Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Great Job Hannah!

Today, Scroll, the BYU-I campus newspaper, published a side by side comparison of the two major political parties represented at the university.

I thought that Hannah did a great job of representing our group. I was also quite pleased that she did not feel the need to negatively refer to the College Republicans. I was also glad to note that she refered more to us as a group than to the national party. Although the National Party does great work, we as a local group have our own identity and we do not march mindlessly to the drum of the National Party.

I also feel that Hannah's article did a great job in showing that we are incredibly hopeful for the future and that we have a great willingness to "reach across the aisle". I would also like to mention that it has been 31 days since I have formally extended an invitation to the leadership of the College Republicans, through email and this blog, to have dinner with us and we have not yet received a response.

I will make only one mention of the College Republicans article. I believe that it was poor form for them to constantly refer to abortion and gay marriage as though those two issues are the only ones that keep the Democratic Party around. It's poor form because it perpetuates a myth about Democrats. Also, it's important that when you make comparisons that you compare ones best to someone elses best, not ones best to someones worst. Hannah could have easily mentioned some "Republican 'dirty laundry'." I'm glad that she didn't. I could go on, but if you have more questions on how I feel you can email me.


The Hague said...
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The Hague said...
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Anonymous said...

Wow joe, seems that you just did what you accused Peter of. Would you like some cheese with that whine? Perhaps you could offer some alternatives to Democrats instead of just whining about how you think Democrats operate. I seem to remember very few solutions when Clinton was president, just a lot of money spent investigating him and Hillary.

Anonymous said...

Here is a solution to NCLB-how about fully fund it President Bush?????

Peter Nguyen said...


I can't tell if you're trying to be funny with your sarcasm but it doesn't do you justice.

If it's wrong for us to take the "high road" as you suggested than you've got issues. Please don't doubt our sincerity about trying to do the right thing. Also, you accuse me of "spinning the truth," are you calling me a liar? Because if you are you might as well just call me a liar.

I'm sorry that you felt like we were attacking the College Republicans it certainly wasn't intentional. You're completely right to accuse us of not being solution oriented enough, that's one of our many weaknesses. What are yours, or are you perfect?

You also bring up some excellent questions, however, I couldn't help but notice that they were all posed as though all that was required was a "yes" or "no" answer. I don't believe that such important questions can be summed up so easily or can be so black and white.

Also, if you were intentionally trying to upset me by accusing me of being a member of the College Democrats simply to be different, than you certainly got me. If you seriously believe that we exist only to be "different" than the rest of the University than that may be a sign of arrogance.

Another thing, you claim that you appreciate political diversity, but as soon as there is some kind of diversity you indirectly accuse us of "making it up" just to be "different".

Lastly, we, the College Democrats are proudly Democrats. The Idaho State Party has no problem accepting us; the Democratic National Party has no problem with us. The reason for that is because we can think independently of any national group. We don't need to, neither are we required to do what the National Party says. This provides us with an ability to work more closely on a local level and to more closely represent our constituents from the bottom up rather than taking orders from the top down.

Your fervor is admirable; however, my only true loyalty is to the Savior and His Church and to my wife. I will never pledge my allegiance to such imperfect institutions as political parties.

Here's what I've learned from your comment:

1. We need to show that we are actually solution oriented.
2. It's easy to be taken out of context. I'm pretty sure that I've misunderstood you and I'm certain that you've misunderstood Hannah's excellent article.
3. A good deed (or intention) never goes unpunished.

Radly Danger said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, joe strickland is the angry republican. every time I see something he writes it reminds me of Alanis Morissette and her jagged little pill.

Well, I've thought about the questions that Joe posted, like he asked, and i decided my answer is yes AND no on almost all of them. So where does that put me? It may be hard to believe but I do believe differently than Joe.

I really am different that him and I'm not just TRYING. Crazy hu? I just wish I cared if he thought I was legitimate. Hey look, more sarcasm.

The Hague said...
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Anonymous said...

No, it means instead of ripping on Democrats, maybe you should offer alternatives to what you think Democrats do. You whine about how you perceive the party and its members to be, but since you seem to be Mr. Know It All, maybe you can grace us with your neverending knowledge of everything and tell us what we should be doing.

And if you want to know why a lot of Mormons are Democrats, read some of Hugh Nibley's writings, namely, Approaching Zion. Also, take a look at how Democrats feel that education is a right, not a privilege and the educational system isn't there to make a profit, it is there to benefit mankind. Seeking to privitze education with the goal of the bottom line is sickening and I can't see any General Authority agreeing with it. Also take a look at how Republicans continually demonize those on public assistance (many of whom are LDS-including many at BYU-I, Provo, and Hawaii). It isn't our place to judge those on welfare (especially since Bill Clinton's welfare reform act of 1996 places time limits on welfare). The only welfare Republicans support is corporate welfare. That, my friend, is shameful and disgusting. The two largest populations in poverty are children and the elderly. So next time you want to perpetuate the racist and misinformed myths about poverty, think twice about what Christ would advocate. He withholds His judgement until the last day, perhaps Republicans could do the same.

