Two realities. This is the world we live in. And if you're from Utah, it becomes even more curious. It's no longer about Donald Trump's malignant delusions. Now, it is an American affinity for magical thinking to justify loss and portray infallibility. It shouldn't surprise anyone that four years of hearing about fake news and the radical left would give rise to a radical right and deflate confidence in fact-based reporting. Now we hear about Deseret Nation or #DezNat, a hashtag throwback to the Wild West days when Mormons drank heavily and fought their enemies righteously. The Salt Lake Tribune found it easier to call it what it isn't (i.e., alt-right extremists) than what it is (a troubling reflection of conspiracies gone wild). The New York Times revealed that the Trump administration ignored the threat from conspiracists by focusing on the imagined terror from the left. This is how Congress got the demon-fighting, QAnon-loving Marjorie Taylor Greene and Burgess Owens.
Pistol Packin' People
The attack on the U.S. Capitol didn't make waves in Utah. The state is so monolithic that it's just unthinkable that anyone would target one of our fine legislators with violence. Maybe if we had more representatives of color or even—pause for effect—more Democrats, that might activate the state's white supremacist cabal. And so, the Legislature is marching righteously to expand Utah's Second Amendment rights by tossing concealed carry permits. I mean, who needs them? Certainly, our rural-rooted governor doesn't think we do. The Salt Lake Tribune's Robert Gehrke listed the many reasons to retain the permits: training, criminal background checks and things like protecting women from abusers and cutting down on suicides. Apparently, it doesn't matter that law enforcement opposes the bill, because in Utah, if it ain't broke, better fix it.
Paused for the Cause
Here's one for the environment—at least for the moment. President Joe Biden hit pause on more oil and gas leasing on public lands. Of course, that has given rise to a lawsuit and much righteous indignation on the part of our congressional delegation, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Utah's senators are suddenly aware that presidents can do things—at least temporarily—without Congress, so they have legislation to put a stop to that nonsense. It's interesting that there is so much angst, given the fact that almost 2 million acres of land sits unused, even after being leased. Could it be that energy companies are stockpiling land for some future digging projects—perhaps underground bunkers? Meanwhile, General Motors will be going all-electric in the future, sending oil and gas into a death spiral. No one wants to see jobs lost, and the state should be preparing an alternate economic plan.