Utah as a state is conservative. In fact, in the last presidential election, no other state gave President Bush a higher percentage of their vote. So it is the reddest of the red states. The city of St. George is a particularily rosy part of the state. The local newspaper, The Spectrum, reflects this very conservative outlook. Letters condemning the Democratic party, for disallowing daylight savings time (which I really didn’t know was a leftist issue), teaching creationism (which the paper supports), and keeping shops and even the local public swimming pool closed on Sunday are pretty routine. A quirky feature that they have in the paper on Saturday is called The Vent. In The Vent, anyone is allowed to write in and express his or her opinion without signing their name. I think the only rules are that the statement must be under a certain number of words, not mention anyone by name and not have profanity. Frequently, since you don’t have to reveal who you are, this is where you find people advocating a more liberal point of view. A sampling of today’s topics in The Vent : Support for the ACLU which is usually the great Satan around here. Condemnation of our local law enforcement for not going after polygamists. This is a very hot topic in St. George. What’s wrong with the Boy Scouts? They didn’t distribute flags on Memorial or Flag Day. And so on.
If you’d like to read more here is a link to this Saturday’s The Vent. Hopefully the link will work after today. (6/19 update – the link no longer works) If not, try reading The Spectrum next Saturday. The Vent is under Opinion. You are likely to see opinions that you won’t find in your own newspaper.