As we follow the 2000 campaign, we are disturbed with the paradigm that skews interpretation of political parties at BYU. We hear heated debate about the Republican candidates, but no one seems to recognize the “other” party.
We work in the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy, a branch of the political science department. We have been studying the presidential primaries for the past six months and were pleased to see a front page spread about Super Tuesday.
We are, however, disappointed at the lack of coverage for the Democrats. While the majority of BYU students support the Republican Party, there are also critical issues at the helm of the Democratic Party. The lack of issue profiles for the Democratic candidates perpetuates one-party dominance. Al Gore promotes issues that we, as Latter-day Saints, can support. Democratic candidates are more than just pro-choice advocates.
On May 3, 1998, Elder Marlin K. Jensen responded to a Salt Lake Tribune inquiry about Republican dominance of church membership. Elder Jensen said, “We would probably hope that (Latter-day Saints) wouldn’t abandon a party necessarily because it has a philosophy or two that may not square with Mormonism. Because, as I say, (parties) in their philosophies ebb and flow.”
He continued to say that “Republicans came very close to bringing a pro-abortion plank into their platform … which shows that if you’re a pure ideologue, eventually you’re going to have trouble in either party … everyone who is a good Latter-day Saint is going to have to pick and choose a little bit.”
The objective of this letter is not to promote a Democratic agenda, but to promote democracy through fair and balanced political discourse.