I’d like to summarize three specific reasons why Latter-day Saints should support Mike Lee’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate:
1. Grounded in constitutional principle. In an American society that’s increasingly centered on “living your truth” and “following whatever feels right (for now),” Mike Lee reflects a refreshing alternative.
His decisions as a senator have been guided consistently by the standards outlined by our Founding leaders in the Constitution itself. President Oaks has advised that “our belief in divine inspiration gives Latter-day Saints a unique responsibility to uphold and defend the United States Constitution and principles of constitutionalism.”
No political leader in America is a more consistent champion of upholding our Constitution than our wonderful Senator Mike Lee. With this unique understanding of the inspired nature of our Founding Fathers’ work to establish this nation, we don’t have to guess what Senator Lee will decide based on the feeling of the moment or the pressures of the day. We know what guides and disciplines his decisions. And we can trust his commitment to protect and preserve what we love—the most basic of our founding freedoms—the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and the freedom of assembly.
Following are just a few of the ways, meaningful to me, that Mike Lee has proven to do that:
- He has consistently introduced and re-introduced bills to protect Religious Liberty.
- His bi-partisan FISA Reform bill holds the NSA accountable for surveillance activity and not allowing them to spy on citizens.
- He has a consistent voting record against bloated spending. (Just imagine if every senator was as careful with our tax money as Mike Lee—we would have no debt. He applies the self-sustaining principles to his work in Washington.)
- During the pandemic, he consistently voted against mandates and introduced bills to preserve individual choice.
Said President J. Reuben Clark Jr., a former member of the First Presidency: “Not unknown are cases where [those] of presumed faith … have felt that, since by affirming their full faith they might call down upon themselves the ridicule of their unbelieving colleagues, they must either modify or explain away their faith, or destructively dilute it, or even pretend to cast it away. Such are hypocrites.”
Mike Lee has risen above the need for popularity or praise from “unbelieving colleagues” and held fast to the constitutional and other principles that guide him. He has been unfailing and proven trustworthy in these efforts.
2. A pragmatic approach to President Trump. It’s impossible to talk about a Republican candidate without raising the Trump card—which is where people’s strongest feelings about Senator Lee arise. “How dare he …” people say, in describing attempts to support, sustain and encourage President Trump—including in the challenging final days of the administration. Some have looked at that support and insisted on something either servile, calculated, or even dangerous to democracy. But they overlook explanations far less sinister and generous—namely, a pragmatic approach to politics, which is thoroughly reflective of Utah’s mindset.
This is epitomized in Senator Lee’s visit with newly elected President Trump after the 2016 election. After what the Senator described as getting yelled at for a period of time, he responded to then-President Trump that to the degree he worked to limit the federal government and support constitutional principles, he would have no greater friend in the Senate. But if he did not, the president would have no greater foe.
Does that sound like a boot-licker? I’ve appreciated Mike Lee’s rational approach to this commanding public figure. In the lead-up to the 2016 election, Mike Lee rebuffed party politics and remained slow in an endorsement of Donald Trump’s candidacy—with rumors that he voted for an independent alternative not denied. In a 2016 NewsMax interview, Lee acknowledged the risks associated with a Trump administration but added, “Donald Trump can still get a lot of votes from a lot of conservatives like me, but I would like some assurances on where he’s going to stand his ground. I’d like some assurances that he’s going to be a vigorous defender of the U.S. Constitution.”
When Trump then won the presidential seat, true to his word, Mike diplomatically moved forward with the important work of the American people, lending support to constitutionally sound efforts, as he also does with the current administration. He’s representative of this wisdom from President Oak, “The dignity and force of the Constitution is reduced by those who refer to it like a loyalty test or a political slogan, instead of its lofty status as a source of authorization for and limits on government authority. … The authority of the Constitution is trivialized when candidates or officials ignore its principles.”
Once again, the guiding influences on Senator Lee’s decisions are clear. I don’t believe those who accuse Lee of betraying these principles around the events of January 6—and find those insinuations against his character and condemnations of treason to be despicable. I trust Senator Lee’s own characterization of those events—and don’t for a minute believe he was seeking to go in defiance of constitutional principle. Rather, he was doing what he told President Trump he would do—finding ways to support him. In that moment of need, Senator Lee was trying to help the President explore what legal options he had. Period.
Senator Lee is pragmatic and committed to principle. That pragmatism extends to some of the realities of governing in America’s age of excess. Senator Lee has famously acknowledged, “the federal government is going to remain huge for a long time to come.” Rather than spend effort or resources trying to undo decades of government growth, Mike Lee is grounded in more realistically seeking management of federal initiatives against the backdrop of constitutional principles.
3. Seeing the real dangers of what’s happening on the left. There is plenty of commentary in America today about the so-called dire threats from America’s political right—including from Senator Lee’s opponent. Far less attention is going to what’s happening on the extreme political left and what it will mean for our country. But Senator Lee is paying attention to that plenty.
That’s reassuring to me. It’s 10 p.m., and I’ve just returned from helping my sister, who’s really struggling. Before that, I helped Project Veritas root out corruption in our Nation. Before that, I was helping at my son’s elementary school with their Red Ribbon Week to try and keep the kids away from drugs. Before that, my day job, and before that, a meeting with Representative Christiansen to help Utahns learn about the Constitution—he’s worried they’re forgetting about it. Throw in four kids and a birthday for my 1-year-old Jetti!
My life is full, all about family and working to improve the community where we live, probably like many of you. Even if we sometimes get tired, I don’t feel that way today. Instead, I have so much hope and passion for Utah and America. I won’t stop, for one, because individuals like Mike Lee are still representing us in Washington, DC. In spite of a prestigious law degree, career, and family legacy, Mike Lee has not lost touch with the “family man.” Mike Lee understands, having raised a family of his own here in Utah, what matters most. He understands and defends the family as the most basic and essential building block of society. He believes in a tax code that will not penalize marriage, entitlements that are counterproductive for parental support, and a criminal code that provides flexibility to judges in sentencing non-violent offenders.
With my work, I regularly see what other places are like in the U.S., from New York to San Francisco and often outside our country. I recognize that America is hurting, and Utah is changing. They both need our help; for us to fight, protect, and preserve them.
When I vote, I think of what I want for my children. I feel I can sleep after a hard day (like the one I’ve had) knowing Mike Lee will keep his promises to perpetuate freedom and prosperity like we’ve been given by our ancestors, some who helped settle this great state so that we can pass what we value on to our children’s children’s children. If you want to go down the road of New York, San Francisco, and other liberal, leftist cities that people are fleeing due to high taxes, high crime, and high homelessness, then … Actually, no, don’t go there, just please fight with me to preserve our America and our Utah. Vote for our children. Vote for America. Vote for the Constitution. Vote for Mike Lee. It’ll give us one less thing we have to fix during the day.
Sincerely your fellow Utahn,