Quantcast
Opinion

Richard Davis: Moderates are needed in politics more than ever

Comments

Return To Article
  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 5:36 a.m.

    Why doesn't Mr. Davis criticize or bemoan the Democratic Party for monolithic voting, i.e. Affordable Care Act, or it's radical shift to the left from the positions of the 1960's? I sense he is frustrated that he cannot marshal the grass roots effort to elect the people he feels represent his point of view as delegates in caucus meetings.

    I do not hold his youth and inexperience against him for not being able to recall the Democratic Party and candidates of the 1960's, many of whom would be willing and able to compromise on issues, not the severe radical progressive party it is today.

    Political parties are private organizations. They can select their delegates how they wish. Mr. Davis is free to organize his own party, platform and select candidates as he/they choose. I do disagree with his attempting to change, through a vote of people who are not members of the private organization, how an organization is run. If enough people register as Republican organize themselves and elect delegates they can change the party's position and processes.

    Mr. Davis is sounding a different drum beat than the Republican Party wants to march to.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 5:47 a.m.

    Wanting immigration laws enforced is not extreme. Most of America see it as moderate. The extreme liberal view of the media is dividing our country. The media and congress needs to separate themselves from the special interest groups that have declared war on American labor.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 7, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    The only structural change needed is to make Congressional Districts look like actual geometric shapes.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 7, 2013 7:46 a.m.

    I disagree with Mr. Davis.

    Being conservative, moderate or liberal, in and of itself, means nothing without context. When we look at the biggest problems in America and when we look at how those problems came about, then we can decide which approach to take.

    One of our greatest problems is the economic melt-down. Too many people are unemployed or underemployed. They can't pay their bills. They look to government for assistance. Government promises them anything, but funds nothing. The deficit increases. To keep in power, those in government, who made those misleading promises, "buy" votes by making even more outrageous promises. Welfare perpetuates the problem. Compromise will not solve that problem.

    We have a contract with government, the Constitution, which spells out which services we expect government to provide. There can be no compromise on that contract. Government MUST provide those services and ALL of us must pay for those services. Everything else is to be left to the States or to the people - without compromise.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 7, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    "We have a contract with government, the Constitution, which spells out which services we expect government to provide."
    ______________________________

    The Constitution spells out nothing of the kind or anything that is policy specific. Its Preamble cites only general objectives to “form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity."

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    I don't know how old Richard Davis is. To remember Scranton, like I do, makes him pretty old. However, his thesis sounds like high school civics. Believe it or not, in this countrys history we have gone through much more political turmoil than we are now. The two parties are pretty well divided, as is the nation as a whole. That the country is about 50/50 on many major issues is exactly WHY (Mr.Davis) the Government is. We the people are electing for the most part exactly the people we want to represent us. Particularly in the House of Reps, which is the most close to the grassroots of the people. I do agree with the notion of gerrymandering having affected that to some degree, but it's with both parties so it is largly a wash. Point is, the American Government is extemely divided on many issues because the people of America are extremely divided on those issues. Nothing new or wrong with that. And in future elections, things will change one way or the other. That's democracy.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    Looks like Richard Davies just "came out" as a RINO and Republican-Lite.

    Because in the puritan political world of Utah -- you are either uber-far-right or uber-far-left...
    Black or White,
    In or Out,
    All or Nothing,
    My way or the Highway,

    i.e., extremism...

    There IS no Moderation in All things here...

    that said;
    Welcome to the REAL world Richard ~ Morpheus

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    The most important civil rights legislation came under Eisenhower and would you believe Nixon. Social programs are not exclusive to Democrats, but we should live in our means. I don't go for being moderate on third term abortion.

  • Woody Newbury Park, CA
    Aug. 7, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    I agree with Mr. Davis to an extent. The GOP conceeds 25% of Congressional seats to Democrats because they cannot appeal to liberals or minority groups, etc. This leads to Detroit, and the political collapse and corruption of one party rule. If we say that a moderate is a RINO, Republicans will never offer alternatives. Reform minded candidates need to be supported by one major party or the other. I am not seeking candidates that compromise, I am seeking candidates that are original thinkers. Don't be for or against Amnesty or Obamacare, design and sell something better.. That is the job of moderates.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Aug. 7, 2013 10:47 a.m.

