Time for Doug Wright to Retire?

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Doug Wright, KSLOn March 20, 2013, Doug Wright aired some damaging segments on Utah’s caucus-convention system.  He is the voice of KSL during those morning hours, and to many his voice carries a tacit endorsement of the sponsoring organizaton that owns the station, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

 

Under the Fair Use Doctrine, we’ve posted small segments of KSL’s radio talk show host Doug Wright discussing Utah’s Caucus-Convention system. What irony. He called those of us who are working to keep the grassroots voice from being disenfranchised by the elitists and the media outlets of which he is a part … the “elitists.”

This is an unbelievable spin, and an example of how the grassroots is being entirely misrepresented. It was so alarming, I was compelled to post my comments here. My sentiments are shared by many who have worked so hard to keep this party from being controlled by the “establishment” who are the rich and famous elitists and DC lobbyists threatening to destroy it.

By the way, for posting this information, I received a phone call from an attorney at Kirton and McConkie demanding that I remove these clips because I had violated “intellectual property.” Actually, no. I did not. I checked with my attorney and the clips remain. Enjoy the spin. Apparently Doug had quite a tantrum about it. Bless his heart.

Part I

Part II

Part III

I have a message for Doug Wright:

Doug, you are obfuscating the truth. You know you are.

You know that you represent the liberal Rove Wing elitists because you constantly brand those of us who are conservative as “extremists” the same way your wing of the party branded Ronald Reagan years ago.

Your radio show profits off these contentious primaries with a flood of advertising that keeps you on the air during election cycles.

Your lobbyist friends include LaVarr Webb, whose firm has shown it really doesn’t care about Republican or Democrat – only about controlling both ends, which Webb’s firm Exoro does brilliantly. You do not represent Republican ideals. In fact, Webb’s partner is even a Democrat.

That doesn’t mean there are no points of agreement between those who are preserving the caucus and Webb. LaVarr and I have met for a lengthy conversation, and we actually do agree on several remedies.

But who else could label me and the other grassroots elitists – the opposite of what we really are – better than lobbyists that specialize in spinning? 

We aren’t the elite. We are just real people, hard-working people who don’t have the big bucks to buy votes or elections that lobbyists such as Exoro, Mike Leavitt and DC lobbyist Kirk Jowers, or you as a voice three hours a day, five days a week have.

Kirk Jowers

Kirk Jowers, Director Hinckley Institute

It was not surprising to learn that half of Exoro’s lobbyist firm is Democratic and half Republican. That’s how it works in DC as well. Kirk Jowers’ DC lobbying firm is the same. They have been consultants for the DNC, for Colbert’s satirical superPAC that bashed Republicans and the infamous McCain-Feingold campaign finance law that favors the famous and rich such as … well, McCain and Feingold who can donate infinitely to their campaigns while the mainstream middle American candidate is limited to $2,500 a donation.

What a fraudulent, unprincipled business!

And you call US the “controllers?” We worked our tails off with very little money to keep the caucus even-handed against the people that were elected, who surprisingly are largely viewed as part of the establishment/elite group.

Sadly, anyone that takes on the party chair role is immediately caught between a rock and a hard place.  Condolences to the winner, with invertebrate or not.  On the one hand, the chair needs the grassroots – the delegates and the State Central Committee. We want to know the chair has our concerns at heart. On the other hand, the puppeteers – the Elephant Club (those that give the big bucks to the party) want the party chair’s soul. And the two are frequently at odds.

LaVarr Webb

Lobbyist LaVarr Webb, Exoro Group; Publisher Utah Policy Daily, Utah Pulse

If the democrats and republicans have different philosophies about government and its role, which they do – in theory, what in heaven’s name is happening with a lobbyist firm helping both sides of the aisle? Helping democrats get elected? And LaVarr is a republican? And you, Doug? What are you? You constantly rip on the Republican Platform, which is rock solid conservative.

Do you support this buying and selling of votes, Doug? Owning both sides of the aisle?

What an unethical strategy.

No wonder it’s all about compromising principles. This is corruption at its finest. Doug, you are promoting that corruption. Either you are ignorant or you are complicit.

Since you came on the air for KSL, you have deliberately misinformed Utah on a variety of critical fundamental issues to the conservative wing – the Reagan Wing – of the Party.  To your “credit,” since your time on the air and your constant criticism of the Caucus-Convention, its popularity has been on the decline.

I listened to your show yesterday, a rare occurrence, and it made me sick, because so many people believe you are the Gospel Truth. Yet, you’re the top host in Salt Lake City that promotes ideals that have little to do with scriptural truth.

You say you’re not a republican elitist? I don’t believe you are a republican at all. The stances you have taken on many issues from immigration to marriage between a man and a woman are evidence.

I do not believe you have a clue about our nation’s founding history. And if you do, you are among those that disregard the notion of a republic. Or that find our rule of law to be out-moded and archaic, as Bob Bennett frequently described it.

