Mitchell Vice, Candidate for US Senate, Utah
Hillary Koellner- “Mitchell, can you share with us what your thought is on the possibility of one person being able to change the system, do you think this is possible?”
Mitchell Vice- “Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that I think one person can have a connection with the people. There are powerful global forces that dictate a lot of how we operate. That is one of the issues we have with healthcare, the discussion is not about what does it take to take care of American citizens, but about how we help the insurance companies stay up. The enormous undertake that it would take one single person to create change is a lot, but one single person like Gandhi, he had enough effect on the people of India. He was able to change their attitude, change commitment and create independence. One person does have the ability to connect and inspire people to be committed to their own freedom.
On the converse, Hitler did the same thing, he didn’t personally incarcerate and create the destruction, but he got enough people where they started to be committed to that. I think that’s kind of the snowball effect. Like Bernie Sanders, he almost out beat Hillary Clinton just from personal donations. I had never donated to a political candidate, ever! I personally had to participate and make a difference.”
Hillary Koellner- “This is your first time running for office, but what is it that got you into politics initially?”
Mitchell Vice- ”What got me active in politics was my disdain for politics. My where of politics was certain in the 80’s with Raegan. Since I grew up in LA, I was a teenager when trickle down economics was implemented and ever since then it’s been a disaster for the middle class. In my experience, both sides were guilty of it, I just became more and more cynical as time went on. I didn’t see a chance for citizens to have a say in how they were governed as corporations become more powerful and as politicians become more influenced by money than governing.
Action was I guess last year. I saw Bernie Sanders rise to be on the independent bubble that had been performing in and that happened through really, individual citizens hearing the message and finding real hope to fight against the greed and power and demand our voices be heard. It’s the first time I ever donated to a political campaign. First time I registered as a democrat so I could vote in the primaries. I saw real hope to bring citizens back into governing. I saw the value of effort and thought, I can’t just be a protester anymore. Uhm I have my personal experiences and I have the commitment and ability to make real change and to do what we were asked to by senator Sanders and get involved. So that’s what kind of led me to running.”
Hillary Koellner- “You mentioned it was your first time registering to vote as a democrat, so what were you registered as before then?”
Mitchell Vice- “I’ve been everything. I can’t remember. I was probably…I know I’ve been registered as a republican and I’ve been unaffiliated. As a cynic, I’ve tried to vote for the person whom I thought would be the most effective. My personal ideals are definitely left and center. I would still find myself at odds with democrats, especially ones that would say one thing and do another. As a cynic, the way I saw things was, the right needs to keep people rich -rich and the left needed to keep minorities and the poor-poor. In the middle, we didn’t have representation. So it was hard for me to get on board with any party from a truly committed state. I kind of went back and forth and there were times I didn’t really vote and I have to take responsibility for that. That is what I chose to do, but I don’t think it was the right thing to do. Rather than be a protester I decided to be in action.”
Hillary Koellner- “Thank you for sharing that Mitchell. You had also mentioned earlier that you lived in LA, are you originally from there?”
Mitchell Vice- “I was born in California, I was raised for the first half of my life by a single mom in LA. My mom remarried when I was 14 or 15, just started high school and uh I grew up LDS and not necessarily active, but when I was 15 my mom married someone active in the church. When i was 21 I was called on an LDS mission to France. That was another interesting experience that shapes my political outlooks. Socialist France and I realized there were LDS people who love their church and love their country. I also saw that people were taken care of and not saying that there weren’t any problems and had I learned from an LDS perspective, because some of the rhetoric in the church is that other forms of government was evil, but I saw these good people who were socialists and were good people. It shaped my outlook and after 911 I had a personal connection with the country of France and the people of France and to hear these poor things from a culture and the people that their accusers didn’t know, it was off putting.”.
Hillary Koellner- “Now taking action by having your own campaign, how would you say your experience has been and how is your family involved?”
Mitchell Vice- “It’s become fun. You know this is not an endeavor I’m taking lightly. We got to talk about real expectations and sacrifices, I even had an ex-wife and I had to call her and tell her what I’m up to and committed to and tell her this will affect you so she could be prepared and have her support too. Everyone’s been very supportive, my youngest son has political aspirations, he wants to become an environmental lawyer. I don’t have other political experience so we are learning together, but we are committed to the change that we can make, I couldn’t do this alone. We’ve made some sacrifices, but everyone understands what we are committed to and we are all committed together. And to see the results and even some of the failures, show here’s what we can do better. If you’re never in over your head you’ll never know how tall you are. This is a whole new level of commitment that we are experiencing and we can have fun. What we are committed to is something positive, so we wake up every morning and say hey what’s not to love about that.”
Hillary Koellner- “Family support is definitely key in every campaign. Now I have to ask, what was their first reaction when you revealed the news that you wanted to run for senate?”
Mitchell Vice- “(In laughter) …mmmm my wife Angel, her initial reaction was, ‘well of course you do.’ It was a little bit of shock and it was tempered with I don’t know anyone more committed or capable. Once you know my wife, you’d understand what a powerful statement that is. Everyone else was like cool. Not even I understood the great effect. I had looked at local options, I didn’t see a need to compete to my local representatives, and the congressional representatives are gerrymandered. I’m hoping they put an end to that and as a senator I would certainly be demanding on both sides that it ends that. So, a congressional race, for me, it was pointless so senator it was and senor it is.”
Hillary Koellner- “And as a regular citizen, but also a candidate, what are some magazines or newspapers that you read and how do they affect your views of our country and the world?”
Mitchell Vice- “I read The New York Times, Washington Post and Fox News and those are probably my three go to media. I keep track of breaking stories. Fox News to me is important, I need to know the alternative spin on some of these things. Surprisingly, stuff I’m finding on Fox News with very compelling views because there are some things that they are calling out that they are anti democracy and anti-American.
How they shape me, I try to be objective and not let them influence my personal rhetoric, if it seems a little it outrageous I’ll do my own research to get to an objective opinion. Even as someone who is committed to being a senator, I understand a senator’s job is to represent the people, not to represent himself or herself as a personal interest. So, I have a lot of decisions and views based on my personal experience, but I know we haven’t all gone through the same experiences. So, I read to listen. I read the Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune every day because that’s the local opinion and they certainly got to be the most important focus as a senator.
What really changes my political view is talking to people and their experiences and their opinion and really understanding what they need from their government and how to best represent them.”
For more information, you can go to www.MitchellVice.vote
By Hillary Koellner