Short takes on issues
A vote for freedom • The small city of Highland in Utah County has for years required most businesses in the city to close on Sundays. Sunday-closure laws are archaic and mostly found in conservative areas where Christian faiths dominate. Highland certainly fits that description. But residents have a chance Tuesday to bring their community into the 21st century by voting in a referendum "For" an ordinance passed in July to remove the Sunday-closure mandate. Those arguing against the ordinance say it isn't about religion but "community values." But allowing business owners the freedom to choose when their establishments are open seems to fit the values of "personal choice" and the free market. Highland should let business owners and citizens choose when to shop and when to be open.
Stick to home • Both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, his Republican opponent in the campaign for the presidency, see the future role of America in the world much differently than do most Americans. Polls show a sizable majority of Americans want their country to be less involved and spend less money on attempts to spread democracy, especially in the Middle East. A global leadership role that includes sending substantial aid to other countries has lost popularity since 2001, when 29 percent believed the U.S. should make exporting democracy a priority. The percentage who support it has now dropped to just 13 percent. Americans rightly believe their leaders should first concentrate on problems at home, and they recognize that countries that get U.S. help "end up resenting us." Let's start realizing our limitations.
Display of ignorance • A man in the southern Utah town of Orangeville has brought the wrong kind of attention to Utah with a shameful Halloween display. The display featured a dummy wearing a Mitt Romney mask seated in a chair holding the end of a rope thrown over a tree branch and tied around the neck of another dummy wearing a Barack Obama mask. A symbolic lynching of an effigy of a black American president could hardly be more offensive. There is simply no way to argue away the racist significance of the tasteless arrangement. The homeowner, a paraplegic, persuaded his parents to create it in the front yard of his home, and a neighbor notified the mayor of Orangeville, who told them to take it down. The Salt Lake Office of the Secret Service investigated, as it does all threats to the president. The display probably was no threat of violence but an unmistakable testament to ignorance and bigotry.