My dad taught me so many things and, to be honest, through his actions, he still teaches me so much today.
He’s a good man. He’s always taken care of us. He’s always looked out for us. And, for his two boys, he did everything he could to teach them to be good men, too. At times, I know I have failed to live up to this.
On the mountainside when I was young, after I shot my first mule deer, he stood beside me and guided me through dressing it. He did not hold the knife. He solely instructed me on how to dress it.
“If you cut too deep, you’ll cut right into the stomach, and you don’t want that,” he said, leaning over me with the sun setting behind him, the cold of autumn’s breath approaching us with the descending shade from our Wasatch Mountains.
He said it would probably be best to not shoot the deer that close to dusk and from that distance because we would be packing it out in the dark.
I shot anyway, and I also cut too hard into the deer’s belly. Everything that deer ate, and even the feces it had begun to process in its intestines, shot up at me and landed on my face.
My dad smiled at me. He didn’t say he told me so when I wiped it off, and he didn’t lecture me when we hauled the deer out in the dark, even though it took us double the time it should have to get back to camp. He knew that I faced the consequences of my decisions — and he let me face them, with crap all over me.
I don’t use the skill of dressing a deer anymore. I’ve given up hunting. But I use a lot of other things he taught me. I wake up early to get work done. When I begin a job, I complete it. I treat women with the respect they deserve. I support my wife. When I make a commitment, I do anything I can to keep it.
Most important, when I make a decision, I deal with the consequences of that decision. While I don’t always make good decisions, and while I don’t always deal with consequences well, I don’t hide from them — to the best of my ability — and my dad taught me that, not just on the hill that day but all the way through my young and adult life.
What we’re seeing now is a president who gases children and families at the border, and cowards who won’t stand up to him and protect asylum seekers. These are people. They may not be citizens of our great country, but they are still children.
I must ask why those who represent me in Congress would support this cowardice. I believe, as I have seen throughout my life, that most men raised in Utah were raised correctly, were raised to take care of their families, were raised to respect women, and were raised to not hide from the consequences of their decisions. Am I incorrect in this?
Supposed good men of Utah, my representatives, we’re looking at you to seriously answer this question.
I find myself confused as to how any of you (and the rest of the other men, and I mean “men,” in Congress) can swallow this brutal treatment of women and children. Are you not family men?
Before you start to believe that I am just some crazy progressive in northern Utah (well, I am now because of this president), I want you to know that I grew up here. I am from here. Heck, I voted for George W. Bush — the first time.
I’m just some guy wondering why in the heck my representatives can support a man like President Donald Trump and still hold their heads high like the men their fathers, just like my father, raised them to be.
To be honest, my dad would probably disagree with me writing this, because we don’t share the same political beliefs, but he would never ask me not to do so.
He would solely tell me to not cut too deep or I might get crap on my face. He’s a good man.
I think Utah’s members of Congress have crap on their faces — not from cutting too deep, but from being scared to cut at all.
Kase Johnstun, Ogden, is an author and editor whose work includes contributions to “Utah Reflections: Stories from the Wasatch Front.”