Full disclosure: Mormonism is a kooky religion — I know because my parents raised me Mormon. I hated it and got out as soon as I could. That being said, most of the Mormons I know are genuinely nice people who do amazingly nice things. That they do so because they expect to be handsomely compensated in the afterlife is a debate for a different article. Also, fuller disclosure: I think most religions are pretty kooky. In the meantime, I think Mitt Romney is also just a shade off of nuts.
This is a more complex argument than can be disseminated in this small article, and I had to do a fair bit of ruminating to type the last sentence of that first paragraph. I would hate to be judged for public office based on the antics of my private and personal life. I’ve done the occasional “bad thing,” and I would want people to consider where I am now versus where I have been. On those terms, I think Mitt is a pretty sharp guy. I think he is business-savvy and a capable innovator. I don’t think that this 2007 “found footage” of Mitt getting testy in regards to his faith are that incendiary (to me), nor do I think that it is, as Salon.com seems to imply, proof of Romney’s temper (in the sense that he is a routinely angry man). On the contrary, I think that it is video of a man who has interpreted his personal faith a certain way and isn’t interested in having it overshadow his politics.
That being said, his faith largely is his politics, and one of the big issues at point in the video — abortion — is COMPLETELY dominated by his faith. Ergo, faith, in that regard, is fairly on the hotseat. Abortion might just be the hottest of the “hot button” topics in our country, so I blame no one for feeling a certain way about it, but when you can’t even articulate your stance without huffing and storming off, you’ve already lost the argument.
I say Mitt is a shade off of nuts because he has so far done nothing to stymie this rising tide in regard to the viral video. So far not a tweet (that I can find), not a Facebook post, nothing. When Mitt learned of the tape in the first place, back in 2007, he explained it away by saying the camera recording him in this instance was hidden. The radio show’s producer says it wasn’t; I believe the show producer, but I understand how Mitt didn’t notice a camera recording him — it is easy to overlook such things when you keep the kind of schedule Mitt likely did/does. But that doesn’t quell the swell when it comes to the Internet making up people’s minds. That the story is the video, and not Romney’s lack of a quick, reasonable response to it, speaks volumes about the disconnect between our candidates and the younger generation.
Nixon had to learn “television politics” the hard way; Romney might be the first high-level candidate to suffer the effects of “Internet politics.”