Is Salt Lake City, Utah a Conservative City?

Salt Lake City is an interesting and somewhat polarized city. This can make politics something of a nightmare and it doesn’t get any easier. Being educated about what sort of opinions to expect from people in Salt Lake City is the first step to understanding all of it.

Salt Lake City is largely conservative-leaning but does have some liberalism. Religion, demographic, and many other things have a hand in why Salt Lake City has the political stance it does. Conservatism is the most prevalent and should be expected of the area and the residents within.

Political stances can end up being huge arguments between people, and the first step to being aware and informed is to have knowledge of what the stances represent as well as how they speak of the city they are prevalent in.

What is a Conservative?

Those with conservative views tend to stay along the lines of traditional thinking. This means holding to the traditions that they’ve grown up with or hold dear. And that directly correlates with the traditional political views. It focuses on preserving the traditional views and keeps to a lot of the older thinking as to what would be considered more along the lines of what the Constitution and the Declaration’s original intentions were.

This acts as a direct opposite to Liberals as Liberals seek to find new ways to accomplish things and have a more open mindset when it comes to political views. This is a huge debate in Salt Lake City as most of the population is on the older generation or has been raised with a huge respect for their ancestral traditions and lean the way of the conservative party.

Recently, however…it is being shown on political maps that while most of the state of Utah is largely conservative, Salt Lake City specifically has become more of a spot of liberalism, and those views as things change and the generational views change. This fluctuates from year to year as those voting sometimes changes as more of the younger groups get to be old enough to vote and to take a more active part in political views and ongoings in their state.

How do Conservative Views Affect SLC?

Salt Lake City has been the place of much controversy as a lot of the political stances are directed and influenced by a variety of different things, such as religious views, demographic, the age of voting individuals, and those in power.

Conservatives are the most dominant political view in Salt Lake City, but that doesn’t mean that it is the only view there. A lot of the legislative things will lean more conservative as preserving the older laws and meanings is important to those with conservative leanings.

At the same time, Salt Lake City seeks to be a place for all of the population, even those who tend to be more on the liberalist side of things. As such, there is the legislature that reflects both liberalism and conservatism ideals. This helps to maintain a delicate balance and keep the government within its rights to act for the good of the citizenry they have jurisdiction over.

Conservative Views

Conservatives, as mentioned before, tend to be more traditionalist as an opposite and direct foil to progressivism, which we’ll get into more in the next section. Conservative views tend to follow a specific strain of thinking that points towards the past and the truth of things. They hope to be clear in how they present their ideas and are largely unapologetic about their beliefs even if the large majority of them are more respectful about how they share their beliefs and political views.

Conservatism supports less government involvement in the lives of the citizens, it supports the right to free agency and has something of a disregard for socialism. For the most part, they want to have a balance between government, religion, and people to ensure that the full rights of the Constitution and the truths held self-evident of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness remain as part of the focus of the government.

Conservatism mostly has a bad reputation due to the extremes that those with these beliefs will often speak in direct disregard for some people with other political views. Not all of them are like this and while Conservatives hold their traditional values and what some would consider relics and beliefs of the past more dearly there are quite a few that are willing to hear others out and are extremely respectful of other politicals.

Conservatism and Progressivism

Conservatives are regarded mostly as the opposite of Liberalists and Liberalism is usually seen as the more progressive of the two political parties, in fact, it is a base part of liberalist views that they are progressive. Salt Lake City has been referenced as an island of liberalism in an ocean of conservatism, however, this seems to fluctuate at times. The city of Salt Lake City itself has a mixed demographic of liberals and conservatives.

For the most part, the government is more liberal for Salt Lake City and votes for more progressive laws and rules for the citizens which helps to cultivate something of a more positive correlation between the two political parties. Largely, the reason Salt Lake City has been seen as conservative in the past is because of the large population of conservative religious citizens.

Given this and the volume of the demographic changing over the past couple of years, the laws and the bills in Salt Lake City definitely go more progressive, hoping to support the people for which the government supports. Salt Lake City’s conservative population is rather friendly with those of a progressive view and some people might find that some people share both conservative and traditional ideas as well as those of progressivism and the ideas and hopes of those views.

Historically, traditional conservatism does not see progressivism in a fond light and in fact despises the fact that there would be things and changes that support progressivism. Most of what is common in the younger generation of Salt Lake City residents would be that of conservative progressivism. People who hold the traditional values to be dear but also know the value of being progressive and adjusting to how the world changes while still managing to reconcile that with everything else.

Managing Conservative Views versus Liberal

The real challenge of living in Salt Lake City, or visiting with an intense focus on the political stance of everything going on is managing the conservative and liberal views. How to be conscious of others’ personal views, respecting them, but also being true to what someone believes themselves. That is the true challenge of remaining politically neutral and being kind to those in those sorts of intense political conversations especially if someone intends to engage in that sort of conversation.

As with any sort of political debate, discussion, or conversation, it is important and crucially so to remain respectful even if someone does not agree with what is being said. Maintaining that respect will enable anyone on any point of a political conversation to be able to share their own opinion without others feeling like they are being attacked. Additionally, it might foster the ability to communicate with what has historically been an impossible feat.

Political discourse is fraught with all sorts of hurt, heartache, and confusion. Salt Lake City will often get flak for its close relation with religious views as those have been and usually are separate from the state and government but having one of the worldwide religions having their headquarters in Salt Lake City is bound to somewhat influence how the members and the people of the community have their own political views and indeed, how that affects their kids.

Managing any sort of political starts first by validating that there are many perspectives to one issue and not pushing one particular agenda. Conservatives will have more respect for things that call back to the original value of a certain law, and especially things that they believe are part of what the intended result was for any certain rule.

Whereas liberals will be more inclined to agree with a progressive thought process and anyone that validates that will have a greater chance of having a better conversation with a liberalist. For the most part, Salt Lake City residents don’t get into political debates or discussions purely because it’s never actually certain whether someone will wander into a liberal or a conservative and they are so often at odds with each other that knowing the political side of things is less of a concern.

Typically managing political views a person has or how to interact with them comes down to either avoiding it in Salt Lake City or addressing it with respect so as to ensure each side feels heard and validated. Not everything for either side of a political debate will be correct, but having the decency if engaging in a political discussion to be polite and respectful about it will have all the difference for those talking with the conservatives and liberals of Salt Lake City.

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Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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