What's wrong with Mitt? Mormons, Technocrats, and why only the Real Housewives can save us!

Don't get me wrong.

I'm a card-carrying, blue-blooded, third-world loving Democrat.

I buy homeless people coffee, I believe in "global warming" and not "climate change" and I wept real tears when Ted Kennedy died.

Not to mention....I'm Black!

Yet, I'm about to ask the question that most democrats are wondering but afraid to ask...

What's wrong with Mitt Romney and why does the Republican Party apparently think that he is the devil? the anti-christ? the ABSOLUTE WORST CANDIDATE to face Barack Obama in the 2012 Presidential election?

I just don't get it...

  • He looks presidential...in that middle-aged white man sort of way.
  • He is rich.
  • He uses the words, "Ronald", "Reagan", "Tea" and "Freedom".

...Not to mention that he was a governor and a successful businessman.

Yet over the past months we have seen the relative implosion of several  "front-runners" within the Republican primary, which caused me to ponder the basis for the apparent "Anyone but Romney" position that the party has seemed to take.  Is he unelectable in the general election? Is it really because he isn't conservative enough?  Is it because he is a Mormon? Or is it because everyone has been waiting with baited breath for the resurgence of..."The Newt"?

I would argue that the answer is none of the above.

The fact of the matter is, time and time again, no matter how much we hate it about ourselves as a country - most of us do not like, support, or vote for people who do not remind us of ourselves.   We will vote for a rich guy as long as we can imagine sitting next to him at church.  We will vote him in twice if we can imagine having a beer with him.

So join me and let's figure out what the Republican National Party apparently already knows - why Mitt Romney will apparently take the "America" out of the U.S.A...

Theory #1:  He's unelectable in the general election...

Let me introduce you to Campaigning 101:  The Theory of the Median Voter

Imagine every voter in the U.S on a linear spectrum.  Those right-most on the spectrum are fiscally and socially conservative.  Those in the middle are some combination of fiscally and socially moderate.  Those left-most on the spectrum are fiscally and socially liberal.  What you would find is that the voting populus is centralized in the middle, with substantially fewer people on either of the extremes.

So the key to winning ANY election is always to be the most moderate. (Remember this point)

So what's the point?

The point is,  as much as I hate to admit it, most of us know that Mitt Romney is best poised to appeal to moderates and independants and compete against Obama in the general election.  The fact of the matter is that there is very little difference between Romney and Obama's fiscal policies.  Romney may be slightly more socially converative.  But in all, the biggest difference between Obama and Romney is that one is Black and the other is White and that one is Christian mistaken for a Muslim and the other is a Mormon.

Theory #2:  The country has become more conservative and HE AIN'T CONSERVATIVE ENOUGH!

Has the Republican Party made a monumenal miscalculation and, in light of the rise of the Tea Party, assumed that the country overall has become more conservation?  Perhaps?  That would at least explain why each candidate desperately tries to convince the world that they are,"the most conservative. the most evangelical. the most American."  every chance they get.

Yet, with the counter-emergance of the Occupy Movement, I think that most would agree that the country isn't becoming more conservative.  It's simply becoming more angry with the status quo.

Theory #3:  He is a Mormon and Mormons = Aliens + Jesus + Alot of Wives

In this country, we like our coffee with a big heap of Jesus.  Across the ideological spectrum, American voters are consistent on one thing:  We like our traditional ideas about Jesus and most are quick to give the side-eye to anyone who doesn't fall within our narrow scope of how we generally define Christianity.

Yes, we can't pray in schools and you can't say God out loud yet America remains a relatively homogenous country when it comes to our spiritual beliefs.  70 percent of the population considers themselves Christian while only 7 percent of the population belongs to non-Christian belief systems.  Of those with Christian beliefs, only 1.7 % belong to the Mormon faith which leaves the door open for a widespread misunderstanding of what it means to be Mormon.

Even the most highly educated people are often surprised to hear that Mormonism is a sect of Christianity.  It has been speculated that evangelicals, who make up one-third of Christians believers and who is the core of the Republican base, will be leery of electing a hoo-doo voo-doo Mormon.

Yet, America has elected a Catholic, a peanut farmer, and a Black man so I would argue that stranger things have happened.

Theory #4:  Romney is too educated to speak to middle America, just like Barack Obama...

The most resounding critism of the Obama Administration is that it, and the entire Democratic Party, has become a cult of "Technocrats".  Whereas the previous administrations acted on hunches, feelings in their guts, and with a "shoot first, ask questions last" mentality, this administration has made decisions based on research, analysis, and experts.  The use of science, and not country club steamshowers, to debate such topics as global warming has left "Middle America" convinced that nothing good can come from such and administration and many quickly dismiss all that come from it with a cautious eye.

No more pictures of enemies with turbans?

No more mentions of "freedom fuel", "freedom fries", or patriotic acts of law to rally around?

My theory is that republicans saw that even after trying to give everyone healthcare, killing Osama bin Laden, and making American cars cool to drive again - Barack Obama's biggest vulnerability is that he is too smart and too cool.