Sorry, I was a Republican for 20 years and during that entire time I was a very angry and bitter person. That party marginalizes everyone and treats everyone as an "other." So no thanks to your alternative...

I am anonymous because I had an LDS Republican stalking me for several months, so I will continue to be anonymous because I can't trust that radical Republicans won't stalk me. If you don't like it, tell your Republican friends to get a life, grow up, and spend their time getting to know Jesus, instead of stalking Democratic women.

Peter Nguyen said...


Although I feel that your indignation is probably justified we must maintain a sense of civility in our discussions. We're all guilty of letting our emotions get the better of us, especially me.

I complete agree with you that education is a right. I think that it's ridiculous that our culture doesn't contribute more work, time, money and love into educating our youth.

I also agree with your characterization of how many Republicans refer to welfare as though it were a blight. Welfare can be a great tool for good and although it's not perfect it's existence is a testament to the charity of the American Spirit. We must continue to work towards improving it and ensuring that those who really need it get it.

We shouldn't be so tough on Joe. I realize now that although his tone tends to be highly aggressive, he is a great impetus to helping the College Democrats recognize their weaknesses. Although many of his criticisms are unfair, they do a good job of causing one to re-evaluate.

The following goes out to all those who want to place comments on this blog: If you can dish it out, you better be able to take it. Criticism can be a powerful tool, but it can also be a great destroyer. It's perfectly responsible to disagree with each other, but we should do our best to watch our tones. This is how I feel, and it's only my opinion. Once again, feel free to post any thoughts you have, but be prepared to get some thoughts back in kind.

The Hague said...
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The Hague said...
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Andrew said...

A message to all: We all ought to be careful how we use the gospel in our defenses of a chosen political party. It sounds like we are trying to prove the “truth” of the platform of the Democrats or Republicans by making reference to the gospel when the “truth” is that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats has the truth. Also, most of the posts on here suffer from an overcharged dogmatism and a complete lack of considerate, reasoned discussion. The litany of oversimplifications that I’ve read in the last few days, are uneducated, unintelligent, and mostly unfair to those at whom they are directed. There is too much of pointing fingers and very little offering of solutions or real reasons in defense of issues about which we care so much. About welfare: The ‘I know that welfare doesn’t work because it happened to me’ argument is bad logic. I’ve seen my share of people on welfare that have come out of it just fine and ready to work and the argument goes on and on. You’ve got to analyze the program from the top down and show some data before you declare that it doesn’t work. One instance to the contrary of something doesn’t necessarily mean that that thing doesn’t work. While not welfare by name, many of us receive substantial help from the government by way of pell-grants. Yet, I see no one trying to declare that that program doesn’t produce good citizens who contribute to society. It is, however, a freebie from the government as is welfare. I’ll ask you this question then Joe: Why doesn’t welfare work when pell-grants do? Is it because the attitudes of those that receive pell-grants differ from those who receive welfare? If it is just attitudinal, then should we delimit the amount of freebies one can receive because of a bad attitude toward work? Please answer.

Peter Nguyen said...


Hey, great question. I'm not sure that I can comprehensibly answer the question or do it justice but I certainly do not feel that there is no easy answer, or that it is necessarily one way or the other. I believe that the question is quite multifaceted and complex.

First, my family was also on public assistance. In fact, most of my family’s friends were on some sort of public assistance. We were all refugees from the Viet Nam war and we were grateful for a nation charitable enough to help us, in the war and here in the U.S. Today, my family is the poorest of all our friends, but my parents make a combined income of 65,000 and I don't think that's too bad for some poor Vietnamese refugees.

Here's the thing though, my parents received a combination of assistance from government and charitable organizations. So my answer to you Joe is why does it have to be black and white? Why can't it be a combination? Why can't it be a symbiosis of government working through private organizations? Why can't it be a lot of things?

While I have no doubt that there are many that abuse the system. I also have no doubt that there are many the use the system responsibly.

As for the American Spirit, Joe I don't think that government "takes our money away" that would be a horrible concept and it would be illegal. Americans pay taxes, it's not taken away. Not to mention that we are taxed WITH representation. That means that our leaders, local and federal, work for us. We pay them to work for us. I believe that the charitable American Spirit continues to pay into the public assistance program not because it doesn't work right 100% of the time, but because we have the hope that it will help that one family and that they will make the difference.

I'm living my parents dream for me by being here at this University. And I don't owe it to the government or to those charitable organizations, I owe it to myself and the sense of responsibility that was instilled in me by my parents and my God. But, I do know that there were times when the little help that I got from the government and the other helpers made all the difference.

So, my answer in short, is that I don't believe in your maxims. Do I believe that there needs to be reform in the public assistance program? Yes. Do I think that it needs to be eliminated? No. Do I think that more charitable and private organizations need to form up and step up to supplement where representative government has failed? Yes. Do I think that will happen anytime soon? No.

Peter Nguyen said...


I agree with you that many of the comments are too charged. I'll personally try to leave my emotions out of my replies.

