Lots of action in Utah politics over the past few days, with Utah tea party leader David Kirkham all but announcing a primary challenge to GOP Gov. Gary Herbert and GOP state Rep. Chris Herrod jumping into the race for Sen. Orrin Hatch's seat.
But the two challengers have more in common than a desire to run for statewide office and conservative platforms. In addition to the usual tea party-friendly themes, both men also invoked something more unusual: fears of the United States turning into something like communist Europe. From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Herrod recounted a semester he spent in the former Communist countries in Eastern Europe and said he "could literally feel the oppression" in those nations. He met his wife on a later trip to the Soviet Union.
"I'm starting to feel that anxiety [again]," Herrod said. "We're kind of living in the 'Emperor-has-no-clothes.' ... Everyone knows there's something the matter but nobody dares to say anything about it."
And here's the Salt Lake Tribune again, on Kirkham:
Kirkham started Kirkham Motorsports with just a tool box and his training as an engineer. Eventually, the company began manufacturing aluminum replicas of the Shelby Cobra sports car and bought a defunct Polish jet fighter factory to manufacture the vehicles, as well.
Today, the business is run out of a garage and workshop near Provo, but Kirkham said that he fears the economic suffering that he saw in Poland at the end of the Cold War may be in the United States' future.