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The Wasatch Behind: Only in America

Sun Advocate Columnist

Today is Election Day. Super Tuesday. A day that might go down in history as the day we picked the contestants for our next presidential race.

Who will it be? We've never had such a diverse field of candidates to choose from. Today, for the first time ever, you can choose between a woman (Clinton), a black man (Obama), a war hero (McCain), a strict constitutionalist (Ron Paul), a Baptist minister (Huckabee), and a Mormon (Romney). The medical malpractice lawyer with the nice hair (Edwards), the aging movie star (Thompson), the Hispanic governor (Richardson), and the Italian big city mayor (Giuliani) have already dropped out. Talk about diversity.

Is this a great country, or what?

I think it was easier in the olden days when we didn't have so many choices. For years the only option was to choose between old white guys in dark suits, some wearing elephants on their lapels, others a donkey. It often boiled down to a beauty contest, sort of like the Miss America pageant. Who looks best on TV, Kennedy or Nixon? Who has the brightest smile, Carter or Reagan? Who has the biggest ears, Ross Perot or Bill Clinton? The decisions were easier a few years ago.

Today it's a whole new ballgame. Tolerance and diversity rule the day, and that makes the decision process much more difficult. For example, for the first time ever we have a woman in the race. This is cool and it tells a lot about our national mindset, but it poses problems for the feminists. Now they have to support her. A vote for anyone but Hillary is sure to cause guilt and self-loathing in some circles. After years of fighting to get a woman elevated to this level of national politics, too bad it had to be Bill's wife. Where's our Maggie Thatcher when we need her?

The black guy poses no problems for the black community. To them it's an opportunity, even if he doesn't win. Bill Clinton likes to be called the first black president, and I'm surprised we haven't seen Hillary in blackface in an effort to win black votes, but Barrack Obama really is black. I can understand black people voting for him no matter what. Wouldn't Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King have been proud to vote for a black president? Who could have believed this 30 years ago?

And the Republicans are running a true war hero. We haven't had a real war hero in a presidential race since Bob Dole and John F. Kennedy (sorry Mr. Kerry). It's just too bad that the Republican war hero is a Democrat in conservative clothing. The GOP has a big tent, and John McCain sneaked in under the canvas without getting his credentials checked. His sponsored legislation and voting record makes Ted Kennedy proud. If McCain gets the nomination, the GOP might fracture like a broken windshield.

The Mormons have a horse in this race, too. Mitt Romney saved the Salt Lake Olympics, but we shouldn't hold that against him. His candidacy poses problems for some Mormons. In spite of Democrat membership, how can you not support one of the brethren? Church leadership has been admirably silent on the issue of Romney's candidacy, but among the rank and file, a vote for Romney might be likened to a test of faith. But he does have some national credibility among non-Mormons. According to Ann Coulter, Romney is the best conservative. "He tricked liberals into voting for him in Massachusetts for years."

Baptists and southern evangelicals feel duty-bound to vote for Huckabee. They don't trust McCain and don't like Mormons. Huckabee doesn't have much of a chance of winning the contest, but he's hanging on, hoping to be McCain's Vice-President. In my humble opinion, he's become a spoiler in the bigger race. His presence draws votes away from Romney in favor of McCain.

And then there's Ron Paul. The media people make him out to be a weirdo and a fool, but he's the candidate our founding fathers might have best identified with. It's too bad he can't compete on a level playing field. He doesn't have a chance in today's welfare world.

So there you have it, Uncle Spud's expert political commentary. Vote your conscience, and remember; we'll live with the consequences for years to come.

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