Love, Marriage, and Politicians
Scholars, Experts, and the Transfiguration

Nominating Mitt Romney

In circles of humility and modesty, no one cycles higher than Tom Sheepandgoats. Far be it from he to blow his own horn, but....hang it all....if you've nailed something, you've nailed it! Why not trumpet it far and wide throughout the blogosphere?

Several months ago I prophesied that Evengelical Born Agains would vote for a pig in heat before they would vote for a Mormon. Some readers were doubtful, and those of scientific bent still demand a pig should run Porkso as to properly test the hypothesis. But everyone else is convinced, having watched in dismay the unfolding of the 2012 Republican Primary race.

Among GOP (Grand Old Party) operatives, Mitt Romney is the guy they'd like to see as Presidential Candidate to run against Barrack Obama. The other wannabe's carry way too much baggage. They all have starry-eyed bases, to be sure, but that's it. In a general election you can't depend upon them to attract one additional vote. But with Romney you probably can, and thus he might conceivably beat Pres Obama, who is not that strong of an incumbent.

Even Romney doesn't positively thrill them, but he can probably get the job done. Why, oh why, they sigh, can't someone like Mitch O'Connell run? The South Dakota Senator gave the Republican response to the State of the Union and he was so reasonable, so reassuring, so competent, so......yawn....isn't there something on another channel?.....so boring. Only flamboyant cowboys run for President today, because folks can't focus on anyone else.

That's what Sesame Street did to us. 2012 2 16 Strong Musuem of Play 101It made us unable to hold a thought longer than two minutes. We have to be razzle-dazzled, awed by charismatic presence, and candidates in recent decades have had that ability in spades, if nothing else. Sesame Street...brought to us by the best and brightest and most well-intentioned of PBS child development experts. They loused us up, just like Dr Spock loused up the generation before. "We have reared a generation of brats,” he acknowledged toward the end of his life. “.....Of course, we did it with the best of intentions. We didn't realize until it was too late how our know-it-all attitude was undermining the self assurance of parents."

But don't let me stray off topic! We're talking about voters, Mormons, and Evangelicals. Romney does fine in eastern, western and northern states. There, he is watered down only by the Evangelical minorities. In the south, however, where Evangelicals prevail, he gets shellacked. He came in 3rd in Alabama and Mississippi, behind Santorum and Gingrich. Yet Romney outspends them 10 to 1! The reason is painfully obvious, though no one will say it lest it appear politically incorrect: Romney is a Mormon. He thinks.....I almost feel sorry for him.....that surely these folks can be won over, swayed by his reason, charm, and ability. I don't think so.

Do a blogoshere search of “Mormon” and “cult” and your server will crash.  Mormonism is a “cult,” the Evangelicals insist, in the same league with devil worship and Jim Jones. Do you think in your wildest dreams Evangelicals are going to vote a cult member into the Presidency? They're not. As Amy Sullivan writes, “it is nearly impossible to overemphasize the problem evangelicals have with Mormonism.” Only one other significant faith draws the 'cult' label.....Jehovah's Witnesses. Actually, I think JWs draw it more, but I could be wrong.

Now, Mormons don't fit the traditional definition of a cult any more than Jehovah's Witnesses do, but they do fit the new refined definition: faiths we don't like. At any rate, pundits, naïve as can be, suggest the real problem is that Romney may not be conservative enough for Evangelicals. Nonsense. What about how Mormons rammed through Proposition 8 in California that banned gay marriage? Call THAT not conservative? What about when Ron Paul suggested the U.S. ought not go picking fights around the world, and Mitt Romney swore that on his watch American military forces would be second to none? Call THAT not conservative? No, believe me, the problem is that Mitt Romney is a Mormon. Everyone else can adjust and live with that fact. But Evangelicals? From early years they're indoctrinated to think Mormons are a cult, same as JWs. We wouldn't have a prayer either, were we to run. Fortunately, we never have, save only for Dwight D. Eisenhower, who doesn't count, since by the time of his election he'd long outgrown his JW upbringing.

