I haven't had time to post much lately, but these are my impressions of the convention.
It was fun to be around so many other people who care about politics. When we were in the convention room for the voting all the delegates were seated by county. It was inspiring to hear each of the counties called by name and to hear all of the delegates from that county cheer.
The voting was VERY organized. I don't know who the voting coordinator was, but I would definitely vote for her if she was running for office.
While I was wandering around listening to the candidates before the convention was called to order, I saw someone standing outside of Tim Bridgewater's booth shaking hands with people as they walked by. What was remarkable to me is that he was dressed in a suit and tie with a missionary name tag on. I don't know if he was not actually a missionary but was wearing an old name tag, or if he was a missionary and was at the convention for some reason. Either way, TOTALLY inappropriate.
I was sad that Bob Bennett lost, of course, since I was supporting him. I was going to vote for Tim Bridgewater as my second choice, but when he started ranting about socialism in his final speech just like all the others candidates had done, I left. Not much difference between one far-right candidate and another far-right candidate.
I sat next to a lady who was a nice grandmotherly type. Then I started talking to her and I couldn't believe the conversation we had. Someone mentioned Mitt Romney in one of the speeches and she said, "I like Mitt Romney, but he's never going to be elected president because other Republicans don't like him." So far, I pretty much agreed with her. Then she went on, "They won't let Mitt Romney be president, but they'll elect a MOO-slim who wasn't even born in this country with no second thoughts about it. Can you believe it? A MOO-slim... he's not even a citizen..." I didn't want to start a fight or anything so my first instinct was to just smile and nod and then change the subject, but I just can't stand to listen to such crazy things without responding somehow. So I said, "Oh, are you talking about President Obama?" "Yes, Obama's a MOO-slim, didn't you hear about that big scandal?" "Where did you hear that, Rush Limbaugh?" hopefully with enough scorn in my voice to signal that I'm not a fan. "Well, no Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity..." I'm sure she could probably see the look of disapproval on my face. So she continued, "He's very accurate, he fact-checks everything he says. There's a midwife from Kenya who saw him born, she talked about it and then she disappeared. Doesn't that sound suspicious, she says Obama was born in Kenya and then she disappears?" The whole time she was talking I could feel the blood rushing to my face. I realized it was pointless to argue about something she was obviously convinced of, so I just muttered, "Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree about that" and we moved on to other topics. But I still feel angry when I think about it. Not so much angry at her, I think she is well-meaning enough. I'm angry at the people in the media like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity who tell people half-truths to get ratings. They take people's fears and prejudices and twist them for their own political (and monetary) interests. It makes me sick that these people are taking over my party.
Now, the Democrats also have their conspiracy theories, like the 9/11 truthers. But I'm talking about the Republicans here, so we'll stick to the paranoia in my own floundering party. Do we really want a group of people in charge of the Utah Republican party who are getting all their information from Glenn Beck and friends and accepting it as the gospel truth? I know I don't.
Are all the clear-thinking people in the Republican party going to just sit back and let it happen? We'll see. A moderate Democrat seems to be a lot closer to my political views than these Obama-is-a-socialist-don't-even-talk-to-democrats-let's-do-nuclear-testing-in-Utah Republicans.