant political affiliation as an excuse for silencing your voice this November.

Tuesday, Oct. 20. Is the last day to register to vote in-person. If you plan to register to vote via mail your registration must be post marked by Tuesday, Oct 6. For detailed information about getting registered in the state of Utah please visit leaveyourprint.com or clerk.slco.org/index.

Kestrel Liedtke
Co-owner of Tin Angel Cafe with husband/head cook Jerry Liedtke and Robin Fairchild
Holds a B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Utah
Mother of two
thetinangel.com

Photo: Adam Dorobiala

SLUG: Party Affiliation?
KL: I am a Liberal Democrat (with a tendency to vote Green in Utah) because I see it as the party with the most regard for people. I want to live in an inclusive society rather than an exclusive one. I feel that social issues are the most important. I also feel that they are (or can be) the guiding force in most other issues of importance. Foreign relations, the economy, national defense and taxes can all be seen as social issues. I am generally suspicious of people who enter into politics. I see a desire to tell people what to do as a personality flaw.

SLUG: Who are you going to vote for?
KL: I am a supporter of Barack Obama.

SLUG: Why?
KL: He appears to be a candidate with a working moral compass who got into politics not out of a desire to control people, but out of a desire to raise them up. I like that he worked hard in school and got a very impressive law degree. I like that he paid for his schooling using merit-based scholarships and working. If you've ever applied for a scholarship you know how tedious it can be and I like the idea of a man leading our country who had to sit down like a normal person and apply himself. Obama didn't come from a wealthy family, nor did he marry into one. This is a major reason he rates so high in my book. He used his law degree to help people when he graduated rather than going directly into politics. This is another credit to his character. I said before that I am suspicious of politicians generally and I continue to question whether Obama is genuinely as selfless as he appears, but the alternative, Mccain, unquestionably epitomizes the things I distrust and dislike about government. I am excited that this election has brought us more diverse choices than past ones have. As a business owner, I am concerned about higher taxes and the economy in general. But I am willing to participate in high taxes as a way of bringing more people into the middle class. I use the knowledge I gained from my degree daily, especially in the business I'm in. Anthropology is the study of humans and I emphasized the study of diversity among humans in my course work. I looked at racial differences and gender based differences and at differences based on social and class structure. I also studied what commonalities humans share, despite genetic and social and class based differences. I am glad I got the degree I did because it changed my worldview. I tend to look at people's commonalities rather than differences now. I see my family, my friends, my business, my community, my nation and myself as belonging to and participating in a global culture. I see my actions and decisions (and those of the people around me) as not just important on a global stage, but also as to what makes the world the place that it is. I see America as increasingly divided on many levels. The haves and have nots are moving further from one another. Democrats, Republicans, Independents and Greens are finding more differences and less common ground. People are viewing the world in terms of divisions. These divisions are creating a feeling of separation and isolation in Americans and in the world. We focus on illegal immigration and how to keep the borders safe, rather than how we can aid in building our neighbor's economy so they won't be so desperate to come here.

Phil Sherburne
Founder and former owner of Kilby Court.
Currently owns the poster art gallery Signed & Numbered with his partner and the mother of his three children, Leia Bell.
signed-numbered.com

Photo: Adam Dorobiala

SLUG: Party Affiliation?
PS: None at all.

SLUG: Who are you going to vote for?
PS: Barack Obama.

SLUG: Why?
PS: I'm voting for Obama because I have three young boys and I'd love to see them grow up. McCain is absolutely reckless, as is evident by his pick of Sarah Palin for Vice President. Imagine that pair in control of the United States military and its enormous nuclear arsenal. As a father, that is absolutely terrifying. Listen to McCain talk about "winning" the war on terrorism, and it's clear that this is a guy who has not yet come to terms with the new world that we live in - this is not WWII. There is not a terrorist leader (including Osama Bin Laden) that can be captured and forced into surrender that would cause all the other terrorists to admit defeat and join our team. You cannot "win" this war against terrorists with more tanks and troops and 500-pound bombs; you just create more terrorists. Barack Obama understands that. John McCain does not and never will. And Sarah Palin, she just thinks that our war with Iraq is "the will of God" and that soon God will zap her and all her friends up in the rapture, so to heck with it. That is her foreign policy, and I'm pretty sure that is why her handlers are not letting her talk to the media much. I am an independent/ moderate voter, so I disagree with quite a few of Obama's ideas, just like I disagree with quite a few of McCain's ideas. I also agree with each of them in some ways. For me, the choice is really about which candidate can actually put America back on track, which candidate will send the message to the world that America is not an imperialistic nation of greedy rednecks bent on blowing everyone else up and exploiting their resources and which candidate will give my kids a better chance at growing up in a nation that is not terminally at war? It will take a long time for the damage that has been done to be repaired, but if America can elect Barack Obama this election, that will at least be the first step in the right direction.

Dennis Nazari
Owner of Salty Peaks Snowboard Shop, Established 1987
saltypeaks.com


SLUG: Party Affiliation?
DN: Independent. I'm not a democrat and not a republican. I'm an American and I want my country back!

SLUG: Who are you going to vote for?
DN: It would be easier to tell you who I won't be voting for. It's very hard for me to think about voting for a member of the council on foreign relations like Obama or McCain because they are both committed to the globalization of the world or the New World Order, which will increase illegal immigration in this country and give amnesty to those who are here illegally. It will also further diminish our sovereignty as a nation. The council on foreign relations, also known as the political establishment, has had a firm grip on the political process in this country for decades. With the help of the media [they have] framed the issues we as Americans are allowed to hear about from candidates.Don't you wonder why we don't hear about illegal immigration or the national debt? I would look to a third party candidate like Ron Paul, Ralph Nader or Bob Barr, but if any of them had a chance to get into the White House the establishment would assassinate them before they got there. If you are voting for the lesser of two evils, you're still voting for evil.

SLUG: Why?
DN: I doubt you have enough space to get into the whole deal, but If you don't know about the council on foreign relations and their involvement in globalizing the world you should take some time out of your busy day to do some research. You might even wonder how I know months before the election that McCain will be your next president! As scary as that sounds I'm calling it now! I can only hope I'm wrong!