Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Romney's 24 hours

I'm not decided on the presidential election (which, I think is okay given the current date). However, I've been irritated repeatedly that any discussion of Romney in the media has to be a discussion of irrelevant crap rather than his policy and leadership. And yes, I'm including the fact that he's a Mormon in the category of "irrelevant crap". The man should be given consideration for how well he can lead our country.

Anyway, in the wake of last night's debate, there's a 24 hour campaign for Mitt's support. I signed up and donated $10. I don't even know if I'll vote for the man, but I'm persuaded his campaign needs support just to get a fair shake. Here's an e-mail I got from a friend. Have a look and consider supporting the guy. If you like the idea, you should do it right now, cuz otherwise it probably won't happen.

22 comments:

Scot said...

And yes, I'm including the fact that he's a Mormon in the category of "irrelevant crap".

Here’s something that I’ve been wondering about. Mormonism includes a set of beliefs about what should be and is, and an ethical system and method of determining such. Furthermore, I’d certainly say we rightly vote on politicians based on their beliefs, methods, and perception of their ethics. Doesn’t someone being an active Mormon, in seemingly good standing with the leadership, at least give evidence of facts relevant in deciding how to vote?

-L- said...

Yes, I've overstated my objection, I suppose. It's not completely irrelevant, but it's a minor factor, not the central characteristic determining what kind of president he'll be. But from the news coverage alone, it sure seems to be the foremost issue on everyone's minds.

I suppose it's because I have neither objection or favoritism based on his being Mormon that makes me minimize its relevance. Others less familiar with the church probably need more info to realize what a non-issue it is.

iwonder said...

-L-,

Unfortunately, many, many LdS Americans seem to think that because he is LdS(and Republican), means they should automatically vote for him. Heck, the fact that he is Republican is enough for many Mormons.

For you (and me) his religion may not be such a big deal (less so for me because I cannot even vote in this country), but for many people, it is the deciding factor (for or against).

I also agree fully that focusing on religion in any candidate is not very productive. It just goes to show how little America (and the world) knows about the church.

Scot,

Although being active LdS certainly does shed some light on his ethics, every person has their own definition of morals and ethics, even within the church. I can certainly conceive of voting for a non-Mormon over a Mormon if the LdS person did not best represent my beliefs (which happens often) :).

Max Power said...

I think that there should be a MoHo in the presidential race. I'll run, I'll be old enough next year to qualify.

-L- said...

Max, you old man! So, does the VP have to be 35 too? I want consideration for the ticket, when you make it through the primaries.

-L- said...

iwonder,
It's the fact that it is the deciding factor for anyone that makes me... flabbergasted? Dismayed? Distraught? The leader of this country should be chosen for his policy far more than good looks and religious credentials.

So, if you can't vote, where are you from?

-L- said...

"For once, the media aren’t so thrilled by a “first.” Usually being the first African-American, woman, Latino, or anything else to run for a major office gives a campaign a frisson of excitement in the press. Such pioneering campaigns are said to hold important lessons about the tolerance of the American public.

But former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney represents the first “first” that has elicited a lukewarm reaction from the media. Journalists constantly run stories about whether Romney can become the first Mormon president — with an undercurrent suggesting that they’d be just fine if he can’t."


From here.

This makes me crazy. Hillary? Woohoo, first woman! Obama? Wooho, first black! Romney? Oh, heck no.

Bigots, bigots, bigots. Can't we just leave it all alone and talk about policy?

Scot said...

iwonder: "every person has their own definition of morals and ethics, even within the church"

I’m sure. I didn’t mean to say it’s a certain predictor of politics.

I’m just struck by the fact that most religions do prescribe politically relevant positions, and I’m wondering how germane those should be. Of course this doesn’t mean, say, John Kerry, as a catholic, is going to be 100% pro-life (to the dismay of his religious leadership, to be sure). But the teaching and trend is there and I guess I’m saying the information of a person’s chosen religion suggests they’d also follow the religion where it enters the political arena. I mean, it’s not like a person’s race, or even sexual orientation; it is a set of chosen beliefs that sometimes come with politically relevant aspects. So, if the only info you had about a candidate was his chosen faith, and you knew that faith taught X, couldn’t a person reasonably assume, as a first step, the candidate believed X? For example, if all you were told was that Kerry was a practicing catholic, would it be reasonable to assume he believed his church on what should be the politics of abortion?

