I was disappointed with the Utah Freedom Conference.
The apparent goal of the Utah GOP is to use anger from the Obamacare debacle to grab at Federal lands. Of the 17 break out sessions, only one dealt with overturning Obamacare.
The Utah United Conference coincided with a meeting of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons which held a Doctors Tea Party at the Utah State Capitol.
Despite the fact that the tea party was positioned as the culminating highlight of the day, only a few of the people from the Freedom Conference showed up at the tea party.
Once again, Utah Conservatives prove to be just like the progressives. They use public concerns to grub at power.
There is some merit to arguments for greater control of the undeveloped Federal Lands within the state. Yet, when I look at all the things that we have stolen from future generations, I find myself reluctant to steal the last of the undeveloped land in this nation from them as well. As a native westerner, I've never been fully convinced that having no trespassing signs and fences around every parcel of land enhances freedom.
A speaker at the conference claimed the coal under the Grand Staircase Escalante is currently worth one trillion dollars. Guess what? It was worth half that a decade ago. The coal only appreciates in value.
To justify the land grab, the Utah Freedom Conference bubbled about how the sale of the land would generate billions for public schools. This was followed by a workshop on how public school funds are systematically spirited away by political interests and are used for indoctrination, not education.
The conference pounded the drum of State's Rights but failed to acknowledge that local tyranny can be more oppressive than state level tyranny.
IMHO, The ideal government is a multidimensional structure where a federal government checks local tyranny and states defend against federal tyranny. In this multidimensional structure, only the people have rights. The Federal Government and States have select authorities aimed at defending the rights of the people.
Putting this in traditional language: Man is a creation of God. The rights of man flow from God. Cities, Counties, States and Federal Government were the creation of men, and have the power granted (or taken) by men. The state has powers, not rights.
The argument for "States Rights" tends to lead to a local tyranny as people fail to distinguish between rights and powers.
Coming away from the conference, I was left feeling that the cause of overturning Obamacare is lost. The next generation of Conservatives will prove to be like the Gingrich generation. They will stray from the rhetoric of protecting freedom and plunge head first into the grub for dollars as political winds shift in their favor.
While the conference was a disappointment, I found the doctors of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons were simply amazing. We are truly a blessed nation to have such people dedicated to improving the quality of our care.