The Anti-Trump General Conference

LDS leader Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Image obtained through Creative Commons. Like many Mormons around the world, I’ve spent this weekend watching the Church’s General Conference, a biannual assembly of Church leaders and members where they come together to learn and be uplifted. While watching it, I’ve been struck by one thought – this is the anti-Trump conference. No, the leaders of the Church haven’t spent their time denouncing President Trump or calling for his ouster. Rather,... Read more

The Casual Sexism in Trump’s Condolences to Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May. Image obtained from Creative Commons. To hear Trump tell it, you’d think that Theresa May fainted after the Westminster attack.    Theresa May is a strong woman. The first female British prime minister since Margaret Thatcher, and the second in history, has had to weather the turbulent storms of Westminster’s raucous political culture, constantly fending off the schoolboy-like taunts of opponents during regular appearances before Parliament. She’s also had to guide... Read more

A Hillbilly, a Professor, and a Mormon Mayor Walk into a (Dry) Bar . . .

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. Image obtained through Creative Commons. The experience Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams gained on his Mormon mission helped him bridge economic and political divides. A year of national service could do the same for young Americans. A few months ago I finished reading Hillbilly Elegy, an engaging memoir by J.D. Vance that has been seized upon to explain the historic shift of blue-collar whites from their Democratic roots to... Read more

Mormons and Free Trade

A campaign poster from Joseph Smith’s presidential run. Image obtained through Creative Commons. Despite a rocky history, Mormons have come to love free trade. They should keep advocating for it in the face of Trump’s skepticism. An ancient text describes a group of people who benefited from open borders and free trade. But it isn’t British economist Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, but rather the Book of Mormon, a collection of scriptures revered by members of... Read more

What Vox got wrong about Jon Huntsman

Former U.S. Ambassador to China and Singapore, and former Utah Governor, Jon Huntsman. Image obtained through Creative Commons. Why did Trump pick Huntsman as Ambassador to Russia? The reasons are many.  On March 9, Vox’s Zack Beauchamp published an article puzzling over Trump’s appointment of Jon Huntsman as U.S. Ambassador to Russia. In it, he pointed out that Huntsman has no issue expertise in Russia or Eastern Europe, has a history of turning on those whom... Read more

Oaks vs. Oaks: First Cousins and LDS General Authorities Square Off

Robert C. Oaks, a retired Air Force general and emeritus LDS general authority who endorsed Donald Trump. Image obtained through Creative Commons. Elders Dallin H. Oaks and Robert C. Oaks may have the same grandparents, but their political views are vastly divergent. The address of Mormon apostle Elder Dallin H. Oaks at BYU-Hawaii’s February commencement ceremony has recently been making the rounds in progressive Mormon circles. In the speech, the 84-year-old former Utah Supreme Court justice... Read more

If Thomas Friedman were Mormon . . .

Thomas Friedman. Image obtained through Creative Commons. The New York Times columnist would love the Church’s Global Education Initiative, but Donald Trump wouldn’t. I recently finished reading New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s book Thank You For Being Late. It’s a timely examination of three forces whose acceleration is rapidly changing our world: technological progress, globalization, and climate change. Friedman argues that in order to keep up with the breakneck speed of these transformations, government and... Read more

A Chastened Chaffetz Should Learn from Mo Udall

Image obtained from DonkeyHotey through Creative Commons. Jason Chaffetz was recently tasked by angry constituents to “do [his] job.” He should look to fellow Mormon and former congressman Mo Udall for some ideas.  At a speech before the Brookings Institution on January 11, 2017, the director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, Jr., stated that Donald Trump’s plan to avoid conflicts of interest was “meaningless.” This assessment is borne out by the facts... Read more

Your Optimism Isn’t a Virtue

Image obtained through creative commons and used with permission, courtesy of Moyen Brenn Growing up in an abusive home taught me a harsh lesson about optimism: too often, optimism is a weapon in the hands of people who are simply unwilling to help. Too often the apathetic bystander uses optimism as an excuse to walk away, guilt free. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Priest and Levite who walked past the wounded man in a ditch... Read more

The Fundamental Optimism of Apocalypse

Today, we have a guest post from my friend Cameron Neilsen. Please note that this was written before November 8. Apocalypticism is back. While the Bible-thumping, seven-seals-interpreting strain has kept a low profile compared to the 1970’s and 80’s, it has joined with secular concerns over environmental threats and economic instability to produce an entire subculture of “preppers,” ZeroHedge readers, and r/collapse Redditors. Pundits are all too apt to dismiss these groups as paranoid, superstitious conspiracy-theorists or alt-right wackos slavering... Read more
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