Of course it absolutely shouldn’t be the only bit of info, and a person should do the work of finding out if and where a candidate diverges from the political stances of his/her stated religion. Also, of course, the non-politically-relevant beliefs of the candidate’s faith shouldn’t matter in a campaign. But it’s no secret that those non-politically-relevant aspects do cause many evangelicals to write off an LDS candidate, even when they’re right with him on the politics.

Forester said...

I can't believe how many republicans are in the race, with more considering to join. I'm for Romney. He is the best candidate. I wish there were some way for him to get better name recognition.

Marc said...

Romney? *shudder*

You know for a fact that the man would be a complete pawn to the First Presidency of the church.

I know some of you love that idea, but it scares the crap out of me.

That'd be a great chance for the church, in it's desperate reach for approval from the worldwide Christian community, to stomp out as much federal gay rights, abortion, (insert any liberal position here) legislation as they possibly could.

I realize gay rights is pretty low on the "big picture" list of problems our country faces, but it will impact my vote. If only to make me look harder at the other candidates in hopes that they can do a better job than him in other departments as well.

If you disagree with (or are appalled by) Mormon theology, Romney is a horrible, awful candidate for President when it comes to social issues. You're fooling yourself if you think this particular religion won't affect his decisions.

There are other areas where I think he'd do a wonderful job. It's a shame we can't split the office and give half the responsibilities to someone else.

Regardless, it's highly unlikely that he'll make it past the primary election anyway.

Dave said...

I agree with Marc that gay rights(especially the right for gays to marry) weighs heavily on my political preference which is a main reason why I choose to align myself with the Democrats. The fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon doesn't bother me; what does bother me is that as governor of Massachusetts he fought so hard to strike down gay marriage there. I can only imagine the harm he'd do as president.

-L- said...

See, now Dave's opposition I can respect. It's for an issue. Marc's? Not so much.

So, Scot, here you have your example of why labeling someone as a Mormon is an inadequate surrogate for really finding out what they believe and how they will lead. You'll have people making statements like Marc's: "You know for a fact that the man would be a complete pawn to the First Presidency of the church." I'm pretty sure this is false and Romney has said as much. All sorts of evangelicals and church detractors will tell you what a Mormon must do, while the Mormon himself will be largely ignored in favor of the bigoted stereotype.

playasinmar said...

I'm as socially liberal as the next gay but I'll probably vote for the candidate most likely to kill our nation's enemies.

Rich said...

Marc,

With all due respect, any candidate is going to be influenced to one degree or another by his or her religious upbringing whether he or she is Mormon, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, you name it - it's not something that you can just separate from your being. You can't nor should you devoid yourself of your values and what you hold near and dear to your heart.

On the other hand, this idea that Romney would be a pawn for the First Presidency is utterly ridiculous. Was JFK a pawn for the pope? Other high ranking Mormons in government have proven time and time again that they don't take orders from the First Presidency when they vote in Congress. Two clear examples would be Harry Reid (by the way, I'm not a big fan of his - but that's a different story) and Jim Matheson. Both Democrats by the way.

This idea that a candidate's religious background should automatically disqualify him or her based on some ridiculous fear that he or she will be a pawn for some religious hierarchy is unfounded and I wish these notions would stop feeding these false stereotypes that some in the public have about the Church.

Vote for a candidate based on his or her positions on the issues and for his or her capacity to lead this country. Don't vote for or against a candidate due to some unbased fear that he or she will be pawn for his or her Church.

iwonder said...

-L-

It's the fact that it is the deciding factor for anyone that makes me... flabbergasted? Dismayed? Distraught? The leader of this country should be chosen for his policy far more than good looks and religious credentials.

I agree wholeheartedly. I was just pointing out that for many people, it is far too relevant. And that distresses me as well.

So, if you can't vote, where are you from?

