As I’ve mentioned previously, when you grow up in a place with an extremely strong dominant culture, the counter-culture tends to be just as strong, if not stronger, in order to keep somewhat of a balance. This is such the case in Salt Lake. The counter-culture is one that is extremely strong, and they won’t stand it when the dominant culture tries to do things that might take away the rights of individuals, or make Salt Lake a place seem even more backwards to the outside world. This counter-culture is one of those things that is part of my home state of which I am extremely proud. I am proud to have found and been a part of this hidden side of Utah and I am proud of the people that keep it alive and help it grow, even though I am no longer there. I touched on this a bit in a previous post, but didn’t go into much detail.
One such example came this past week at a Republican town hall for a US Congressman where his very own constituents showed up to hold him to the responsibilities of his position as their representative. This seems to be happening a lot more in recent weeks. There seems to be a shift wherein people are starting to remind those who are supposed to represent us in the government of this fact. We put you in your job as our representative, now represent us, not your own personal interests or the interests of corporations or other special interest groups. You represent the people. You work for us! We put you where you are and we’ll remove you when that becomes possible.
This is not the first time in recent months that protesters stood up to Mr. Chaffetz, at the delight of protesters, he withdrew a bill he was supporting to sell off federal land. Related to this, many top outdoor sportswear companies, like Patagonia and Arc’teryx, have recently withdrawn from the annual Outdoor Retailers show in protest of the way the Utah government handles federal land, which is a major part of the outdoor industry that brings in billions of revenue for the state. Why support a state that does not support what their industry is all about—love for, and preservation of, the outdoors? You don’t support us and what we are all about, we won’t support you.
Like I said, sometimes people within my home town make me proud. More often than not, it is the other way around.