Sunday, July 15, 2012

Why I am so disappointed with Mitt Romney

I think I have been pretty clear in that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as Mormon. It is quite well known that Mitt Romney has a similar religious background. Because of that, I suppose I expect more of him.

The truth is, we have had two prominent LDS candidates for president, and both have been inferior to their fathers, and neither of them have been people whom I would choose as representative of my faith. I would also rather that no one judges us by Glenn Beck, or any of the Osmonds.

Perhaps the real problem is that becoming famous twists you in weird ways, and that wealth can corrupt you as well. Obviously, I am grateful to be poor and unknown. I should remember how lucky I am more often.

With Romney specifically, the thing is that I know he can do better. He apparently was quite competent with the Olympics, and in Massachusetts he reformed health care in a manner that was quite successful, and did become a national template as he suggested it should. I could totally vote for that Mitt, even though he is a Republican. That Mitt is long gone.

The current Mitt has turned around on everything that was moderate about him. Actually, it was kind of funny because there was a quiz where you had completely opposite statements on five topics, and you had to guess which candidate said them. All ten were from Mitt. That would be so crazy if it were not true.

As it is, Romney just seems to have no core. Was he faking moderation and common sense to gain support in Massachusetts? Is he faking harsh neo-conservatism now to win support from his party? Or is it all fake? Does he truly care about nothing but gaining support?

Now, someone with no actual beliefs except for political expediency would be scary under any circumstances, but he’s active in a church that really asks a lot of its members. Not only are there the meetings and the service and the tithing and the abstaining from alcohol and things, but you are supposed to be really seeking after truth, and it is really easy to just give up and not go if you are not into that. At some point, he should have developed some spine and some passion and it really bothers me that he missed that.

Believe me, I get that it’s nice that he does not seem crazy, something that was lacking in the majority of the Republican slate. Probably his flip-flopping helps with that, because people just don’t believe that he will be as severe as the Republican platform would call for. I think they are wrong, because if he wins in 2012, and wants to keep his party behind him for 2016, Romney will need to be Paul Ryan/Mitch McConnell harsh.

I had blogged in 2008 about my fears that he would turn out to be the Anti-Christ (and other things—the piece was not 100% serious), but I’m taking some comfort in the fact that I don’t think he’s charismatic enough to pull that off. As it is, he’s just kind of embarrassing and a little scary.

To be fair, again, he is the least scary of the options. Imagine Santorum there, not only saying that Kennedy’s saying he would not be swayed by the Pope nauseated him, but saying it when you have someone like Benedict in as the Pope. That’s terrifying.

I will say that when we were coming back from Mexico, in one airport we were watching a Republican debate, and I had to at least find it gratifying that the candidates seemed to be dropping out in order of craziness, except that Santorum really should have dropped out before Huntsman, but that Cain and O’Donnell were already gone seemed promising.

(Of course, we still don’t know Romney’s running mate, or what’s going to happen in November, so I suppose the terror could still be on.)

There are plenty of disturbing things in today’s political environment, and perhaps Romney is a victim of those, in that maybe he does have real values, and he is suppressing them in order to be popular. Just the fact that he can be that tone-deaf and still be politically successful is kind of a testament to how off priorities now. However my personal problem with him is that he should know better, and whether the actual issue is his values or his integrity in upholding those values, he is not fit to be president.

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