So, tomorrow (or today, depending on when I actually finish this) the Republican Presidential Primary season officially begins, as voters in Iowa hold caucuses to vote for whom they think the GOP nominee should be. Mitt Romney, who had a strong performance in the 2008 primaries, entered this race last year as the presumptive front-runner, yet he has had a hard to connecting to the base (ie The Far Right) of the GOP, and gaining any real enthusiasm. It’s as if most of the people who support him do so by default, just because they’re desperate to get rid of President Obama, and they think that Romney can beat him, but they’re not really motivated by Romney himself. And that’s why we’ve seen the up and down polls with the rise (& eventual fall) of several other candidates. The base is just looking for someone to excite them.
What’s clear, to any objective observer, is that Romney has, so far, been running a fantastic campaign. He stays on message, doesn’t fumble his words, & he has an answer for every criticism you can throw @ him (he answers may not always be believable, but @ least he has an answer). So far, he’s biggest mistake was when he challenged Rick Perry to a $10,000 bet in one of the debates, which his critics were able to pounce on and make him look as if he’s out of touch with middle class Americans. I’ll admit that wasn’t the wisest move, but compared to Rick Perry’s infamous brain-fart, that’s not so bad.
And that’s the other thing Romeny’s had on his side: great luck. First his biggest competition on the Right side of the GOP, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, refused to run this year, and so did his biggest competition on the Moderate side, Mike Daniels and Chris Christie. So he’s basically got the moderates all wrapped up, while the Right has pushed several candidates against him who have all either simply failed to catch on (like Michelle Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum,), or they’ve self-destructed on their own (like Herman Caine, Rick Perry, and Newt Gingrich). So all Romeny’s had to do was sit-back, and not screw up.
Of course, he does have one major weakness, @ least in regards to the GOP base, and it’s something he can’t do anything about: his religion. Mitt Romney is a Mormon. Many fundamentalist Christians do not consider the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be a “real” Christian church, and even less devout Christians think of LDS as a cult. And, because of this, many simply don’t trust. I have to say that this is extremely unfair, in my opinion.
First, let me state that, for the record, I am not endorsing Mitt Romney for President, and am not saying that anyone should vote for him. I’m just saying that if you’re not going to vote for him, it should be because you don’t like his policies, not because you don’t like his religion. His religious beliefs (like those of every other candidate, and every other citizen) are his own business.
Look, I’m not expert on the Mormon faith. I own a copy of The Book of Mormon, but never really got around to reading it past the first few pages. But, yes, I saw the infamous South Park episode, so I know that religion has some rather…let’s say UNORTHODOX doctrine, especially in regards to Joseph Smith and how he founded the church, but so what? All religions are kinda wacky when really look @ them. C’mon, virgin births, talking serpents, resurrections, etc. Are the beliefs of Mormons really so much worse?
One of my friends said that Romney’s continued belief in the teachings of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, made him question Romney’s judgment, and his ability to make rational decisions. But, again, I just think that’s wrong, since you could say the same about every other candidate. Unless you can PROVE to me that anyone else’s religious beliefs are 100% true. But nobody can do that.
I say, if you really think his religion is a good measure of his character, then why not look @ how he has behaved during his life? The man has been married to the same woman since 1969, and raised 5 sons, all of whom, I think, went to Ivy League schools. So, as far as I can tell, as a person he is a pretty swell guy. And if his religion is part of what made him this way, then that’s good enough for me. Actions speak louder than words. There are plenty of people who proudly proclaim a belief in some other “mainstream” version of Christianity, yet act like horrible people. Romney seems to practice what he preaches, so to speak. So his religion should only matter if he was running for Pastor of the United States, but he’s not, he’s running for President of the United States. So, the relevant question is, is he qualified to do THAT job? And that’s up for you (yes, YOU) to decide. Again, I’m not endorsing him, there are plenty of reasons not to vote for him, if you don’t want to, I just don’t think his religion is one of them.
Just my opinion.