In a land that prides itself of many things, including the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Atlanta, and Orange Country, you can't call yourself running our country without a piquant for drama, throwing martinis, or getting caught with drugs.

In the end, I speculate that this is why the Republican National Committee preferred Cain, the catastrophe known as "Gingrich", and even Moses himself (Ron Paul) to Mitt Romney and why even now, at the twelth hour with seconds left on the clock,  they still believe that he just won't do.

 

 

 

 

Comments

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  • Kirstin, I see this is your first piece on this blog on CN. Good job. Some points I can agree with, some points I disagree with. I will be watching you like a disgruntled and angry ex-boyfriend on facebook.

  • In reply to gwill:

    Thanks Gwill! Let me know what you disagree with - I'm open to hearing what other people think about poor Mitt's predicament. I recognize that my final theory was an oversimplification of a very real problem that both sides are having in reaching blue collar voters. At least in terms of how both sides are perceived by many who identify with that segment of the population.

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    I agree with #3 and #4, but #1 and #2 are just excused for the bigots that don't want to admit to #3 and I think #4 is true, but the right isn't smart enough to know this fact.

  • In reply to David Ferriman:

    Touche' David. Touche'.

  • Kristin,

    Welcome to CN. I have to say, you're work is an absolute pleasure to read, while you're obviously a great writer, you're moreover funny/entertaining; I look forward to reading all of your future work.

    In terms of Mitt-the absolute bottom line is that he's a phony, and being crazy, or stupid, or a murderer, whatever, is considered 'better' than being a phony.

    This is something I wrote a few days ago about why Mitt is short on friends/ (enthusiastic) support
    http://www.chicagonow.com/offhanded-dribble/2012/01/mitt-romney-uniformly-disliked-poorly-disguised-phony-wins-nh-primary/

    Do you have a twitter? I would like to have your liberal leaning/witty observations the second they come to you :)

    I'm @koolking83

    Thanks Kristin

  • In reply to koolking83:

    If 'your' gets auto-corrected as you're one more time..I'm gonna get..moderately upset about it, and then probably eat something.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    Hey Koolking83:

    Thanks for the love! You may be completely right about ole' Mitt. There are layers of disingenuousness that one can't deny when it comes to his campaign and his overall "Hairclub for Men" persona. My point was that, for all his flaws, he is still probably the best candidate that the republicans can put forward so it was baffling to observe all the resistance that he received from those within his party.

    I'm @2karatsandakid (I'm a mommy blogger too, hence the corny twitter handle.)

    I look forward to reading your stuff!

  • AGREED! great read and welcome to the family! And I as well would and will NEVER vote for JJjr..... Or any more relatives of John Stroger. On principle!

  • In reply to Curtis Shaw Flagg:

    Then we are kindred spirits Curtis. ;-)

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    Not sure where Aliens come in. Jesus was helped by Angels (Luke 22:43). So were other persons in the Bible. Are you equating Angels with Aliens? If so, that seems an unfair sensationalism.

  • In reply to Dwight Rogers:

    Hi Dwight! Thanks for your question. I was not trying to be sensational, only to make reference to the many misunderstandings that exist about Mormonism. As you might know, Moroni, the angel that visited John Smith is often referred to not as an angel but as both a celestrial and extra-terrestrial being. Also, the belief in various supreme Gods and various universes is again, something that many people outside of the faith, misunderstand.

    Hope that clears things up.

    Hope that clears things up.

  • In reply to Kirstin Smith:

    Two things:
    First, try reading the book "The Great Destroyer".
    Second, Moroni visited Joseph Smith.
    Hopefully that clears things up.

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    If historic orthodox Christianity means mainstream Christianity of today then I would agree that Mormonism is not historic Christianity; at least not in every doctrine. Although Mormons have much in common with other Christians Mormons also believe differently than historic Christians in some key areas. But the real questions to ask are 1) What is original Christianity? 2) Is mainstream Christianity of today the same as original Christianity?

    Mormons are not supposed to be Christian because we have some doctrinal differences with other Christian groups of today. The foundation for the beliefs of these other groups is the creeds of the 4th. 5th, and 6th centuries and so on.

    It is claimed that Mormons are wrong because they believe in extra-Biblical revelation and scripture. Yet much of Christianity believes in extra-Biblical creeds and councils formulated centuries after the time of Christ and the Apostles. Most of the wording formulations in these creeds cannot be found in the Bible. This is often the excuse used to exclude members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) from being Christian. It is well known to historians that Christian doctrine changed over time and across different Christian groups.

    The Bible is then viewed through the lens of these creeds causing certain interpretations to be favored and other biblical teachings to be minimized or ignored. Interestingly, if you look at the doctrines of the early church fathers before the creeds, they are very Mormon-like. In a number of doctrinal areas the early Christians were good Mormons and would be rejected as non-Christian by many Christians of today.

    In many areas of belief (probably the majority of areas) Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe the same as most other Christians. It is true that in some limited areas – some very critical ones – the beliefs of Mormons differ from other Christians. Likewise there are some major areas of difference between Catholics and Protestants and likewise between one Protestant group and the next. Every denomination could make the claim that the other groups are not Christian because those other beliefs differ from their own.

