Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why some people don't want to vote for Mitt Romney.

This is another one of those posts that I have been unsure about writing because I am talking about a marginalized group that I am not a part of. It's always best to tread lightly on such issues, but I have been thinking about it for awhile and decided to just go ahead.

I think the major reason some people don't want to vote for Mitt Romney is because he's a Mormon. Everyone knows he's a Mormon and it has been said to be something of a factor, but in the media this is not presented as a major factor as to why people don't like him/don't want to vote for him.

However, there are some experiences that I've had in my own life that lead me to this conclusion.

I grew up in a town that has been described as the "Evangelical Christian capital of the world." Yes, really.

I am not an evangelical Christian myself, but I do think the years I spent in this town have given me a unique perspective. Let me share a little story with you:

One day after school (I was a junior or senior in high school,) I was looking at the classified ads in our local newspaper. I have no idea why, this was not something that I did on any sort of regular basis. Anyhoo, I saw a small ad in the paper that said something like, Are you Mormon? If so, call this number: 555-1234.

I was not (and am not) a Mormon. But I was (and am) a very inquisitive person, and it was a local number, so I decided to call it.

What I heard after the line stopped ringing was a 2-3 minute recorded message. I don't remember the specifics, but the gist of the message was that being a Mormon was very, very bad. The person was quoting bible verses (and maybe verses from the Book of Mormon?) and I do remember hearing the word "Antichrist." I also remember at the end of the message the voice said, real ominous-like, that if I didn't repent, I was going to "burn in hell." Then the message ended.

I still remember all these years later, standing by the dining room table, holding the phone like, "WTF? Did that just happen?"

Well, we didn't say "WTF" in the mid-90's, but you get my point.

So that's my story. Now, lets look at what's going on with this election.

Does anyone else think it's weird that the Republicans have gone through every other candidate pushing him or her to second place to go up against Romney? With the exception of...the other Mormon candidate, Jon Huntsman.

On the news tonight, I heard that the only person polling as high as Romney for the nomination is "Someone." As in, "someone else that hasn't been determined yet." Basically, anyone but him. You have to wonder why that is. Now, you can call him a flip-flopper, or a rich guy or whatever else, but c'mon, really? When people are this desperate to find an alternative, I think there's gotta be something more deep-seeded at play.

And another thing: When that pastor who was introducing Rick Perry at an event called Mormonism a cult, Rick Perry didn't even admonish the guy! You know why? Because Perry knows a lot of people agree with that pastor, and Rick Perry wanted their votes!

And this is the problem, my friends. I feel like one of the major takeaways from the Civil Rights movement was not that it was not okay to have bigoted thoughts and feelings, just that it was not okay to talk about them publicly. So that is why you have people scrambling to find an alternative to Romney, without them being able to pinpoint a reason why. Just like you had people in 2008 who'd voted Democrat all their lives not wanting to vote for Obama because "there was just something about him" that they didn't like. Let's just cut the crap, mmmkay?

Because if people would just say, "I don't want to vote for Mitt Romney because he's Mormon." then we could have a dialogue about it. We could learn and grow as human beings. But if people are not honest, nothing can change. We need to stop punishing people who have the courage (or naivete) to say things that aren't politically correct. We need to engage, ask questions, go there. Because if we don't go there, we're just gonna be here.

A few final thoughts: I don't think evangelical Christians as a group are bigoted and closed-minded. I don't even know that the person that made that recording I listened to in high school was an evangelical Christian. Also, I know a little bit about Mormonism and a little more about cults, and I can tell you that it is not a cult. Too many people think, "anything that I don't believe in" can be labeled a cult and folks, that's just not how it works.

Finally, I am probably not going to vote for Mitt Romney (or any other Republican.) Because as far as I'm concerned, the only thing better than 4 years of a pretty good black President is 8 years of a pretty good black President ;)

Comments? Feel free to leave them.


  1. My first boyfriend was Mormon.

    I'd vote for him before I voted for Romney.

    Team Obama for Another 4 Years.

  2. wow - soooo much to bite off here.

    first of all; i don't really know about the rest of the country - you know the places where perry doesn't read like a complete freak of nature - but most of the people i know won't be voting for romney in the primaries because he's pretty much just like obama only not as congenial or well-spoken. the only favorable view on romney has been in the media. i've not heard a single person say "i like what the man has to say."

    in the interest of full disclosure let me say that i will be voting for gary johnson. never heard of him? that's because the republicans pushed him off the stage on account of not being crazy. he is all the fiscal conservative, less in bed with corporations than republicans or obama for that matter, viewed favorably in new mexico where he served two terms but lacks the crazy social agenda that is so synonymous with republican these days. in fact, unlike obama, he has no problem coming out right now and saying "yes - gay marriage"

    i don't believe that romney's religion should disqualify him but . ..

    that said - not voting for someone because they are black is not a single thing like not voting for someone because of their religion. you choose your religion. and if you don't? if you are part of a religion that you never examined?? i'm going to disqualify you on that basis alone. so someone's religion can cause me to ask questions. the biggest question is "can you separate your religious beliefs from public policy?" jimmy carter was phenomenal at this. he was part of the snake charming evangelicals and yet - he was quite clear "here's my beliefs and they should dictate my personal actions. over here i have the constitution which dictates my job as president"

    now if santorum is on the ticket - putting aside that he is a heinous individual - it would behoove the public to ask "do you answer to the vatican or to the country first" because as a RCC he is supposed to answer to the vatican first. that is part of the religion. his actions are supposed to be in keeping with the holy see.

    i'm of mixed feelings about this though - on the one hand, i'm a pagan so yeah, have to fall on the side of not oppressing religions of course. on the other hand - in the 60s the religious right took over the republican party by pretending that divisions amongst christians didn't exist and they were all on the same side. perhaps being aware of the divisions will loosen the stranglehold.

  3. I would have no problem not voting for Romney and stating that part of my reasoning is that he is a Mormon. Hell, I would prefer an atheist in the presidency, as logically, wouldn't an atheist truly value human life more than any religious person that believes in an after life? If there's an after life, it's easier to justify killing people, right? I am fast becoming less tolerant of religion in general...

  4. Romney is a Morman and Obama went to Rev Wrights church. They both are doomed. They both suck in my eyes. Two crappy choices. I vote for the person who is the least socialist. The choices for the past few decades have all been pretty shitty. Coke or Pepsi when it comes down to it there has not been much difference in the two parties. Both parties make me sick, one just a little more than the other. One party makes me throw up, the other one gives me the runs. This two party system sucks.

  5. I always enjoy your posts. Your writing style is so engaging & you always write things that make me stop and think. That being said, I was dying laughing that you called the number in that ad - SOOO something I would've done!! :)

  6. Anonymous8:19 AM

    Obama is my main choice so get with it he the best the other man aint nothing