Meet Diane Bailey, president of the BYU College Democrats and organizer of the Cheney protest. Today the Deseret News published a fabulous profile on this woman. Click here read it. (It brought back fond memories of the Young Democrats club at my Utah Valley high school. We had four members. Two of them — now married to each other — were at my wedding; seems we didn’t accomplish much else besides enduring relationships . . . no televised protests or anything . . .)
The article begins:
PROVO — Last semester, weekly meetings of the College Democrats club at Brigham Young University drew three or four people.
The club shot out of obscurity this month when new club president Diane Bailey organized an on-campus political protest to criticize the record of Vice President Dick Cheney, who will be BYU’s commencement speaker on Thursday. Bailey will oversee a second campus demonstration hours before Cheney speaks.
The remarkable sight of a sit-in on the private, religious and — most important to national and international media — largely conservative campus thrust Bailey into a spotlight that spawned an invitation from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
An appearance on the Comedy Central cable TV hit would be a huge honor for most American college students, but it’s one Bailey ultimately turned down.
That decision illustrated the fine line Bailey has walked since BYU announced that the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had invited Cheney to speak at the church’s flagship school, where Bailey teaches a Sunday School class in her student congregation.
The 20-year-old student from Alamo, Calif., has balanced a delicate set of values as a Democrat protesting Cheney’s actions while ardently trying to protect her school and church from ridicule or negative press.
She’s been a little like a circus elephant teetering on a little stool.
Better make that a donkey.
I’ve always liked the civic dimension of Esther’s story — and it’s good to see women (from any party) taking up the call to challenge perceived political abuse; to balance faith, conscience, and love of country. Kudos to you, Diane. (I’ll miss seeing you on the Daily Show, but I understand your decision.)