Monday, January 21, 2008

Mormons, Romney and rose colored glasses

As everyone knows by now, Mitt Romney won the Nevada caucuses by a landslide, garnering over 50% of the vote. What is less well known is why. In entrance polling, one quarter of Nevada Republican caucus attendees revealed they were Latter-day Saints, and 95% of those said they were voting for Romney. Ninety five percent!

As an active Latter-day Saint, I have to admit being somewhat embarrassed. This brings up shadows of the bad old days where Mormons voted as a block, for whomever Brother Brigham told them to vote for. Except in this case, Brother Gordon is saying the exact opposite; the Church continues to emphasize its political neutrality, it is not endorsing Romney, and even chastised his campaign early on for using BYU mailing lists for fund raising.

A related anecdote. I was engaged in a friendly debate with a good Mormon friend who is a passionate Romney supporter. After bringing up his many flip-flops on the issues, her response was: "Isn't it okay to say whatever it takes to get elected, if you know you're the best person for the job?" I was speechless. The ends justify the means? Come on, that's not what our values are!

Listen up, my fellow Latter-day Saints. We need to take the Romney campaign at its word: There should be no religious test for whom you vote for as President of the United States. Governor Huntsman is a good example for you Utah Mormon Republicans. He's looked at the candidates, and is supporting John McCain. At least McCain's biggest claim to fame is not as an easy target for late-night comedians as someone who will say anything to get elected.

8 comments:

David said...

We should have been able to guess that there would be some who would buy into the logic that its "okay to say whatever it takes to get elected." The worst part is that those who believe that are likely the same people who would vote for any member of the LDS church who was running against someone outside the church. That's a dangerous way to cast you votes. (Of course, I'm preaching to the choir here.)

Anonymous said...

Every year the Church makes a statement from the pulpit. Unfortunately too many of us think that means go and vote. So we get into our cars and drive to the polls to vote. When we arrive we usually know something about a few of the candidates, but have we truly taken a look? My guess is the majority of us do not. When we arrive to do our duty we look at the ballot realizing we have no idea who is on the ballot and we vote for one party. It doesn't matter if we vote republican or democratic, what matters is that we have ignored those people who have stepped up to serve and we decide that voting a straight party ticket means we have done our duty when in fact we have just tarnished the process. How do I know this is true? Because I am guilty. I have voted a straight republican ticket most of my life. I can proudly state that I have voted. Over this last year I met a democrat. He is LDS and very democrat. I have really come to love this man as a friend. Two weeks ago I discovered that he had run for office in my county, but I didn't even know that he was a candidate. Why? Because I voted a straight party ticket. I thought I was doing my duty. I thought I was doing what the church wanted, but what I did was closed my eyes to the process. It was disrespectful to my country, my state, and my church. It would have been better had I not voted at all. At least I would have been making an honest choice. Next month when I go in for my interview to have my temple recommend signed I will be asked if I have been honest and with my dealings with my fellowmen. If I am honest I will say no. And all of this because I met a man in at a store who was friendly , sincere, and a democrat.

Cameron said...

Every single candidate currently in the running for president has "flip-flopped". Every single one, regardless of party.

Richard W. said...

anonymous:
Well said. You have just described why Utah politics are the way they are. A few years ago, a Democratic legislator presented a bill to rid the ballots of straight-party voting. But it never made it out of committee. It is sad that we are one of few states that still has straight-party voting on the ballot.

Anonymous said...

I'm not in love with Romney by any stretch of the imagination... but using Governor Huntsman to validate McCain?... you mean Huntsman the RINO? You do know that Huntsman signed on for the mini-Kyoto sky-is-falling bit don't you?

Anonymous said...

At Anonymous....

"Friendly" and "Sincere" are hardly absolute qualifiers for a government office. They are traits I truly want in a candidate... but understanding of the Constitution, the limits placed on government by said Constitution, policy making and experience are all key factors for my vote.

Cameron said...

Is this anything like blacks voting for Obama, or women voting for Hillary? In Nevada, 83% of black voters voted for Obama, and Hillary had similar numbers amongst women voters. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the phrase, "it's about time we had a woman/black president"

Obi wan liberali said...

95% is quite a number. For all the Mormons who crawl on the cross of persecution over people voting against Mitt BECAUSE he is a Mormon, they don't realize the hypocrisy of voting for Mitt BECAUSE he is a Mormon.

I'll be curious to see if Mitt gets 95% of the Mormon vote in Mormon rich Mesa (Provo-south), AZ and manages to defeat McCain in his home state.