When I marched down to the city office building in Brigham City to change my party affiliation, I couldn't help reflect on how much I had changed in twenty years. How is it that someone goes from being a Rush Limbaugh listening, fourth generation Republican, to becoming a member of the Democratic Party?
I came from a family that was very politically involved. My father was a mayor of Nephi, Utah in the early 80’s. His proudest political moment was his involvement in the Reagan campaign going back to 1976. He became personally acquainted with Orrin Hatch and Jake Garn and others who changed the state of Utah during the Reagan era. During high school and college I spent many hours working for the Grand Old Party. I volunteered many hours at the log cabin office of Jim Hansen.
The health care debates of 2009 changed everything. While many of my friends rushed to the Tea Party to participate in the Utah caucuses to elect Mike Lee, I checked the box that made me an affiliated member of the Democratic Party. I had reached a point in my life where the political beliefs of my younger years no longer made sense. My political evolution started the day I received my mission call.
During this coming year, I would like to point out a few reasons why I became a progressive. A little bit about myself—I’m an active member of the Church. I’m the Sunday school president in the Lorrin Farr 3rd Ward in Ogden, Utah. Below, I will give you ten reasons why I changed political parties. Each week, I will expand on each viewpoint giving a thoughtful, reasonable, and faithful response. I welcome your comments:
- My mission to Sweden changed the way I view politics and economics. I lost my xenophobia and gained a different perspective of the world.
- I found out that two of my great grandparents were “Teddy Roosevelt Republicans”.
- The healthcare debates of 2009. I had had a unique view of other healthcare systems. I was disgusted at how the healthcare debate was framed by the Tea Party.
- I began to have issues with how workers are treated in America. As a manager over a large retail store, I began to see that many companies are not honest with their dealings. Workers no longer have the protections they once had.
- In 2008, I lost my job at the beginning of the Great Recession. I resorted to putting my family on food stamps for a year.
- I’m a voracious history reader—especially when it concerns Russia, the American Civil War, and our Founding Fathers. Historically, the beliefs of the Republican party weren't clicking.
- Neo-Confederatism. After reading a few good history books, I realized that many conservative beliefs come straight out of Antebellum America.
- Fox News.
- I worked at Wal-Mart.
- I discovered that Mormons have deep roots in a proud progressive past of the 20th Century.