The worst part is that you don’t have the brass to put me and others on the air with you to fairly debate this issue. We’ve tried. Many times. No response.

I have another message for you: What are you afraid of? Man up, Doug.

Here’s a rudimentary history lesson that they must not have taught you down in Eureka when you were growing up:

In the beginning, the Founders created a new form of government. They worked hard, researched the history of other nations and what forms of government fizzled out and which lasted.

They created a republic – a representative form of government. They saw that it was good.

They despised a democracy because it was the most volatile of the forms of government, not because they were “elitists,” as you and others today are being taught in our taxpayer-funded ivory halls of education, but because they understood human nature and man’s need to unrighteously dominate over others for personal gain.

Basically, you want a more “democratic” form of government. Well, here it is: Five people are sitting in a room, three men, two women. The men vote to rape the women. Majority rules. If the majority is not held in check, it can run roughshod over the minority.

That is pure democracy. Bad things happen when uninformed masses are given too much power.

So, the founders created a balance of power amongst the three branches of government – judiciary, bicameral legislative and executive.  And has I’ve been reminded, they also created a fourth branch protected in Article IV: the states.

But they constructed an ingenious form of what you undoubtedly would call “elitist” elections to match the “elitist” republican form of government. They intentionally placed the reckless side of “majority rule” in a democracy in check under rule of law to safeguard us from the uninformed masses who are inclined to make irrational decisions, such as the example above.

It went like this:

Supreme Court = life time terms, appointed by the President (1 vote), confirmed by the Senate (100 votes).

Elitist, right? That was – and is – by your definition of “elitism” a very small narrow group of voters weighing in on such a powerful group of 9 people.

Executive (President)
= elected by state electors, one for each congressional seat plus two (senate). If that electoral college existed today, Utah would get six electors. They cast their vote for president and vice president from among five selections. Those votes are sent to the US House for tallying, each state getting one vote. If there is a tie, the House breaks it.

Majority rules. Majority is 50%+1. First place is President. Second-runner up is Vice President.

If this republican form of electing a president had been in place in 2012, there would have been only 535 electors who would vote for the president/vice president. That was the original electoral college.

By your definition of elitism, the Founders were certainly elitists, weren’t they? What kind of “inclusion” was that, you say? Five hundred thirty five people elect a president? Outragous, you say? That,my friend was the definition of republican.

You see, the president isn’t the president of the people. The president was intended to preside over the executive branch of government, and was held in check by the legislative branch, the House and Senate, whose role it is to legislate, as well as by the Supreme Court, that supports and defends the original intent of the Constitution.

No popular vote there. No democratic vote there. (And no need for parties, actually.) So far, two of four branches were elected by a small number of (elitist?) people deciding. That was republican.

Sound familiar? Something like the Caucus-Convention, perhaps? But wait. In Utah alone, that caucus allows thousands to attend to voice their opinions with their neighbors, and thousands are elected as representatives.

The US Senate was also elected by a small “elite” group – the state legislature, so that the Senators would be beholden to the state, not the people, and protect its balance of power vertically.

In Utah, the US Senators would be elected by the House – only 75 members – and Senate – only 29 for a total of 104 people voting! Elitism? Or wisdom? That was republican.

Finally the only popular (democratic-the “people” at large) vote they dared give this country was for the U.S. House of Representatives. That was the “people’s house.” That’s how much they feared the masses of uninvolved and uninformed citizens. Not because they were elitists, or because the people were “stupid,” but because they had studied history, and they understood human nature. They knew that not everyone would be able to spend the incredible amount of time it takes to seriously vet the issues to cast an informed vote.

Who can deny that? Look around us today.

Not everyone has time to study all the issues thoroughly, so electing representatives was a good idea. But even that was NOT a democratic vote. Yes, it was one man-one vote in that sense, but a participatory, democratic vote would not need any representation at all.

Ross Perot had a plan to do just that, remember? Every American would have a button to push to cast their votes from home. One conjured up visions of sitting in front of the TV watching C-Span so we could all cast our votes remotely on our little electronic voting gadgets. (What a windfall that would have been for Ross Perot’s company, Texas Instruments.

That’s direct, participatory democracy.

But how would all Americans have the time to study every issue? Impossible. So they wisely formed a representative government to elect REPRESENTATIVES.

That’s republican.

Sound familiar? Somewhat like the caucus, perhaps?

Yet, in the mid-1990s, I studied Utah’s education code and learned that the purpose of education was to train students to become global citizens in a participatory democracy. What?

I asked around, and called BYU’s political science department and spoke to Budd Scruggs. When I asked what a participatory democracy was doing in the education code in a constitutional representative republic, and “Could you define a participatory democracy?” he was stumped and after a pause replied, “You are a woman with too much time on your hands.”

