Are Utahns Really Conservative?

Salt Lake City, UT –  Most Utahns claim to be conservative and public opinion polls as well as the rest of the country seem to agree that this is the case, but is this a misperception?  The answer to this question depends upon the definition of conservative – enter the Sutherland Institute and its new and ongoing series, Defining Conservatism.




“Labels aren’t bad as long as we’re clear on what we’re talking about,” explained Paul T. Mero, president of the Sutherland Institute.  “We began this project to help shape the identity and facilitate a better understanding of conservatism in Utah.  Our Institute is a conservative public policy think tank.  We believe Utahns should understand what that means.”




The Defining Conservatism series includes short biographies of key historical figures, especially those from the American conservative intellectual movement.  The series also focuses on authentic conservative principles of government and on the analysis of public policy from a conservative perspective. The essays in the series are written by Sutherland staff and colleagues.




“We recognize that most Utahns, like most Americans, resonate with the principles of conservatism. At the same time, there are some who have lost sight of what those principles are. This, unfortunately allows some politicians and others whose aims are anything but conservative to unjustly claim that title,” said William C. Duncan, a Sutherland Adjunct Fellow.




“We think of this as a public service, the very heart of any educational organization.  Our guess is that many people will be surprised at our conclusions, and a few may challenge them.  But we exist to deliberate and dialogue and always invite, and are open to constructive feedback,” Mero concluded.