Park Record columnist
Although I knew well in advance that a representative quorum of friends was heading down to Brighton High School last Thursday to, hopefully, engage with the honorable Jason Chaffetz over a wide variety of issues at his Town Hall gathering, I never really made an attempt to show up myself.
That was, of course, prior to hearing that there was hard cash to be made from the effort. It seems, according to Chaffetz anyway, that the harsh reception he received came at the hands of well-trained and motivated out-of-state radicals who, again according to the invertebrate-in-question, had been well paid for their efforts.
Well, now we’re talking! I certainly won’t allow that mistake to happen again. Many of the activists who attended, upon hearing that a windfall of sorts was involved, even took it upon themselves to invoice the Congressman once it became evident that there had been no “bump” in the direct-deposit column of their bank statements.
So, naturally, upon hearing about the play-for-pay aspect of this particular showcase of Democracy in action, I fired off requests to all manner of anti-Trump organizations with at least a moderate footprint in Utah to send me the necessary forms with which to insert myself into their political skullduggery.
Well, it didn’t take long at all for a positive response from the left-leaning plotters or, as they are often referred to in news accounts, liberal resistance groups, to include me in the ongoing preparations for their next assault on parliamentary procedure.
Prior to committing myself, however, I made sure we were on the same page bank-deposit-wise.
It was all strictly hush-hush, of course. Blindfolds and, oftentimes, even hoods, became de rigueur, fashion-wise. Neither conveyances nor destinations were ever really discussed. It was all about deduction. If it walked like a camel and smelled like a camel, it was probably an even-toed, double-humped ungulate of some persuasion.
And if there was “a squat grey building of only thirty-four stories” at the end of the journey and “over the main entrance the words CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY
AND CONDITIONING CENTRE and, in a shield, the World State’s motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY” appeared, then, most assuredly, you had fallen into an Aldous Huxley novel.
This all could have been a dream, of course. Dystopian novels, which have for some reason become all the rage on the heels of the Trump ascendancy, are quite well represented on bookshelves hereabouts. You want Phillip K. Dick, Anthony Burgess, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, H. G. Wells, William Gibson, Cormac McCarthy, Margaret Atwood, or the aforementioned Mr. Huxley, you’ve come to the right place.
But back to the group indoctrination for “paid out-of-state radicals.” With “bullying and an attempt at intimidation” near the top of the House Oversight Committee Chairman’s complaint list following Thursday’s raucous Town Hall, special attention was paid to imprint such behavior to the memory lobes of this new batch of volunteers.
They also paid special heed to the quite gerrymandered ex-BYU kicker’s slice of the congressional district pie. The late San Juan County Commissioner Calvin Black would have loved it. As would any number of the Bundy Clan. We were each given a copy of Cactus Ed Abbey’s “The Monkey Wrench Gang” as an antidote.
Which brings us to why so many of those in attendance did not live within the 3d-Congressional District boundaries. It’s far too late to play that game.
When one’s recent actions include asking HIS President to roll back Bears Ears, Obamacare, international Climate Justice agreements, and civil liberties of various stripes including all manner of women’s issues, well then he’s just about used up any claim on exclusivity. When those who keep their heads buried in the sand decide to rise up and look around, they do so at their own risk.
It will be interesting to see if Mr. Chaffetz can enlist a posse of Sagebrush Sheriffs and Bundy types to protect his flank the next time out. Unless he wants to bring Committee oversight to the Russian connections of Trump and his highly unqualified cabinet nominees, there will be no end to the cacophony.
Chaffetz and his bunch just happen to find themselves on the wrong side of most every issue. Not that that matters, of course. It’s just that when one is holding the reins of an unpopular populism, sooner or later it’s going to catch up with you. We highly paid out-of-state radicals won’t put up with it. Our well-earned endorphin rush will keep us on track.
Jay Meehan is a culture junkie and has been an observer, participant, and chronicler of the Park City and Wasatch County social and political scenes for more than 40 years.
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