The following opinion piece was published in the Deseret News on Sunday, April 17, in advance of the State Republican Party Convention on Saturday, April 23.

Utah is the most Republican state in the nation, based on quadrennial presidential election voting. That's why examining the Utah Republican Party and state-wide races might yield some clues into the current quandary about the heart and soul of the national party.

The typical Utah Republican says, “Why would the national party even consider nominating a candidate like Donald Trump?”

Utah Republicans soundly rejected him on March 24, voting 69 percent for Ted Cruz, 17 percent for John Kasich, and only 14 percent for the New Yorker. Wisconsin has continued the pro-Cruz, anti-Trump momentum, effectively ensuring a contested national convention in Cleveland.

Pondering the issues of concern to Utah Republicans might help provide some lessons and advice on how a national tea party movement needs to grow up.

Or in other words, can the anger-filled movement inspired by the Boston revolt eventually mature into a Philadelphia vision of constructive constitutionalism?