The great debate at the nation's founding was over the conflict between the Federalists (Hamilton and Adams) and the Anti-Federalists (Jefferson). The Federalists claimed a strong central government was necessary to manage military security and foreign commerce, and the Anti-Federalists insisted state government should be the major power because it was closest to the people.

Many Republicans, Utah legislators in particular, are basically Anti-Federalists who find state government more significant. Why, then, are Utah children forced to endure the poorest public schools in the nation, breathe toxic air and suffer from a horrific number of teen suicides from guns?

The answer is simple. State government has failed its citizens. GOP legislators are more consumed with solving the needs of special interests (ALEC, Exxon Mobil, NRA) than the people they have sworn on the Bible to serve.

The federal legislature remains in gridlock, so this is a perfect time for state government to demonstrate its capacity to solve Utahns' desperate and most immediate problems better than Washington. Fostering well-educated, healthier citizens benefitting from clean air and freedom from gun violence is state government's holy calling.

Ron Molen, Salt Lake City