Letter: It is every citizen’s duty to stay informed

First Published      Last Updated May 18 2017 05:31 am

So, Rep. Jason Chaffetz limps back to D.C. to cast his "yea" vote for the Trump/Ryan idea of a better health care plan than the ACA, and The Tribune's May 5 headline says Utahns "hail" this GOP win.

What a surprise Utahns are in for (see Robert Gehrke's column in the May 6 Tribune). The Tribune's May 3 headline implies Utahns are "hurt" by the Bears Ears designation. Based on this blind allegiance to party, I can only assume Utahns are fine with the outline for the administration's new federal tax plan (clearly shown to benefit the wealthiest Americans).

There are two possibilities for Utahns favoring these government actions: 1) They are simply not paying attention; or 2) an extreme dislike for Barack Obama still rages. If it is No. 2, we have a clear case of "cutting off your nose to spite your face." More likely, however, it is No. 1. Utahns are failing to educate themselves and letting elected officials do their thinking for them. After all, that's why we elected them, right?

This is so wrong. Utahns and all citizens must read and learn what the issues and alternatives are. Listen to NPR, watch Fox News or MSNBC — in spite of alleged "fake news." If it seems confusing, there are several fact-checking sources (Snopes, etc.). It is the duty of each citizen to learn. One does need to take part in his or her world. People's lives, as they now know it, have been earned by others. And now, to keep this alive and well, every voter must "learn" who to vote for. We have laws like Citizens United as a result of voters not paying attention.

So, the midterms are coming. Will a "good" government shut down get people's attention? Loss of health care (or at least having the state option your pre-existing conditions)? Special interest groups controlling public lands? Elimination of environmental regulations? Every citizen should plan at least one hour a day to stay current. We will all benefit.

Paul Kleiber

Salt Lake City