It’s Thanksgiving, and there is much to be thankful for. Things are pretty good here in our little bubble of unreality. There aren’t many communities in the United States that would complain about our level of growth. Annoying as our traffic and parking problems have become, spend a year in any of the dozens of withering rural towns in Utah and you begin to think having a few thousand people a day driving into town to throw money around isn’t altogether bad. Ours are not first world problems. Ours are the problems of the "1%" variety.
In conversations, the list of issues that people are worked up about is uniquely our own, or at least shared only among a few similar resort towns. Traffic, parking, unreasonable expectations about dogs being on leashes, inadequate options for gluten-free Kazakhstani food, and of course, not enough snow to have the resort fully open in November. Random gunfire in the streets, homelessness, unemployment — those don’t make the local list. We now have a swimming club for dogs, where for $90 an hour, your dog can frolic in a heated pool. A day spa for dogs? About time. My current dog wouldn’t care, but I’ve had dogs who would love it. I’m not sure about the drive home with a wet dog in the car, but maybe there is an Uber driver standing by for that. I’m waiting for a CrossFit gym where you and your dog can work out together.
Behind the facade of ridiculous material excess, there is also a real community thriving. People who take care of each other. No matter how goofy the cause, there is a non-profit there to support it. There are also neighbors looking after each other, and networks of friends and families. The Tuesday ski group was back in action this week on Payday, still going after all these years on an assortment of new and remanufactured knees and hips. The skiing is what it is, but the company is exceptional.
It’s good to pause and reflect a bit this time of year on what we have — family, friends, health, comfort, security, and on and on. The chaos of Christmas in a resort town is about to hit us. If the traffic at the resort so far is any indication, it will hit with an impact we’re not used to. We’ll all get busy. So for now, before it gets lost in the frenzy, thanks for letting me occupy this corner of your paper for all these years. Thanks for the quirkiness that provides the material. I couldn’t do it without a certain level of local weirdness. Happy Thanksgiving.
So that’s out of the way. How about the Republican Primary? For a long time, it’s been great entertainment watching Donald Trump and Ben Carson leaving people with legitimate experience and ability in the dust. A list of successful governors of big states can’t draw any attention while Trump’s "loudest guy in the bar" shtick maintains the top position in the polls. Whatever he is going to do, it will be terrific because trust him he’s the greatest in the whole world. Carson is still a solid second despite no relevant experience and the controversy over whether he did or did not attempt to stab a friend as a teenager. Meanwhile, the governors who competently managed state governments through the Great Recession can’t get a table at Wendy’s.
The Iowa caucus is only a few weeks away now, and it’s a couple of months to New Hampshire’s primary. Maybe reality will set in. But it’s beginning to look like Trump could actually remain a factor, mass deportations, religious data bases, and imaginary 9/11 tailgate parties notwithstanding. The terrorist attacks in Paris are certainly a reminder that this is a complicated and dangerous world. Obama has taken thoughtful reflection to an extreme, but is Yosemite Sam really where we want to go next?
My theory is that Trump and Carson will arrive at the GOP convention without enough delegates for either to tie up the nomination. After a couple of votes, people will come to their senses and Mitt Romney will come out of his Batcave to save the day.
On the Democratic side, Hillary is presumed to have it all sewn up. Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy experience isn’t a lot better than Sarah Palin’s was. He can see Canada from his house. With Hillary, there is always another shoe to drop, and it’s hard to imagine her going a full year without something blowing up. A Sanders-Trump campaign would be fun to watch, except that one of them would be president when it’s all over. It’s kind of important. A Clinton-Romney campaign wouldn’t be anywhere near as entertaining, but we might all sleep a little better.
Tom Clyde practiced law in Park City for many years. He lives on a working ranch in Woodland and has been writing this column since 1986.
A reader involved in addressing mental health in Summit County applauds Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and his wife Elena Amsterdam for their efforts to help mountain towns wrap their arms around the issue.