Also, I agree that it's dangerous ground to use the Church to prove politics when the Church does its best to remain politically neutral.

The Hague said...
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Andrew said...

Thanks for the lecture on principles. I think I’ll use it tomorrow when I teach primary. I am confused, however, why you are lecturing me on principles. My question to you was an attempt to foster some honest debate about issues; it was a hypothetical. It in no way reflects what I believe. I applaud you for your attempt to answer it. I agree with some of what you said, though you didn’t back up anything you put forth. A mere paragraph will convince few, but an inquisitive mind won’t be made up without some facts to support a claim. Once again, however, on this blog hyper-charged emotionalism outweighs reasonable debate about issues. Sound reason doesn’t have to difficult Joe; it can and most often should be simple. But, your focus on attacking me for no apparent reason discredits your opinions.

Peter Nguyen said...


I think it's time that we let the subject die. It's been fun but perhaps we should move on to a different subject. That's just me though.

Anonymous said...

"You said, "And if you want to know why a lot of Mormons are Democrats..." Are there statistics on that somewhere?"

No, I meant that if you want to know why Mormons are Democrats, A LOT OF THEM would say....

"As far as education goes, I find it a little sad and a little arrogant that you think that democrats are the only people that care about education. The fact that you say that Republicans are interested in education to make a profit reflects poorly on your character."

Hun, I would never broadbrush Republicans that way, but if you take a look around Idaho, you would see why I wrote what I wrote. Tell me why Idaho and Utah, two Republican strongholds, are making their schools carry a burden that is far too heavy? Why doesn't Idaho fully fund education? Republicans dominate Idaho politics and yet this state is so pathetic in its support of education, it is a complete embarassment.

"Republicans care about people too. I know that you know that."

I guess it depends on what you mean by care. Bush's compassionate conservatism doesn't really seem like caring to me, but maybe it does to you. Cutting energy assistance, meals on wheels, medicaid, etc...doesn't seem like caring to me, maybe to you it does.

"Perhaps you have been personally hurt by a Republican or perhaps for some reason you have bought into some strange conspiracy theory about the Republican party."

Nah, this is just my observation from being a Republican for 20 years and living in Idaho for the last 7. But if you feel better trying to debase my comments by labeling them as a conspiracy theory, preach on, my brother.

"If that is the case, I am sorry and I hope that you can find some sense of security in your life."

Found it when I left the GOP.

"So, take it from someone who has seen the program firsthand--- welfare CRIPPLES people."

Yes, those poor children and elderly who are crippled by food, heat, and medical care. What a shame...

Listen hun, I worked for the Idaho Dept. of Labor and Commerce and I have an in-depth understanding of the welfare system. It is designed to get people off of welfare, but not out of poverty. Instead of trying to completely get rid of welfare, why don't Republicans offer viable alternatives with a better goal? Welfare isn't perfect, but it is the only thing we've got and until it is improved, we have to live with its manifest and latent functions. I have yet to see the Republican Party as a whole show a support of welfare and then try to improve the program to make people self sufficient. When this is done, then I will have a greater faith and hope in the GOP in exhibiting some care for people.

Anonymous said...

Lastly Joe, I don't know if you are uneducated about Clinton's welfare reform, but there is accountability built into that system. So please, give an example that is legitimate.

Jessica said...

As far as Pres. Benson's writings, see this blog for good information:




Anonymous said...

It is obvious that the College Republicans can play dirty pool by referring to abortion and gay marriage in several instances, but can they be accused of doing anything more than capitalizing on their opponents weak spots and tailoring their message to their audience?

If anything, I was disappointed in the defensive "Let's love everyone" tone of Ms. Vinsons' article. The purpose of the article was to articulate the opinions of both sides. While the writer for the College Republicans was rather forceful in expressing his opinions, he did ennumerate conservative core beliefs and why he was unafraid to espouse them. Ms. Vinsons' article was like trying to assure people that it was okay to come out of the closet.

some guy said...

Hey guys its time to go deeper.
do you know what the Secret combination is doing to both of your poor parties.
I wish you had an Idea let me know what you know.
Maybe read ether chapter 8. And you can get an Idea.
Or some good Pres. Benson talks.
Hey, well the real power struggle is not being seen much by very many people yet, although its picking up.
Everyone is still fighting over the surface issues. that's to bad.
well here: http://byui.facebook.com/group_profile.php?gid=5120

so this is very intresting I guess some members are relizeing that the Book of mormon really is true and that its all happening agian.
Wow. I guess history really does repeat itself.

D.R. Jensen said...

You guys are all nuts, sorry but from what I am reading here it is hard for me to think other wise.

Peter Nguyen said...


I agree with Jensen. We are nuts, we seem even more so considering that fact that one of the authors to this whole comment string deleted all of his comments. It kinda detracts from the entire context of the conversation.

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Anonymous said...

Speaking for the BYU-Idaho College Democrats, we do not
believe in or endorse college boys stripping. However, some
are not so sure about the necessity of a constitutional
amendment. The majority of the group does, however, support an amendment.

Anonymous said...