Ron Molen: Newcomers should know the truth about Utah

Legislature is controlled by the far right and does nothing that benefits the people.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, during a special session at the State Captiol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

House Speaker Brad Wilson’s Pioneer Day commentary, praising newcomers for choosing Utah, included misinformation which newcomers will soon discover.

A single-party oligarchy controlled by an oil baron from Wichita, Kansas, is hardly a representative democracy. Like all red states, Utah’s Legislature is controlled by Charles Koch, his syndicate, and greed-driven members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), too often promoting self-serving legislation that also compromises a safe environment.

Wilson brags about fiscal prudence, which unfortunately results in the poorest-funded public schools in the nation. Worse, $40 million swiped from education funds are now invested in the pollution-generating inland port (GOP socialism) which no one wants except greedy legislators and their payola pals.

The real zinger is Wilson’s claim of maximum support for family values, when few if any bills benefiting families have been passed in the last decade. Utah children walk to school in poisoned air, endure frightening lock-down drills and live-in fear of gun violence because there are no gun regulations that are common in every other advanced nation. Utah’s gun-related suicide rate is often the worst in the nation and is the major cause of death for those aged 10 to 17. All this thanks to Charles Koch, who despises all regulations, even those that save lives.

Koch’s ALEC convention was held recently in Salt Lake City and its fascist goals would have made Mussolini smile. Rich and powerful ALEC members met with indoctrinated lawyers and lobbyists who provide business-enhancing bills ready and waiting for legislators to sponsor, and pass, then collect payola.

Absent are significant bills that would save lives, improve health, or address climate change, which Koch denies.

The Koch machine and ALEC now control the legislative process in Utah, and trained staff make sure it’s done bass-ackwards, the fascist way with special interests getting whatever they want, and the will of most citizens is simply dismissed. Authentic democracy no longer exists in Utah, yet citizens have scarcely noticed.

Citizens, including newcomers, deserve honest representation in an authentic representative democracy. That’s what taxes are supposed to fund. The Capone mob in Chicago once demanded protection money from various businesses to provide safety from criminal elements.

Our taxes, in a sense, are buying protection, protection from rogue special interests, that place profits ahead of a healthy safe environment. GOP legislators claim to provide protection, but seldom if ever deliver it.

Until air quality improves, strict gun regulations are put in place, public schools are better funded, and climate change is thoroughly addressed, our tax dollars are not providing security for the taxpayer. The Capone mob at least delivered what it promised.

So, newcomers, that’s Utah -- warts and all. Get used to the idea of being royally shafted like the rest of us. Taxation without representation is the norm. So, join the Democratic Party. It’s not perfect, just a thousand times better than the current GOP, almost identical to the Republican Party that preceded Barry Goldwater, and it wants a real democracy. Certainly, that’s superior to being victimized by taxation without representation, which has been resurrected here in Utah.

Damn George III then, and the Republican Party now.

Ron Molen

Ron Molen has been a Salt Lake City architect by profession and is an ardent progressive citizen of Utah and the United States.