    A constitutional scholar once told me political parties were never envisioned in the U. S. Constitution "and have never been productive." I'm beginning to see what he means. Is there really a Democratic and Republican version of everything in the world? A law requiring everyone to carry health insurance seemed like a great idea to Republicans when they proposed it, but now that a Democratic President has embraced the concept its a horrible idea. Meanwhile honest people are made to suffer because of the inaction of Congress. Yes, we need a return of the moderates from both parties, but voters have to support them.

  • FatMan86 West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    Mr Davis is right on the money here. The extremists on both ends of the political spectrum have hijacked both the Republican and Democratic political parties. "My way or the highway" really has become the prevailing political sentiment in America, and it has lead to extraordinary governmental gridlock.

    I highly doubt that this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind. The Constitution itself is a masterful document that was created through a process of compromise among those who were part of it's creation and subsequent ratification. Had those men not been willing to compromise, we would not have a Constitution today.

    The extremists have somehow convinced the mainstream that all who have differing political opinions are "evil", and compromise with "evil" is "evil" itself. Don't kid yourself either, both political parties do it, and they do it a lot.

    Imagine what could be accomplished if we were all willing to look for and find common ground with those who have differing opinions. Perhaps if we respected each other a little more this would be easier. Common ground will always make compromise easier and more will get done. Until that happens though, the nutjobs will continue to rule.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    As much as we need moderation, we're not going to tolerate it.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 12:05 p.m.

    The Republican commenters here are all up in arms because Richard Davis points out the obvious. I think a new moderate party might put the other two out of business (which is exactly where they ought to be). The GOP at present is in danger of splitting between those who want to govern and those who merely want to make a point. Obviously, the American populace has gotten tired of those who keep trying to make the same point over and over. They are the reason Congress's approval rating is at an all-time low (ranging from 6 to 21 percent in various polls, with an average of 14.8) and it's disapproval rating averages 75.8 percent.

    Whether sanity prevails and the Republicants once again become the Republicans or whether Mike Lee and his fellow obstructionists prevail is still up in the air. If the latter, then count on the GOP to diminish, since a Rand Paul or Marco Rubio could never appeal to more than about 30 percent of the voters in a presidential election. But is it likely that only more embarrassing defeats will move the GOP to toward the center.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 7, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    It would have been useful if Mr. Davis could have identified exactly what was "extreme" about Governor Romney's positions on health care, foreign policy, and immigration. As your colleagues in the math department would say, Professor, "show your work."

    Also, it would have been useful to identify some examples of "extremism" on the other side. Otherwise, you come across as a typical liberal for whom "extreme" is simply a synonym for "not liberal."

    I like what Martin Luther King said in "Letter from Birmingham Jail," several months before Barry Goldwater said something similar and more widely remembered: Being an extremist for justice is a *good* thing. I would add that, in a time where the nice collegial bipartisan backscratching of years past has put us on the glide slope to national insolvency, a little extremism in the application of basic math would not be amiss.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 7, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    Also, since Mr. Davis didn't see fit to go into details, it bears reminding that Governor Romney's "extreme" position on immigration consisted of...enforcing the current immigration law.

    His "extreme" position on healthcare: Not trying to radically restructure the healthcare system, and trying to point out the unworkable aspects in Obamacare, which the Obama administration has delayed because aspects of it are...unworkable.

    His "extreme" position on foreign policy: Don't stop shooting at terrorists until we have a good idea they've stopped shooting at us.

    Dear sweet merciful heavens! A madman! Extreeeeeeeme!

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Aug. 7, 2013 1:01 p.m.

    The problem with moderates is this: Everybody thinks they're moderate, almost nobody truly is.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    moderates? Like John McCain and Lindsey Graham? I don't think so. Actually what is REALLY needed is more men and women of moral and constitutional courage like Mike Lee and Ted Cruz. Ronald Reagan preached of the need for more BOLD COLORS and less pale pastels (moderates). I agree.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 1:39 p.m.

    To those of us who are Constitutional conservatives, the majority in the Republican Party appears moderate. And the majority in the Democratic Party appears treasonous.

