Mike Lee: Democracy Robs My Money and Liberty | Opinion | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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News » Opinion

Mike Lee: Democracy Robs My Money and Liberty

Smart Bomb: The completely unnecessary news analysis

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Utah Sen. Mike Lee is an authority on the Constitution—just ask him. "Democracy does not appear in the Constitution, and we are not a democracy," he tweeted. (We are not making this up.) Lee had quarantined himself in his kids' treehouse after testing positive for COVID-19. He may have received the same steroids as President Donald Trump, who sounded agitated when he phoned Fox News and screamed that Sen. Kamala Harris is a "monster" and a "communist." Lee's neighbors told others in their ward they heard Tarzan-like yodeling from the treehouse. Later a woman was seen looking up in the tree, saying, "I'm not Jane." But we digress. Lee continued tweeting: "rank democracy threatens liberty, peace and prosperity." But if you think Lee's loincloth was riding up then, get a load of this: "The far right does not merely view progressive taxation, regulation and the welfare state as impediment to growth, but as fundamentally oppressive." OK, Wilson, drumroll, please. "A political system that truly secured freedom would not allow the majority to gang up on the minority and redistribute their income for themselves." And then the neighbors heard Tarzan calling the elephants: "Ungowa, ungowa. Abulu, abulu," which, by the way, is not in the Constitution, either.

Fascist vs Communist in Utah's 4th District Race
Holy tamale, have you seen the election campaign TV ads for Democrat Ben McAdams and Republican Burgess Owens? According to the spots, McAdams is very scary and sets police cars on fire while Owens has gone bankrupt so many times he can't even get a checking account. If you live in the 4th Congressional District, your choice is between Nancy Pelosi's personal lap dog or a graduate of Trump's school of finance. Of course, this is very serious, because if McAdams is reelected, socialism will sweep through and we'll all be eating borsht and drinking cheap vodka. But if Owens unseats him, we'll have to go around saying, "Heil Trump!" and eating bratwurst. What happened to the good old days when candidates didn't prevaricate quite as much? No, Wilson, "prevaricate" is not a bodily function. In 2016, McAdams had the "Ben Bus" ads where people would say, "I'm with Ben," and hop on. This year, he just goes into old people's living rooms and tells them they most likely will die if Owens is elected. For his part, Owens' TV ads show all kinds of people who say, "Burgess Owens is Utah—and he has a wonderful investment plan just for you."

Why We Hate Columbus Day
Beyond the fact that you can't get a bottle of booze in Utah on Columbus Day, it's just a stupid and lame holiday. In elementary school, we learned that Columbus discovered America in 1492. Wrong—all Columbus discovered was the Bahamas and Hispaniola. A year or so later, Spanish explorer Amerigo Vespucci discovered Rio de Janeiro. Hence, the name America. But neither of those guys got near the United States. The dude who came closest was Leif Erikson, who landed in Newfoundland, just up the street from Maine. That was around 985—500 years before Columbus or Vespucci. Do we have Erikson Day? Not in Utah. Erikson, we know, was a Viking—folks remembered for plundering and partying. What would Erikson Day look like? Well, it no doubt would beat the hell out of Columbus Day, which, in the end, is just a pain in the ass. Some people actually hate Columbus Day because he represents all the European explorers who brought new diseases that killed off many thousands of Indigenous people. The white men enslaved and killed the natives in many other ways, too, and the whole, damned New World went straight to hell and now we have traffic jams and bad Muzak in shopping malls and cancer from fast food. Thanks, Columbus.

Postscript—Wanna get away? Drive aimlessly into the desert, feel the fresh air on your face and welcome that beautiful stillness. Smell the sage and listen to the meadowlarks sing up and down the scales. After a couple of weeks, you might begin to relax and enjoy simple pleasures, like the moon rising gloriously over the mountains each evening. You wouldn't worry about COVID-19 or Donald Trump. There wouldn't be a thought about those militia guys in bad camo with ARs strapped to their chest who look like they might try to kidnap someone—a governor, maybe. And then, it might dawn on you that this country has gone totally batshit. So, you might go looking for the Goshute Indian reservation out by the Deep Creek Mountains. You might say to them, "Look, we screwed you guys over and everything, but would it be all right if we stay?" And then, maybe you drop off the grid, and none of those horrible people could find you. Well, as Jake Barnes said to Lady Brett Ashley in The Sun Also Rises, "It's pretty to think about."

OK, Wilson, that about does it for another week here at the Smart Bomb Ranch, where buckaroos and buckarooettes are always welcome to dip their cup into the well and whet their whistle with agua fresca. So, get your fiddle and the guys in the band and take us out till next week:

He came dancing across the water
With his galleons and guns
Looking for the new world
In that palace in the sun

On the shore lay Montezuma
With his coca leaves and pearls
In his halls he often wandered
With the secrets of the worlds

And his subjects
Gathered 'round him
Like the leaves around a tree
In their clothes of many colors
For the angry gods to see

He came dancing across the water
Cortez, Cortez
What a killer

—"Cortez What A Killer" by Neil Young

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