Will Mit Romney Be The Republican Nominee in 2008?

November 23, 2006 at 2:06 am | Posted in American politics, Democracy, Democrats, Mit Romney, Mormon, Religion, Republicans | 17 Comments

He’s trying really hard. That is clearly evident. He’s shifting his political views hard right (even though he supposedly is a moderate—but to get through the Republican primary, you have to sell out on your principles and please extremists), supporting Bush’s war in Iraq, supporting the use of torture, etc. He’s starting to get pretty good copy, but I get the impression that he won’t be able to jump over the massive wall that stands in his way: Protestants still don’t think Mormons are Christian and clearly do not wish to vote a non-Christian as leader of their nation. I really wonder why Romney attempts to get the votes of people who do this:

Southern Baptists have been particularly vocal about labeling the LDS Church a “cult.” In 1997, the denomination published a handbook and video, both with the title The Mormon Puzzle: Understanding and Witnessing to Latter-day Saints. More than 45,000 of these kits were distributed in the first year; the following year—in a throwing down of the proselytizing gauntlet—the Southern Baptist Convention held its annual meeting in Salt Lake City. Around the same time, a speaker at the denomination’s summit on Mormonism declared that Utah was “a stronghold of Satan.” When Richard Mouw, president of the evangelical Fuller Theological Seminary, tried to repair relations with the LDS community by apologizing on behalf of evangelicals during a speech in the Mormon Tabernacle last year, his conservative brethren lashed out. Mouw had no right, they declared in an open letter, to speak for them or apologize for denouncing Mormon “false prophecies and false teachings.”

As Amy Sullivan says just a paragraph earlier in her piece:

Evangelical Christians consider Mormonism a threat in a way that Catholicism and even Judaism are not. The LDS Church, they charge, has perverted Christian teachings to create a false religion. As John L. Smith, a Southern Baptist who runs Utah Mission—an organization that tries to convert Mormons—told Christianity Today: “Mormonism is either totally true or totally false. If it’s true, every other religion in America is false.” To be tolerant of Mormonism is to put evangelical Christianity at risk. And to put a Mormon in the White House would be to place a stamp of approval on that faith.

When you’ve religionized your political party, how can you compromise your principles? If you accept a “non-Christian,” are you not turning your back on your own religion? Ms. Sullivan finishes her article with:

The tragedy—or, depending on your point of view, the irony—is that Mitt Romney may just be the most appealing candidate Republicans can field in 2008, the one most likely to win the White House by shoring up social conservatives and rallying business interests without frightening swing voters. Yet the modern GOP’s reliance on evangelical voters and its elevation of personal religiosity—strategies which have served the party so well in recent years—may doom the chances of this most promising candidate. Or, to put it in evangelical terms, it might be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for Mitt Romney to win the Republican nomination.

On the one hand, it seems rather futile for Mr. Romney to try and reach out to these voters, especially when a Rassmussen poll shows that 53% of Evangelicals will not vote for a Mormon candidate. On the other hand, by shifting so hard to the right, as he has of late, he stabs in the back the moderate voters who he needed for his governorship run. This is the same problem Mr. McCain is facing. He has to become a prostitute to the hard-right voters, even though he is really a moderate. But this shoots down his credibility.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a Mormon will have an easier time becoming president of the United States as a Democrat than a Republican. Look at the fact that Romney became governor of one of the most liberal states in the nation, Massachusetts. Was his religion an issue with voters there? Not really. Could he have ever been elected governor of, say, Texas? Or Alabama? I feel sorry for Romney. He’s a good guy. He has to compromise his principles as a moderate in order to become president. It’s such a shame that this is what the Republican party has become, a party where real principled men have to shame themselves in order to get their vote.


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. THis is the first I’ve seen of your website. Is it typically so biased?

  2. Brandon,

    Thank you for posting. Yes, I am pretty biased. Here’s my thinking about Romney. If he will be supporting Bush’s policies towards Iraq and the treatment of detainees, then I am very biased against him. I will do what I can to scuttle his support here in Pennsylvania. I really wish he didn’t have to pander to the religious right, or I would certainly be more supportive of him and his candidacy. But as is becoming clearer now that people are starting to look at his career with a finer magnifying glass, in his runs for Senate and Governor of Massachusetts, he was very…moderate, shall we say, yet now that he is running for president, he’s shifting hard right. I’m biased against that.

  3. While, yes it’s true there is a lot of speculation against Mormonism, I find that your article focuses much too forcefully upon the fact of what is “bad” about him being a Mormon in the eye of the ignorant public, but what about the good? My brother-in-law was an intern for Romney and truly admires the man. I just don’t think it’s fair to be placing such a negative influence upon what information people aren’t truly knowledgeable about. Mormons ARE Christian, and they ARE tolerable. What religion DOESN’T think they are “it”? This is politics, you have to adjust as the game is played.