    Mr. Davis has positioned himself well to the left of moderate Republicans. There are no moderate Democrats! No Democrat politician believes in a strict interpretation of the Constitution. The executive branch refuses to execute all the laws of the land. The judicial won't hold the executive or the legislative branches to anything near a strict adherence to the Constitution's requirements. And the legislative branch won't defend its prerogatives, bowing down to the executive will as manifested by royal Executive Orders.

    The oath of office does not suggest a "moderate" defense of the Constitution.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 1:44 p.m.

    DesNews: "Your comment is awaiting moderation and will appear once approved."

    How can we get a conservative viewpoint published when all comments must await "moderation." DesNews censors thus be required to support and enforce Mr. Davis's call for "moderation."

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 7, 2013 2:29 p.m.

    Linus,

    "To those of us who are Constitutional conservatives, the majority in the Republican Party appears moderate. And the majority in the Democratic Party appears treasonous."
    ______________________________

    The Constitution itself is a conservative document. I’m a Constitutional conservative which is why my political and social views are liberal. That’s not doubletalk. It means I see how resistance to common sense change stupidly invites drastic upheavals that can easily turn revolutionary and destructive.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 2:37 p.m.

    @Linus
    If it makes you feel better they censor liberal points even more than conservative points. Especially in the morning, the moderators (interns) seem to be extra cranky and self righteous at that time of day.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 3:04 p.m.

    @patriot
    Cedar Hills, UT

    moderates? Like John McCain and Lindsey Graham? I don't think so. Actually what is REALLY needed is more men and women of moral and constitutional courage like Mike Lee and Ted Cruz. Ronald Reagan preached of the need for more BOLD COLORS and less pale pastels (moderates). I agree.
    1:35 p.m. Aug. 7, 2013

    ==========

    Psssst...

    Reagan was a RINO, Democrat-Lite -- i.e., BIG tent Republican, Moderate.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 7, 2013 3:08 p.m.

    Tyler D,

    They are geometric shapes. But they are the ones for which you need a few hours to calculate their area.

    Brave Sir Robin

    Agreed.

    Patriot,

    Reagan may have talked that way but in practice he could work out a deal with the Democrats (and did so many times). He could never have governed California otherwise.

    Linus,

    Seeing those who oppose our own views as treasonous is precisely the problem. We cannot possibly cooperate with someone who is treasonous, so we do not cooperate. Govt. grinds to a halt and degenerates into camps at war with each other.

    Read Washington’s Farewell Address. It summarized well the problems of parties and the absolute mess they have gotten us into.

    And BTW, there are certainly moderate Democrats. I know many.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 3:13 p.m.

    FatMan86 wrote: "Mr Davis is right on the money here. The extremists on both ends of the political spectrum have hijacked both the Republican and Democratic political parties."

    Absolutely right. I couldn't agree more. Once again, the Richard Davis column is the most thoughtful and constructive article in the Deseret News. If we took his advice, we might actually move forward as a nation instead of remaining mired in all the bickering.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 4:04 p.m.

    "If it makes you feel better they censor liberal points even more than conservative points."

    For what it's worth, the censors don't like moderates who are anti-Republicans either. Can't tell you how many times my comments have been denied for purportedly breaking the DN "rules" that conservatives repeatedly get away with violating. It's really rather hilarious.

  • onceuponatime Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    One mans extremist is another mans moderate.

  • Trust Logic Brigham City, UT, 00
    Aug. 7, 2013 5:32 p.m.

    I like this article. He brings out a lot of good points about how our government is so devicive and binary and I would personally love to see more moderates in government. But, he fails to acknowledge that maybe the extreme politicians actually represent the majority accurately and we as moderates are the minority wishing we had more influence. He only looks at the possibility that moderates are under represented (also a plausible explanation).
    His solution though is where I disagree with him. If changing the caucus/convention system and other changes would fix it, then we would expect more moderates in other states. But, we don't! I think that no matter the system, increased participation is the only way to get better representation!

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 7, 2013 5:37 p.m.

    Surprise! It's not the Republicans who are telling us that the sky is falling, that "old folks" will starve, that children will fend for themselves and that everything will fail UNLESS the Republicans get in line and obey Obama.

    The Democrats have not passed a budget in years, yet they blame the Republicans for holding things up. The Republicans HAVE passed a budget. Harry Reid has not allowed the Senate to vote on that budget and Obama has promised to veto it if it does pass. Who's holding things up? Who's lying? Hint: It isn't the Republicans.

    Who told us that the Republicans were spending money like drunken sailors? How much of the deficit has Obama signed into law?

    It is the liberals who have stopped all progress. They can read yet they continue to demand that money be spend for non-authorized programs. Do they think that the American people are total fools? Do they actually believe Obama's rhetoric? Why do they let Reid shut out all votes? What's wrong with the Democrats?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Aug. 8, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Surprise! It's not the Republicans who are telling us that the sky is falling,

    ==========

    Surprise! Yes, it was the Republicans who were telling us that the sky was falling, and then dropped taxes for the wealthiest Americans and then lied to us about mythical Weapons of Mass destruction and that Al-Qaeda was everywhere and was going to continue terrorist attacks all over America unless we attacked every oil rich country in the Middle east and spent over $2 Trillion on unfunded Government contracts.

    9/11 was joke.
    Republicans fell for it,
    Americans have paid for it.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    WE need all to be moderate; we need to use good sense. If an idea is good, let's use it; maybe modify it as needed. But, to ignore or castigate an idea just because it originates from "the other party" is destructive to this country.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    We need fewer moderates. When given a choice between Progressive and Progressive Lite, why bother choosing because they both lead to the same destination. They both will lead to Socialism. What we really need are more Conservatives. The difference between the political parties should be made clear, and adding more moderates to the Republican party would only further destroy the party. If you look at their recent upset victories the Republicans had coservative canidates that were able to clearly express their viewpoint.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" now you have started the lies.

    Tell us again which party it is that says we must act immediately on climate change (carbon taxes), health insurance reform (ACA), immigration (comprehensive immigration reform), education (Common Core), so forth? I don't think it is the Republicans saying that those things must be fixed immediatly because the sky is falling.

    FYI WMDs were found in Iraq, and the Wikileaks only added to the proof that they were there.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 8, 2013 2:57 p.m.

    @Twin Lights – “They are geometric shapes. But they are the ones for which you need a few hours to calculate their area.”

    Simple Constitutional amendment – “the shape of a congressional district must be recognized by five year olds and shall not require calculus to calculate their area.”

    Nice comment to Linus… for all their mythmaking and reverence for the Founders, much of what the Founders said and the lessons implicit in their actions are often lost on the Tea Party crowd – as two examples, the FF railed often against factionalism and spoke repeatedly against the dangers of perpetual corporations free from strict mandates.

    And regarding your previous comment about Monk/Antonio… yup, he’s great!

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    Moderates are important as a means of holding the current union together. I think the nation needs to remain intact, because big problems require big solutions, i.e. big government solutions. These will not be available if the union breaks apart. I believe we may well be closer to a crackup of the United States than we have been since the Civil War. We hate and despise each other like no time in my memory. This could easily get out of hand. What would a fragmented U.S. (sic) look like. One country would consist of the coasts, and the old industrial midwest. The other would consist of the south and the mountain west. As an aside it would be fun to see LDS get along with the evangelist south. Let's hope things don't come to this, but if the likes of Glenn Beck it could well happen.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 4:01 p.m.

    To "marxist" if you look at the studies about the polarization of the US, it wasn't that big of a factor until Obama was elected. Didn't Obama get a Nobel Peace Prize for the peace that would follow his innaguration?

    Have any of Obama's comments dealing with race actually helped race relations? From the Cambrige police incident to Zimmerman, Obama has caused more chaos than he has resolved.

    Ask yourself, what is the left doing to bring the US closer together?

    Since you despise Glenn Beck, lets see what he is doing to bring us together. He has organized massive service projects to get people out there helping eachother. He has held rallies with the specific message of loving our neighbors and helping them. He is encouraging people to act with Faith, Hope, and Charity.

    Now tell us, who has the message that can bring us together, Obama who pits "us" against "them" or Beck who says to help your neighbor?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 8, 2013 4:56 p.m.

    @RedShirt – “the polarization of the US, it wasn't that big of a factor until Obama was elected.”

