Mark White
3 min readFeb 2, 2021

Book Review: Utah Politics: The Elephant in the Room

One of my New Year’s Aspirations was to read and review a book each month. Here’s January’s review. This month I decided to provide a more skeletal review and just hit the high points. So, January’s book is Utah Politics: The Elephant in the Room by journalist, Rod Decker.

1. According to Decker, the elephant in the room in UT politics is the role of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members in resisting social changes in America related to sex, morality, and relationships.

2. The bulk of the legislature are white members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who are perceived by many — whether accurate or not — to do the bidding of the Church.

3. The state used to be more balanced party-wise until LDS Utahns perceived a growing divide between their conservative values and beliefs about morality and those of the larger society and the Democratic Party.

4. Distrust of the Federal government has been present since the first Mormon settlers arrived. In addition, the Federal Government owns a lot of land in UT and Utahns perceive the Feds to have dealt them wrongly too many times and to not be trustworthy. This distrust of Federal overreach continues to simmer in UT (which explains some of the anti-masker behavior).

Mark White
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Aspiring LDS Christian, antiracist, and LBGTQ+ ally. Husband, father, Grampy. Professor. Hiker. Reader.