February 25, 2017

To Brandon Beckham: Try a little honey before you resort to vinegar.

Remember the civility initiative that Utah was pushing earlier this year? I wrote about it here on the blog.

The Utah Civility and Community 2011 site states that “In Utah we are committed to respectful discourse and behavior toward all people. Further we are committed to being a welcoming, inclusive and caring community. Now is a great time to pass it on and start the five steps to a more caring Utah.”

Remember that? That was in January.

And this was today, courtesy Brandon Beckham, who called Utah legislators “traitors.” He was talking about his displeasure with the speed with which legislators who passed HB116 and who are moving far too slowly, for his taste,repeal HB116:

“Those who drafted this bill are traitors to Utah and they will be held accountable by voters in 2012,” he said [today].

Brandon Beckham, organizer of an effort to repeal HB116, speaks with a supporter at a press conference urging the repeal of the bill at the Utah State Capitol on Wednesday, July 20, 2011.

Thanks, Brandon. Way to raise the level of dialogue to a new high.

One must wonder: traitors to whom?

To the Republican Party?  Republican state delegates voted 833-739 on June 18 to support a resolution supporting repeal. In other words, about 24% of total state delegates voted for repealing HB116. That’s not a ringing endorsement…especially when you consider that 21% voted against it…leaving over half of the Republican Party unrepresented on the resolution. (Ironically, this is the same group of delegates who denied Beckham’s bid for even a first round shot at Vice Chair for the Republican Party).

Someone ought to remind Brandon that this is a republic (a compound constitutional republic, if the legislature is to be heard on this one, a representative democracy, otherwise), not a democracy. And thank heavens. We select representatives so that they can study out the topic, evaluate all sides of an issue, take testimony and conduct analysis, and make a decision. That’s their job, and Utah legislators, despite their idiosyncrasies, occasional message bills, and generally conservative tendencies, do a good job of it. Utah is one of the best run states in the nation, if not the best run, and it’s due in large part to good governing.

It isn’t the job of the Republican Party to dictate policy to law makers. It’s the Republican Party’s job to choose candidates and help them get elected. Period.

If you don’t agree with the lawmakers, make your case, and make it well. Don’t resort to ad hominem attacks, ridicule, and name calling. Not only does it diminish your ability to persuade, but it destroys any credibility you might have had.

As the cliché goes, you’ll catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar. If nothing, the immigration debate has been fueled, at least on one side, by far too much vinegar, and not enough honey.

If you want to be heard, Brandon, then start listening. Winning a vote for a non-binding resolution with 24% of the body does not equal a mandate. It’s barely even a reason to get a headline during the summer doldrums.

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About Daniel Burton

Daniel Burton lives in Salt Lake County, Utah, where he practices law by day and everything else by night. You can follow him on his blog PubliusOnline.com where he muses on politics, the law, books and ideas. He is active on social media, Republican politics, and has been named to PoliticIt’s list of the “Top-50 Utah Political Opinion Leaders” on Twitter. You can reach him directly at dan.burton@gmail.com

  • Aaron Gabrielson

    Well said Holly. Utah legislators do a pretty good job. What state is doing better?

    • Aaron Gabrielson

      Sorry, Brandon I thought this was written by Holly Richardson :-)

      • http://lawafterthebar.wordpress.com Daniel B.

        Try again, Aaron. It’s neither Holly or Brandon…

  • Pingback: When in doubt, apologize. Kudos to Brandon Beckham. | After the Bar()

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