Redistricting: Why Utah ought to carve up S.L.


Here is my advice to the state Legislature on redistricting: Carve up Salt Lake City and dilute the more liberal parts of Salt Lake County.

I say this as a conservative, as someone who works each and every day to protect the cause of freedom. I don’t say this to disrespect or diminish in any way the personal political feelings of residents in those areas.

I say this as someone who understands that growing urban areas are an enemy to freedom. I don’t say this to imply that the citizens who live in those areas are enemies to freedom.

I say this as a student of public policy who knows that urban areas are inherently (and necessarily) overregulated and consumed with the behaviors of everyone – it’s natural that urban communities will be laden with rules as more people are crammed together in a small space (think homeowners associations).

Urbanites are forced to become liberals and socialists if they’re not that way from the outset. That statement includes businessmen who typically would otherwise embrace free markets in other settings. Put the Salt Lake business community in charge of prosperity and growth and they’ll turn free markets into crony capitalism faster than you can say Babylon – not because they’re greedy, but because their urban world becomes the center of their universe. Things like “infrastructure” become so important to the movement of people, and then that movement has to be “managed” properly (Utah is the “best managed” state!) and, once managed, human enterprise has to be aligned with the “vision” of the business community.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way. Notice that rural locations don’t behave this way and tend to maintain a modicum of respect for freedom and the values that preserve that freedom. But it usually is this way for big cities.

So the state Legislature would be wise to protect us from ourselves and dilute this destructive influence: Carve up Salt Lake City and offset its urban liberalism and crony capitalism with the middle-class values of suburbia and the conservative influences of Utah’s rural areas.