Wouldn't you like to know? ;)

Actually, I honestly don't feel ready to divulge that part of me on the queerosphere. It would make me far too recognisable from the "outside", and that is something I am now quite ready for yet. I don't mind doing it to individual people, but not (semi-)publicly.

Scot,

I am glad we are in agreement on this subject. Though I don't think one should make any judgement based solely on religious (or perceived religious) views and beliefs, they can be very useful and telling.

I think that with Romney, his religion is much more of an issue than the religion of the other candidate is, and I am not sure if that is fair. I think that people focus almost exclusively on the irrelevant aspects of his faith to his detriment. I mean who cares if the Mormons had plural marriage over 100 years ago. It is not relevant to anything to do with a presidential campaign. If we're going to do that, then let's then also discuss the atrocities committed by the Catholic Church in the middle ages, or the zealotry of pretty much every single religion at one time or another in "converting" their neighbours in order to "save" them.

Anyway, I know that no one is disputing this point (not here anyway). I just wanted to rant.

And please, don't anybody read this as me supporting Romney. I neither support nor dis-support him. (un-support, de-support, I'm not sure.)

end rant.

Marc said...

-L- "your example of why labeling someone as a Mormon is an inadequate surrogate for really finding out what they believe and how they will lead."

Have you been paying attention to how he's been leading as governor of Massachusets?

Like I said, there are things he's good at. As soon as he considers a presidential candidacy though, he changes his rhetoric from "happy Pride!" and "I promise to be a better advocate to gay rights than Senator Kennedy!" to "Gays are a perversion of family! Think of the CHILDREN!".

Like Scot's kids are in some sort of grave danger.

Romney pulled a complete 180 on us as soon as he got enough attention to merit a presidential run.

Yah, I've got some bias against Mormon candidates, I'll admit. But this one's got some historical twists to back it up.

-L- said...

Marc, I wish I knew you better. Do you have a blog?

I think your skepticism toward Romney for his record in Massachusetts is well considered. I think it's a much better way to form an opinion than just that he's a Mormon.

And, as far as it goes, I think his Mass record shows that he doesn't kowtow to the first presidency (given his position on abortion and gay rights). I think his explanation as to why his position has changed could be perfectly legitimate (and whether one sees it as opportunistic or not correlates with the bias they choose). And I think gay rights does not necessarily mean supporting gay marriage (I'm in a similar boat--supporting gay rights in one sense but opposing gay marriage). Anyway, the point is just that his Mass record is not necessarily a bad thing, and I think it's quite a reassuring thing.

Rebecca said...

1) He's come under a lot of scrutiny for his views, and how they've changed - which is warranted. He's come under some scrutiny for things like polygamy - which is not warranted since it has not been practiced in his religion for a century (at least it hasn't been practiced in MORTALITY, which is, I think, what counts).

2) I think there is too much attention on the fact that he is Mormon, without consideration of whether or not that matters.

3) I think it DOES matter - for two reasons: a) For six years we have been led by a (expletive omitted) president who believes that he has the right to do what he wants because he has some sort of license from God. It's understandable to be wary of a presidential candidate who subscribes to a faith that dictates many of his life choices. b) Mormonism does claim it comes directly from God - and while the church isn't forcing people to live by its rules/standards, it's understandable to wonder if a Mormon President would have a Mormon agenda - believing that he is doing the right thing for the people, whether they like it or not (again, sounds familiar).

Whether or not Mitt Romney's religion will play into his politics IS a concern, and a valid one. In my opinion.

playasinmar said...

I don't care if the President thinks God is telling him to defend the nation. I don't care if his toaster tells him to defend the nation.

Just as long as his troops are killing terrorists.

Marc said...

"Just as long as his troops are killing terrorists."

While simultaneously breaking historical treaties, tossing the middle finger at every nation on the globe, and bastardizing our founding father's precepts of privacy and human rights.

Yeah baby. That's hawt.

Marc said...

-l-

Yes, I do have a blog. It's a bit of a shambles at the moment though. I'll start posting with it linked when / if I get it cleaned up a little. :-/

Switch said...

Bing. Blog. I'ts just a couple friends that have read it in the past so, its a bit personal, but I guess It's only fair to open it up if I'm gonna go posting comments here.