    Joseph Smith taught “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it”. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 121).

    The central belief of Mormons is that Christ came into the world as the Son of God. He healed the sick, caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and restored life to the dead. He commissioned twelve Apostles to whom he gave authority. He suffered in Gethsemane, died on the cross, and was resurrected and will come again. He, and only He, provides the means for us to be washed clean in his blood from our sins, which sins we can never correct on our own or through our own works. If that is not Christian I don’t know what is. Christ never taught the need to believe in anything like the creeds. Those came later.

    Mormon belief is very much like the teachings of the earlier Christians – before the creeds – and also matches the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. The further back in time you go the more Mormon-like Christian doctrine becomes. Mormons are often portrayed as non-Christian when we don’t believe in the later extra-Biblical creedal formulations.

    The early Christians did not have the extra-Biblical creeds of later centuries. Were they then not Christian? The ontological debates and the wording formations of later centuries are not found in the words of Jesus or the words of the Apostles or in the words of the pre-creedal Christians . There is not a word about a one substance god in the Bible or in the early beliefs. If believing in the creeds is necessary to be Christian then that makes the earlier Christians not Christian – it even makes Christ not Christian.

    One other interesting aspect of this topic: Some Christians claim that we must get our beliefs and doctrines from the Bible only. It is claimed that God finished his work and no longer has prophets or gives revelation. They say the Mormons are wrong to have prophets and extra scripture. Consider this: If the Bible is sufficient and no post-Biblical revelation is allowed, then the post-Biblical creeds are not necessary and are not authorized by God. If God authorized the creeds then why aren’t they in the Bible? How could they be from God if the Bible is complete, if God has finished his work, and if there is no more revelation? They are extra-Biblical and no one should be held to them as a requirement to be Christian. It is so ironic that Mormons are criticized for having extra-Biblical revelation by people who themselves believe in extra-Biblical creeds. Once one puts on the glasses of the creeds then everything in the Bible is filtered to match the creeds.

    Mormons believe in original Christianity restored to the earth through revelation to new prophets. Nowhere does the Bible say that God has finished his work, that the cannon of scripture is closed. It seems ironic to us that we Mormons are accused of adding to the Bible by people who have done just that – added creeds and metaphysical definitions to the Bible. We advocate for believing original Christianity.

    Dwight

  • Dwight, as a pseudo student of religion I truly appreciated the time, thought, and eloquence of your response. Thank you for sharing. One day soon, I'm sure I will write a more religion-centered post, so I look forward to your continued feedback.

    Best,
    KS

  • KS,
    I truly enjoyed reading your article! I lack the talent you have in writing but I wanted to let you know that your work impacted me to join and leave a comment.

    I worked three offices away from Mitt. (2002 Olympics) Mitt's leadership was amazing.

    I never connected with him on a personal level. (I don't think many people do) However, from first hand experience, I have never seen such a difference maker. He can turn the biggest nightmare into great accomplishments. If you see just what he did to fix the 2002 Olympic Games, you would see and believe that he is capable. He united us when we were the most ashamed and embarrassed about the scandals to win the Olympics. If you want to turn something around, he can and will do it.

    When he loves something, he is committed, devout and loyal to what he loves.

    I watch him and agree; yes he is smug, yes he can't connect with people but I will defend his abilities to his job requirements. Mitt loves America and loves his family. He doesn't preach core values, he simply lives them and has been successful. I do not associate myself as a democrat or republican. I am one of those moderates that is baffled at "Anyone but Mitt" feeling that I get from republicans.

    Finally a candidate for President that lives what he preaches and we call him unelectable? I kind of think Mitt would get much more love as a conservative democrat. Republicans have so many facets of special interest groups that they don't see the opportunity in front of them. Congress is so divided and yes REPUBLICAN. Forget about the country, the Republicans need a leader to unite them, let alone a country.

    So if Mitt is out the next one is Newt. Newt???? Talk about scandals. This is the very guy that condemned Bill Clinton's extra martial affair while he was engaged in the same activity. Let alone ethics violations. If the republicans choose Newt then my vote is Obama. It is hard for me to say that because I truly want more capability to unite our country and provide solutions and leadership but Newt would be a bigger disaster.

    If they choose Mitt, I will vote for Mitt. I have a feeling the Republicans will force me to vote for Obama. Democrats are too liberal for me to align with them. Where is someone who believes in a balanced budget, good core values, respect for others freedom of choice and accountability to those choices align? I am lost and wonder how many of me there are.

  • Common Sense: I'm sorry for my late response. Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm so happy that you enjoyed the post. I agree, I think Mitt seems like an alright sort of guy. I hope he doesn't have to sell his soul, like McCain did, in order to get the nomination. I'm voting for Barack but I still think it only helps our country when we have the best options competing to be our leader. ;-)

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    Kay S

    Kay Smith is a Chicago-based freelance writer and blogger who focuses on race, politics and urban culture. Having worked on public policy at the state, regional, city and community level, her opinions have been featured in the Chicago SunTimes and a host of news websites (under very mysterious sounding pseudonyms). Follow her on Twitter @kaywillsmith or contact her at kaywillsmith@gmail.com.

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