Republican and conservative politicians and activists, in Utah and elsewhere, have an almost enviable ability to ignore or deny scientific facts as they argue for public policy that suits their own wants and beliefs.
Sen. Mike Lee, Attorney General Sean Reyes and members of the Utah Legislature have denied the central role that vaccine mandates have long played in the survival of civilization itself, having stamped out polio and measles and still giving us the best chance at knocking down the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Utah Legislature passed measures substituting their own whims for the expertise of public health officials on when to wear masks, how many cases of COVID-19 justify closing down a school and falsely claiming that having had a bout of coronavirus was the immunological equivalent of having the three-course jab.
At least the bill that would have prohibited businesses from protecting their employees and customers by requiring coronavirus vaccines died in the Senate after passing the House.
Gov. Spencer Cox and Rep. John Curtis are among the many who pretend that the loss of Russian oil in world markets means a need for more dirty petroleum from the Uinta Basin and the tar sands of Alberta rather than doubling down on the deployment of carbon-free sources of energy. As bad as Vladimir Putin’s rolling war crime in Ukraine is, it isn’t the threat to human survival that climate change is.
To be a Republican in Utah and some other Western states, it appears to be a requirement that one be totally illiterate in biology. The prime example of that being the idea that wolves, as the natural apex predator, somehow damage the population of other animals, such as elk, when in fact the two species need each other to thrive.
Denial, as they say, ain’t just a river in Egypt.
But, in the spirit of the aptly named 20th century philosopher Ashleigh Brilliant, who once said that he wanted either less corruption or more opportunity to participate in it, I have decided that I don’t want to be left out of the drive to deny science when it gets in the way of what I want. I am asking the Utah Legislature and Congress, whichever body can get to it first, to pass the following edicts.
1. Gravity is an unwarranted limitation on my freedom and it needs to end
When I was young I used to have dreams I could fly. Not the kind of run-and-jump ballistic flying demonstrated by the George Reeves Superman, but the sometimes more leisurely floating practiced by the Christopher Reeve/Henry Cavill Superman. Sometimes I couldn’t really even control where I went and wound up making some vigorous but often futile swimming motions to try to set my course. But it was still a really cool feeling. I want to be able to have that feeling for real, and if the government doesn’t let me, well, it must be a violation of my human and constitutional rights.
2. Pecan pie and ice cream is health food
The combination of sugar with sugar is a pleasure that should not be limited by fear of obesity, type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease, brain freeze or any of those other socialist excuses for good health. We should have no more of this foolishness that ice cream, pie, chocolate donuts, marzipan croissants, cheesecake, Reese’s Easter eggs and Frosted Flakes are not the God-given right of every good American to consume in whatever amounts they may wish.
3. This foolishness about not being able to travel faster than light is an abomination
With all those Star Trek shows on Paramount Plus and Star Wars programs on Disney Plus, the ability of humans, Jedi, Vulcans and Mandalorians to jump from one star system to another in practically no time seems fundamental to the existence of intelligent life.
4. Death is a drag and it needs to end
It seems like every third post in my social feed is someone mourning the death of a beloved dog or cat or, sometimes even, a person. It’s good that people have an emotional outlet and I would never tell anyone not to make such an outreach. It’s been especially useful during these plague years, when face-to-face sympathy was a lot harder to come by. But, really, isn’t it about time that the government stood up and stopped people, and pets, from dying. I mean, honestly, if the state can’t protect us, what’s it really for?
Come on, Republicans. Get with the program and get government out of our way. Or have the state seize the power to make things different. Whatever feels right.
George Pyle, opinion editor of The Salt Lake Tribune, wants to know who is going to get rid of all this snow.