Romney not our man
Mitt Romney makes me uncomfortable. In this respect, he’s the gift that keeps on giving. The most recent reminder came on Aug. 24, when Governor Romney pandered to the racist birthers — those who question whether President Obama was born in Hawaii — while joking about the acceptance of his claims to American origin compared to the skepticism directed toward Obama’s place of birth.
I’m reminded when Jon Sununu, Romney surrogate, announces our president must “learn how to be an American.” Or when another Romney staffer claims Barack Obama does not appreciate our “Anglo-Saxon heritage.” Never mind Romney calling Palestinian suffering the result of culture, not occupation.
When I ponder these words, I would love to be surprised. But then I consider a 30-year-old Mitt Romney in 1977 serving as counselor to the stake president in a doctrinally semi-racist organization, the Mormon Church. At the time of Romney’s appointment, the church barred blacks from temple ceremonies, requisite rites for admittance to heaven’s highest level and from the clergy. These practices, instituted in 1847 and 1852, respectively, by Brigham Young himself, stood until 1978.
To put it lightly, Romney has been hesitant to comment on these policies.
Romney has and continues to rub shoulders and pander to racists, but that alone is not what I find troublesome. Mitt Romney has lived principle-free for so long it’s cliché to acknowledge his — let’s call them “evolutions.” He slithers from stance to stance, following the loudest bellows of his desired electorate, hoping to reach the widest voting audience. Romney has managed to hold four opposing views on abortion, three on health care reform and at least two on assault weapons, campaign finance, economic stimulus, bailouts, contraception, gay marriage, education reform and climate change. Believe me, I could go on. When I understand how little this man stands for, appealing to racists ceases to surprise.
Unfortunately, this man could be the leader of the free world. If he cannot stand against the racists in his base, what about Bashar al-Assad or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? “I stand with Israel” is no answer.
Neither is slithering from poll to poll.
Mitt Romney the candidate and Mitt Romney the man make me uncomfortable. He should make you uncomfortable too.
Brian Marceau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org