    Curious how you put this – “until Obama was elected.” Not after he passed the Stimulus bill or the ACA, but when he was elected.

    We know each other’s political views fairly well so I’m not trying to start a pointless (because no one’s mind will be changed) war of words here, but I am genuinely curious about this.

    Why was it literally the day Obama took office that the Right freaked out to a degree not seen since FDR? I mean I could understand if it was a few months or a year or so after he was in office, but that wasn’t the case. I remember Glenn Beck and the Tea Party stuff happening pretty much on day one.

    So why do you think that was the case?

    It seems a big stretch to say it was his voting record in a relatively short Senate career (given some of the records our past presidents have had).

    There seems to be something deeper going on with this particular president that belies explanation.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Aug. 8, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    @1covey
    Salt Lake City, UT

    WE need all to be moderate; we need to use good sense. If an idea is good, let's use it; maybe modify it as needed. But, to ignore or castigate an idea just because it originates from "the other party" is destructive to this country.
    9:15 a.m. Aug. 8, 2013

    =============

    You mean like how ACA [Obamacare] was originally a Republican idea,
    but since they did nothing about it - the Democrats did?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 9:33 p.m.

    Redshirt: " if you look at the studies about the polarization of the US, it wasn't that big of a factor until Obama was elected." Well it so happens that there was another event which occurred just before Obama assumed office in 2009 - namely the collapse of Walt Street capitalism. This has resulted in the massive polarization we have seen. People of your type can't deal with the idea that your beloved capitalism could collapse, so you lurch about pouncing on anyone who would questions this presumably inviolable institution. For once, will you please face it. We will not have a degree of peace until we examine in detail what happened. You and most of the public just can't seem to do it.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 9, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    To "Tyler D" the right didn't freak out the day that he was elected, they had big concerns before he was elected.

    During the campaign Obama was already starting to polarize the nation. From his comments to Joe the Plumber, to his declaration that the cost of producing electricity from coal was going to skyrocket. Obama found that his main supporters liked the divisive nature of his policies, and that the press was going to agree with him no matter what.

    The Tea Party stuff didn't happen immediately, but once Obama had pushed $1.2 Trillion of failed stimulus money through congress.

    The big question for you and your ilk is this: What will it take for you to admit that Obama is highly divisive? Some liberals have expressed concern that there could be civil unrest in the US due to Obama's policies and the stance that Conservatives have taken. I don't remember anything like that during the previous 4 administrations.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 9, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    @RedShirt – “During the campaign Obama was already starting to polarize the nation”

    As an answer to my question this doesn’t pass the smell test.

    In any presidential campaign, we can always find things said or done that will rile the other side… if we couldn’t, how would we distinguish the candidates? But compared to some of the amazingly inflammatory stuff heard in past campaigns (we can look to speeches at Bob Jones University alone for things that would make most people’s heads spin) Obama by comparison and overall was highly inclusive.

    Starting from his speech at the 2004 DNC, to his books, and through his campaign, he sounded like a big tent centrist pragmatist.

    And in February 2009 much of what Obama was doing was just a continuation of what Bush did, including a Stimulus bill that contained the largest single tax cut in history.

    So that doesn’t smell right either…

    Sorry, but I think we still have some work to do connecting the dots as to why this man is so vehemently hated by the Right. What you’ve said so far just isn’t adding up.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 9, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    To "Tyler D" Obama sounded like a centrist, unless you started to think about what he said. Once you put some thought into it, he can be shown to be a hard core leftist liberal.

    Obama makes really good speeches, but his content is frightening. In his books, the only way you could think of him as a centrist is if you are a hard core communist. In his autobiography he is proud of his communist/socialist mentors and how he hung out with marxists. Those are not exactly "centrist" things to do.

    You realize that Bush was a Progressive, and he was getting flack from conservatives on his policies. Obama has taken every bad policy from Bush, made them bigger, more expensive, and a larger power grab.

    You should start to sniff around Obama and his divisive rhetoric.

  • patriot vet Cedar City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2013 4:10 p.m.

    @ Hutterite 11:19 a.m.
    "As much as we need moderation, we're not going to tolerate it."

    Amen! Dismissed.