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Davis Journal

Finding truth and knowledge in my universe

Mar 09, 2022 04:08PM ● By Bryan Gray

Once, when giving my perspective on society and politics, I was told I was “living in an alternate universe.”  It was a nice way to say I was wrong, ignorant, or confused.

But after watching the national news, the antics of our state legislature, and the nationally-televised State of the Union address, maybe I am living in an alternate universe.  And maybe you are too!

For instance, I witness the sacrifices of average Ukrainians, forced from their homes, taking up arms, and risking their lives.  Their sacrifices for freedom seem enormously more important than a silly Billy Bob from Utah claiming his freedom is being taken away by simply wearing a mask in a crowded room.

I hear President Biden ask for a national crusade and funding to battle the scourge of cancer which affects a majority of families in some way. His fight seems vastly more serious than a Utah legislator’s outrage that a book on Holocaust victims is available at a school library.

I see a homeless man freezing in a Utah park during a recent 18-degree winter evening.  It seems I should be more concerned about him than passing legislation to stop one Utah transgendered girl from competing in a swim meet.

Hey, I certainly didn’t agree with everything our President requested in his State of the Union speech. (I don’t agree, for instance, with holding gun manufacturers responsible for idiots who abuse their weapons or his call for free community college.)

But neither did I agree with the official Republican response.  It ignored his rational calls for, among other items, decreasing the cost of insulin and repairing aging infrastructure with American-made products. Instead of agreeing there were some responsible requests for the benefits of all Americans, the GOP barked out culture war “dog whistles” about nasty schoolteachers ignoring parents, blaming starving brown-skinned families seeking jobs in the U.S for illegal drugs, and boasting that “real Americans” don’t live in California, New York, or New Jersey. Why not just hoist a white nationalist flag and be done with anymore explanation?

In my own alternate universe, I understand the suffering of Ukrainians shivering at the Polish border – but I also see the agony of Latin American families fleeing gang violence and bunching up at the Mexican border, only hoping to start a new life in the U.S.  (Lord knows, our workforce needs them!)

In my own alternate universe, I don’t feel too sorry for Utahns whimpering over a 50-cent per gallon gas hike when compared with 80% of Africans being malnourished and Ukrainian families seeing their homes bombed to rubble.

“Dog whistles” may win elections and culture wars may increase donations to politicians, but neither make Americans more unified, safe, or healthy.  In my alternate universe, removing a book that includes a gay youth pales to the importance of creating a well-paying job, and passing laws forcing a woman to travel out of state to get an abortion is less important than funding research to stop breast cancer.  

Feel free to join me in my universe.