  4. Jill,

    Thanks for commenting. I should clarify. I am a Mormon. I just ain’t Republican. I’m sure Romney is a pretty good guy, and were it not for his support of Bush’s torture policies, I would probably be more supportive of him.

  5. While you may be a Mormon, your rhetoric seems to be a far cry from a typical Mormon. Your inflammatory verbage does more to offend than to open dialogue. You did not point out that many of the Southern Baptists who camped out in Utah came to have an understanding of the people who are Mormons, and once they found out some of the basic beliefs (like the husband is the head of the home), they were not so vocal against the Church. When I heard that Mit might run, I was so relieved that somone with real moral integrity might actually be in the oval office. I’m not satisified with all Bush has done, but he was the better choice at the time. I certainly do not think Mit is, or has, prostituted his political beliefs or his ethics. By the way, I am a Mormon, too.

  6. I am a Mormon also. I am from England so dont understand your politics as you do, However I have always liked the Democrats in your land.

    If I was in USA I would not vote for Romney. I deplore right wing politics and I am an advocate of a good welfare sytem. ( which puts me at odds with many Mormons)

  7. Jessie,

    Thanks for your comments. You are most correct. I am not a typical Mormon. I think it was terrible for whichever Mormon first tied his religion to a political party, as that has tainted conservative Mormon political beliefs. But that’s another story.

    Romney is a good, moral man. I will not be voting for him, however, because he supports torture and has flip-flopped on his views for political expediency. Republicans used the flip-flop issue against Kerry in 2004. It’s payback time.

  8. john,

    Thanks for commenting. It’s nice to hear from Mormons afar. We could sure use someone like you here in America. 🙂

  9. I don’t think there is a “typical Mormon”, even in the United States. I do think that there’s one particular strain of conservative/Bush-supporter/whatever that’s vocal about who or what they are, and don’t understand why other LDS aren’t like them. They’ve felt empowered to speak out ever since Elder Ezra Taft Benson was speaking out against Communism.

    I have a Kerry/Edwards bumpersticker on my car. My brother (who works for a defense contractor) has a Bush/Cheney bumpersticker on his. My radical-left father and sister consider me a conservative (and a racist) because I don’t agree with them on a few things. And so it goes . . .

  10. John,

    Thanks for commenting. I guess we’ve all bought into the notion that there is a “typical Mormon” because that group is so large and pretty vocal. I hope more Mormons get away from tying their religious beliefs to one party or another.

  11. Open dialogue is a good thing while inflammatory verbiage is lame.

    That being said, we all need to be a little more tolerant (myself included) when talking to other mormons who may be of a different political than we are.

    I hope more mormons get away from tying their religious beliefs to one party or another too, but they are still are brothers and sisters no matter how astray we think their political beliefs may be.

    However, I’ve been dismissed as a “lesser mormon” because of my political beliefs many times and that makes me wish that other people would be more open minded, but the only person I can change is myself–when I am open minded, kind and take the higher path in debates, I’m often surprised how others do the same.

  12. I think if we are talking about what makes a qualified president for our day we have to consider a couple of things: 1)What are the MOST important decisions that a president willmtake? and 2) How will he represent our nation? I think it would be wrong to shy away from voting for Romney based on his views of the Iraq war and treatment of detainees. I don’t think Romney wants to needlessly torture detainees . . . he simply has a different logic with reference to the better good. “Is it better than one man perish than . . .” I think we have to think of it like that. Would it be better to not vote for Romney because of those beliefs, and risk electing someone that will trend toward more dangerous types of issues? For instance, it seems a little off to deny Mitt a vote, and elect one of the other candidates that support disintegration of the family and abortion. Detainee treatment seems minimal when sided by those other issues. With reference to how he will represent our nation . . . if he lives his beliefs, I don’t believe there is a man a live that could better represent what this country is about.

  13. I’m a Filipino mormon, if Filipino can vote for the US President, I would surely vote for Mit Romney. I believe in his principles.

  14. The US needs a principled, God-fearing, family-loving and good person to be a President. I believe that all of the said attributes are found in the person of Mit Romney.

  15. I have been following to debates, both Democrat and Republican. I must say that Gov. Romney has done excellent in more than a few. I admire the man as well. And even though I am a democrat and am LDS, i much prefer him over the Democratic likely Hillary Clinton. I support his desire to strengthen the American family, and I also believe we need to win the war in Iraq(though i think we were lied to to get there, we have to win now that we’re there) The only problem I have with Mit Romney is his stance of trade unions and labor. I wish he was a moral conservative who believed in the working people. I feel he is just too much of a businessman to do anything good econically for morally conservative democrats.

  16. If there is anything Romney knows it is the economy.
    He would do the best for the ecomony. What are you
    talking about? Unions have never been good for the economy. Just a select group of people.

  17. Romney doesn’t know the economy. He knows venture capitalism. There’s a big difference. And yes, unions have been very good to the economy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: