Burning Bosom

Theology, History, Culture, Politics & Life from a LDS (Mormon) Perspective

Would Having a Mormon U.S. President Be Good For Mormons?

Posted by Andrew on December 18, 2007

As I see it, here are the Pros and Cons for Mormons of having a Mormon U.S. President:

Pros:

1. The millions of photos and videos taken of Romney during the four-to-eight years of his presidency can provide tangible evidence that may begin to persuade some Evangelical Christians that Mormons do not, in fact, have horns.

2. Assuming Romney can stay away from interns and pages, and refrain from tapping his feet in public bathroom stalls or invading countries that do not have WMD, he can provide a positive image of Mormons as “normal” people who share Americans’ common ideals.

3. By having only one wife, Romney can demonstrate to the world that Mormon men have only one wife. By having only one wife, Romney can demonstrate to the world that Mormon men have only one wife. No, really, by having one wife, Romney can demonstrate to the world that Mormon men have only . . . one . . . wife.

Cons:

1. Domestically, Mormonism becomes the bogeyman that gets the blame for everything people dislike about Romney and/or his politics (think Halliburton for Dick Cheney). For example, both conservatives and liberals will blame the “Mormon church” for Romney’s stances on controversial domestic issues such as stem-cell research, abortion, etc.–particularly because the Church’s official position on those issues is typically moderate and doesn’t go far enough to either side’s satisfaction.

2. Internationally, Mormonism becomes the bogeyman that gets the blame for everything people dislike about the U.S. and Romney’s foreign policy decisions. Anti-Americanism abroad is morphed and merged into Anti-Mormonism, and missionary work suffers as a result. In liberal European countries, the Church’s membership actually declines.

3. Instead of just being asked stupid questions like “how many wives do you have?”, Mormons everywhere get to answer additional stupid questions based on Romney’s every policy decision, e.g. “Aren’t Mormons in favor of privatized social security accounts?”; “Aren’t Mormons against increasing the minimum wage?”; “Aren’t Mormons against giving senior citizens perscription drug benefits?”

There’s no question that the stakes are high for Mormons in Romney’s presidential bid. The consequences of a Romney presidency can propel Mormons to stratospheric levels of positive visibility and acceptance, or doom Mormons to carry the albatros of an unpopular Mormon presidency for decades to come.

Based on the potential downsides, I’m beginning to wonder whether the best way for Mormons to have their cake and eat it too is for Romney to win the Republican nomination and gain all the accompanying recognition, but lose the national election. That way, every time the economy spirals farther downward, or the country slouches farther towards Sodom and Gomorrah, we can rub it in with: “Should have elected a Mormon!”

What do you see as the Pros and Cons of a Romney Presidency for Mormons? Please post your comments below.

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