As a political science student at the University of Utah, I have had the opportunity to gain experience through internships. I have always been moderate and have varied positions on issues. Since I was raised in a family that was Republican, I considered myself to be a Republican. The events of the past five months have led to the careful reconsideration of my political affiliation.
Having worked in the offices of U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett in 1996 and Utah Sen. Scott Howell in 1998, I respect both Republicans and Democrats. Through my experiences, I have realized that both parties have quality politicians. I have been able to look at things from both views and have come to the conclusion that in Utah I tend to support the Democrat Party. I support the tireless work that Democrats do for people with disabilities, children and families and their efforts to lower taxes, attempt to work out growth issues and protect the environment.I was pleased to hear the interview given by Elder Marlin Jensen regarding political diversity. I am saddened and disheartened by the current flood of statements that I cannot be a good member of the LDS Church and a Democrat at the same time. I will no doubt be called an abortionist, regardless of my position, because I am a Democrat.
I have been given the freedom to shape my values, and I have happily chosen to adhere to the teachings of the LDS Church. But if I was given the freedom, why should I act to take away others' freedom? I do not feel as if I can support legislating all others to adhere to the beliefs I have personally established for myself. I don't understand why I have to constantly defend myself. I should not have to say I am a Democrat and at the same time try to convince people that I am really a "good" person.
Salt Lake City