 

Thinking his trouble might be Northernism, not Mormonism, Romney lays a “Mornin' y'all” on a Mississippi audience one recent morning. He started his day off right, he says, with “a biscuit and some cheesy grits.” Sigh....that's cheese grits, laments poor Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post, who  wants to know why can't he just be himself? Because 'himself' is Mormon, that's why,  and he's playing to an audience intent on re-establishing America as a Christian nation, and a Christian nation is not one led by a Mormon.


Be it Republican or Democrat, each primary race lands more spectacular than the one preceding it. The pattern's held for decades. But this current race takes the cake. Already, wannabes have shot like meteors only to vanish into thin air. Who can forget Rick Perry, an Evangelical like Ron Santorum, vowing in debate that he would eliminate three Federal departments...this one, that one, and um...um....uh....he couldn't think of the last one!....Ron Paul had to help him out. I guess it doesn't matter if you're going to ax them anyway, but voters weren't reassured. And Herman Cain, the GodFather Pizza founder....what pure charisma that fellow has! Alas, it turned out that he likes the women.

Romney will likely emerge with the candidacy, but will he emerge strong enough to beat Obama in November? Kathleen Parker offers advice ('be yourself') but it's inapplicable, because Evangelicals know who he is and don't like it. If he listens to me, however, the election is in the bag. And I offer my advice freely. I am not seeking Vice Presidential office, and will not accept it if drafted. The secret lies in registering dead voters. There's a lot of them. It plays to a Mormon strength. Nobody else has thought of it. And dead voters are not about to contradict you.

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Comments

Gail Melkonian

You are so "right on" about the evangelicals...they will never vote for a "cult,mormon". The best line you had was the getting of the "dead people's vote" after all we know they baptize for them, why not cast their vote for them. TOO FUNNY

tom sheepandgoats

Thank you, Gail. It's high time I start a separate category for Mormons, just like for the evangelicals, since I've certainly written enough about them. There! Done!

Nate

And it's also high time I responded to this post. Yep, looks like Romney finally got the long sought nomination, thus fulfilling (in part) the family dream. For a lot of Mormons, and I'm sure some others, this is a pretty significant event. There is in Mormon culture this long standing quest for legitimacy, for recognition, respect, and success from/in the very "world" we are told to be "in but not of". A Mormon President would mean 'they' can't say we're fringe anymore, and that's a driving force for a lot of Mormon yearning for a Romney victory, that and a combination of scripture/tradition/ego that says Mormons are suppose to save the country (and the world).

I myself have some problems with Romney, not least of which would have to be his seeming falseness. He embodies a lot of what people most dislike about Mormonism. He won't be pined down, he's amorphous, seems to be one thing one minute and then something else the next, your sure your not getting the whole story from him, that he's not been entirely straight with you, and that's even compensating for the extent to which you'd normally expect a politician to not be entirely straight with you. He's a weather vain (same thing many Mormon's hated Clinton for). He can say contradictory things with equal conviction, and not understand why you don't believe him. Ohh, there's a lot of thing I could say about Mitt Romney.

There's low enthusiasm for Romney, but there's also a fired up anti-Obama base, so maybe? Solid red Evangelical states he'll carry because there just not going to vote for Obama, though voter turn out may be low. Also remember large Evangelical populations in swing states like Colorado and Nevada are used to voting for Mormons on occasion. Mitt can shift center enough to really compete for some swing states, but the determining factor between now and November is of course the economy. I think that if the economy is reasonably okay 'undecides' will probably prefer to go for Obama, but if it really stinks....

Anyway, a Romney presidency is not something I'd be over enthusiastic about, but I'd give him a chance to win me over.
Oh and by the way, I found this blog entry full of comments from Mormons reminiscing about there experiences with Jehovah's Witnesses, thought you might find it interesting: http://bycommonconsent.com/2010/06/16/studying-with-the-jehovahs-witnesses/

Gig prospector

Awesome article.

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