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Guest editorial

As a Park City resident I read with concern that Jacqueline Smith, a founding member of a Tea Party-related and Glenn Beck-inspired entity, the STAR Forum, lives in my county. Of course, I’ve heard of the Tea Party and to a lesser extent the Glenn Beck 9.12 project, but I was unaware that such lunacy was nearly at my doorstep.

According to your May 12th article STAR is an acronym for Save The American Republic and is a 9.12 project started by Mrs. Smith. Per Mrs. Smith, "9.12 is nine principles and twelve values that will bring Americans back together the way they felt the day after 9/11." Actually, the way I felt after 9/11 didn’t involve forming a political group, nor was I necessarily thinking about principles and values. Mostly, I was concerned about the magnitude of the circling dark forces and striking back. Hard. So I sought out information on STAR because of her rationale for activism.

STAR- Educating in and Advocating Constitutional Principles, wants to save America by letting you know that many solutions to our problems are in the U.S. Constitution and Amendments, and if you just read these documents you’ll know how off course our country is. News flash: becoming a Constitutional expert is not like changing the oil in your car or cleaning out the drain’s gooseneck. Life is complicated and nuanced, and the world has changed since our Founding Fathers wrote the foundation of our legal system. There is 300 years of jurisprudence applying the Constitution to thorny practical issues that also needs to be considered in your studies. Our world would be chaos without the judicial branch making a good faith attempt to apply the imprecise tenets of the Constitution to our evolving country. This is not a spare time job.

The 9.12’s mission statement states, "We want to get everyone thinking like it is September 12th, 2001 again." Really? How could a sentient being possibly believe using this statement as their emotional centerpiece is a good idea? linking to the tragedy of 9/11, Beck’s 9.12 and the STAR Forum shamelessly attempt to capitalize, for commercial and political advantage, on the mass murder of Americans, and Mrs. Smith’s repeated public references parroting this emotional appeal are perversely insensitive. Glenn Beck and Mrs. Smith insult the Americans who really matter on this: America’s surviving spouses and families. Let me assure Mrs. Smith, as she obviously can’t recall that day, that on September 12, 2001 not a single survivor was thinking about taking back our government or how America had drifted from its constitutional canons.

Tea Party supporters, Glenn Beck and Mrs. Smith all argue for a return to our core principles as delineated by our founding fathers, who by their reckoning were all devout Christians. Left unsaid by these return-to-the-past devotees is that that these same founding fathers/guiding lights were purely white and may have had African American slaves. I for one have no interest in returning to a time where our principles and values easily accommodated the subjugation of another person, whether by dint of skin color, gender or genetically-driven sexual preference. There is no going back. Finally, the 9.12 movement uses the killing of Americans by terrorists for personal enrichment and political gain. Apparently, there’s some wiggle room in their principles and values.


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