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Friday, August 12, 2022

Columns

Romney could lose on faith


This nation operates under the byline that virtually any of its inhabitants can be just about anything they can put their minds to — it’s the sort of prospect people walk long distances for. Globalization has had its way with the image of the average American. Even the most fundamental of fundamentalists must acknowledge that their nation is changing.

The effect is so rapid that the figures we come to associate with liberty and prosperity morph in size, shape and color on a daily basis. For many Americans, Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith is just short of a topic of conversation, a prelude to last week’s BCS standings or the passage of potato chips.

But in an arena of double standards, Mitt Romney is his own nemesis. A non-Christian candidate is a tough sell to the average Republican, so it goes without saying that amongst conservatives Mormonism is the Death Eater equivalent. The political landscape isn’t entirely opposed to change, but a fair amount of Romney’s potential supporters view the man’s very presence as a breach of protocol. Unfortunately for the second-time presidential candidate, he may not have the means to bridge the gap. Realistically, conservative Republicans won’t put two and two together.

But what if they do?

What if they accept that the unpaved route is sometimes the smoothest? What if they acknowledge that a different perspective, religious, ethical or otherwise, is just what they need to rein in supporters, to bring confidence back to a group viewed as impenetrable to change? What if they agree to disagree?

There are no prescriptions to remedy Mitt Romney’s religious preference to conservative Republicans. Election experience, political prowess and debate poise become nil to some of these conservatives when they consider Romney’s Mormonism — in some circles, the election of an individual outside of the agreed upon doctrine is higher than blasphemy.

To these people, he would be better off with hidden ties to Somalian pirates.

The paradox is blinding. America is a nation of beekeepers, zoologists and political scientists. If you’ve thought of an occupation, belief system or way of life, there’s a fair chance someone in this country has made it their life’s work, and they are probably making money off of it. So why is it that a nation in which the sky is the limit, has found itself subject to political toll ways and baggage checks?

Whatever the answer is, it puts Romney in a curious position. For Republicans, he’s the obvious route of success; a clean record, stuffed pockets and several years ahead of his contemporaries in basic addition and world geography.

But each of these things is overshadowed by the fact that he does not subscribe to the nation’s established presidential doctrine — his steadfastness in his beliefs is only detrimental.

Bryan Washington is a sociology freshman and may be reached at [email protected]

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