Back to the Founders. Not to neglect the fourth branch:  Article IV of our rule of law explicitly guarantees to the states a REPUBLICAN form of government and even gives the states the power to fend off foreign enemies.  That was the original context for a state militia, not a federally-controlled National Guard. 

The states were not governed by a President issuing executive orders and unfunded mandates, dragging us down in debt and deficits and ordering us to buy health insurance … or else.  The states were governed by a governor elected by the people, who was the spokesman for states’ rights under the 9th and 10th Amendments.

The United States was once a representative republic, not a democracy.

But all that has changed.

The original electoral college is gone because of self-interest. Today we pretend that there is a electoral college – but it’s a far cry from the original. Some want to completely eliminate a republican form of government with a national popular vote. That would be the end of the republic.

And by the way, elections are won with a simple majority – 50%+1. Not a super majority (3/5) or 2/3 or 3/4. Those margins are limited to parliamentary and legislative procedures in deliberative bodies, but not for candidates.

So Doug, when you say that the compromise is a nominating threshold between 60 and 70%, that’s false. The compromise happened long ago. The compromise is between 50%+1 (majority vote) and 70%. That’s pretty darn close to 60% if you ask me. It has been determined that 60% is the balance – giving us a convention nominee about 50% of the time, and sending the top two candidates to a run-off about 50% of the time.

So now, the US Senate republican election process is gone and is now a popular vote. Is it any wonder this nation is running recklessly out of control precisely because the republican foundation has been destroyed?

Many people call our government a democracy. I must agree, in the sense that the republic has been long gone. It is more a democracy than a republic today.

Until we fix that and restore the fundamental republican principles of government and elections in a republic, we will go the way of all democracies, as the founders predicted. We will implode and destroy ourselves because the masses will – and do already – vote themselves largess from the treasury.

When more people want government to take care of them, and more people are on the government’s payroll, they can keep demanding more and more, draining the coffers dry until the system commits suicide, as the founders clearly stated in their deliberations.

That is the dirty little secret of democracy.

And so Doug and friends, who call us the elitists because we defend this representative republican system that allows neighbors to elect a few to represent them, want to create more democracy, but actually it is more of an oligarchy. Here’s a short video that may help you understand:

Doug, given this historical background, I think you might see why I and others believe you are not a republican – meaning one who supports a republican form of government. You don’t believe in a republican form of government.

You are a democrat that supports a democratic form of government, or even more accurately, an oligarch, and so are all the others that support an open convention/primary system within the Republican Party. So you are not alone.

A primary is a democratic form of election in a democratic government. That’s synonymous with socialism, the means of doling out the coffers to the masses. But really, its a form of government supported by elitists and those who control with their money, the oligarchs.

Were the founders that created this ingenious republican system really “elitists?” No. As long as government was held in balance, and an elected office was a service, not salaried, position, the oligarchs would never get too much power.

The oligarchs – today’s elitists – have been controlling this system for years. It will all eventually implode when the people begin to understand how they are being controlled.

This is the struggle of the Republican Party today in Utah. Our state miraculously has held on to the last vestige of a republican form of government among all the other states, but it is being tortured through a long death by a thousand stabs.

But it’s still there and hanging on. Let’s hope the grassroots can keep giving it the oxygen it will need to get through the next two years and the multimillion dollar challenge these lobbyists are threatening.

Meanwhile, Senator Howard Stephenson might want to open a bill file to teach school kids about the virtues of a representative-republican caucus convention system so enough will be around to put the pieces back together correctly if it all comes tumbling down. He could start by putting Iron County’s clever video into every classroom.

So Doug, you can have your democracy and your primary system that elects the elite, rich and famous by expensive media soundbites.

I will stand strongly for Rod Arquette on KNRS radio FM 105.7, the caucus convention, the voice of the people in our neighborhoods, and the representative republican form of government at the closest level to the people.

Maybe it’s time for you to retire.  (Or go on a mission for the LDS Church?)


  1. Tim - May 22, 2013

    Try to remember back when there was a very controversial speech given by Obama to the school children of the USA.  Many parents opposed having their children ‘forced’ to listen to Obama and tried to find ways to get their children out of earshot of this speech.  This was a nationwide issue, including here in Utah.  After this speech was finished the speech turned out to be very benign and really didn’t say much.  I remember Mr. Wright castigating the parents, who were alarmed enough to speak up, because of the lack of controversy in the speech

    I have never listened to Mr Wright since his tirade given that those very parents who were alarmed probably forced Obama to soften his speech.  Also, those parents had every RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY to watch out for their children’s education.  Shame of Mr. Wright for his lack of respect for the parents who are willing to get involved to ensure a proper education for their children

    Do I feel he needs to retire?  Not sure on this one but I do know that I don’t listen to him anymore and really feel that he does have a right to his opinion but has a responsibility to respect other people’s rights, too.

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