March 20th, 2010

The Chameleon-Like Qualities of Mitt Romney’s Conservatism

In the past few years, political opponents of Mitt Romney have accused him of being a so-called “flip flopper” for changing his stances on certain key issues. Others have classified him a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”—a “demon sheep” before the fad caught on—as one who wears the “habiliments of the priesthood”, as J. Reuben Clark said, and earns the glowing praise of countless Latter-day Saints, yet who violates one principle after another in pursuit of political power.

The label of “flip-flopper” may very well be appropriate, but an analysis of Romney’s positions across the board and over time lend more support to the critique that he is rather like a political chameleon, changing himself to blend in with whatever environment he happens to be in. Indeed, to determine Romney’s political affiliation at any given moment, one need only determine to which audience he is addressing himself in hopes of winning a popular vote. Thus, his foundation-less platform has morphed as he courted voters first in Massachusetts, then later across the nation.

Much can be said about the man himself: he’s a successful businessman who has accumulated a substantial wealth of at least $200 million; he’s an intelligent individual, graduating with honors from prestigious universities; he’s a member of the LDS Church in good standing, having served as a bishop and stake president a couple decades ago; he has a knack for fixing failing businesses, most notably the 2002 Winter Olympics; and, ironically enough, he was a contributing factor in how I met my wife.

Good people are not necessarily good political leaders, however, and the masses who swarm around this man because of his good looks, Obama-esque parlance fine-tuned to appeal to emotions, and business experience, need to understand a bit more about the man, lest they unwittingly mistake the chameleon’s current color for its true colors. Still worse, members of the LDS Church who support Romney because “he is one of us” are like the sheep who welcome the wolf in sheep’s clothing into their flock merely because his outward appearance resembles their own.

In response to this threat of deceit, Jesus Christ told his flock that they would be able to accurately assess another individual by analyzing their fruits—their actions, decisions, and affiliations.

What are Mitt Romney’s political fruits? In an effort to ascertain the chameleon’s true colors, let’s look at a few.

Gun control

In July of 2004, then-Governor Romney signed into a law a permanent assault weapons ban in Massachusetts. “Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts,” he declared. His signature continued the 1998 ban that was set to expire, ensuring that so-called “assault weapons” would be entirely banned within the state, regardless of what federal law did or did not ban. Defending his decision during the 2008 presidential race, he justified it by noting that the same bill also relaxed some regulations for gun owners, as if to suggest that adding a little sugar to a rotten egg makes it any more palatable.

This measure was a continuation of a policy he supported as early as his failed 1994 Senate bid, when he backed two gun control bills strongly opposed by the NRA and other related organizations: the Brady Bill and the federal assault weapons ban. “I don’t line up with the NRA,” he said in 1994. Referring to Massachusetts’ gun laws while campaigning for governor in 2002, he stated that “I won’t chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety.”

Just a few years later while on the presidential campaign trail, however, Romney said on a radio show that he hoped states would ease regulations on gun owners, and positively referred to guns and hunting. “I have a gun of my own. I go hunting myself. I’m a member of the NRA and believe firmly in the right to bear arms,” Romney said. Not only did he reverse course on his relationship with the NRA (buying a lifetime membership in late 2006, just prior to launching his presidential campaign), but he also stated in one debate that he would not support a federal assault weapons ban.

Pressed further in an attempt to dig below his standard superficial level, reports learned that although Romney said “I have a gun of my own”, he later admitted that he did not own one, and instead was referring to two guns owned by his son, kept at the family’s vacation home in Utah, which he uses “from time to time”. The reference to going hunting turned out to be a reference to only two occasions in his entire life in which he participated in the activity.

Romney also supports federally-mandated background checks for anybody wishing to purchase a gun, almost in the same breath where he said that he “takes seriously” the oath to support and defend the Constitution—a document which gives the federal government no authority to promote his gun control desires.

Health care

While governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney heavily promoted and finally signed into a law a bill that required every citizen of the state to purchase health insurance or be penalized with fines. It was “the ultimate conservative plan”, he later said of it. It was, at the time of its implementation, and in fact still is, the nation’s most aggressive government-mandated health care program.

Shortly after signing the bill, Romney told reporters: “Issues which have long been the province of the Democratic Party to claim as their own will increasingly move to the Republican side of the aisle.” Asked on another occasion what the biggest difference was between his health care plan (“Romneycare”) and Hillary Clinton’s (“Hillarycare”), he stated: “mine got passed and hers didn’t.”

While running for President, he advocated a similar plan of universal health care that would, in his predictive opinion, require no more than four years to ultimately make it possible for every American to have health insurance. “My approach is based on the free enterprise system and personal responsibility,” he argued, betraying his alleged understanding of what free enterprise entails; a system of government mandates, licensed service providers, and heavy regulations do not a free enterprise system make. Romneycare, like all the other government-run programs, relies on an individual mandate—the government’s decree that an individual must participate in the organized health care system. Challenged on this issue during a New Hampshire presidential debate, Romney repeatedly asserted that he “like[s] mandates”. Asked recently about whether he considers such a mandate to be un-constitutional, he dodged the question in a way that only Romney can.

Just before signing Romneycare into law, the Governor stated:

And how did [so many individuals and groups collaborate together]? I think it is because of what this bill can lead to: every citizen with affordable, comprehensive health insurance; small businesses able to conveniently buy insurance for their employees at a cost that’s competitive with big businesses; medical transparency, bringing marketplace dynamics to healthcare, really for the first time; and finally beginning to rein in health inflation.

Despite such allegedly lofty goals, and rather quite predictably, the program has proved itself a failure, and despite some advocating that a national health care program be patterned after Massachusetts, Romney’s “conservative plan” is one more statist creation riddled with abuse and problems. It is dependent upon federal money, pushes its bloated budget onto future citizens and generations, and features at its core a central planning authority to administer, regulate, and otherwise manage the entire program. Despite Romney’s claims to the contrary, nothing about Romneycare is based in the free enterprise system. The plans being touted by Utah Senator Bob Bennett (whom Romney has endorsed) and President Obama are not that different from Romney’s own plan. In fact, President Obama’s Senior Advisor David Axelrod recently admitted that Romneycare was the “template” for Obama’s own plan.

Homosexuals

Campaigning in 1994, Mitt Romney expressed support for federal anti-discrimination legislation to protect homosexuals in the workplace and pledged that he would “provide more effective leadership” than his opponent, Ted Kennedy, on homosexual rights. He also opined that the Boy Scouts of America—a private organization—should allow homosexuals to participate in their organization, saying “I feel that all people should be allowed to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation.” (When in charge of the Salt Lake City olympics, he allegedly banned the BSA from participating.) Further, in his bid for the Senate he was endorsed by the Massachusetts Log Cabin Republicans, a homosexual advocacy group.

Campaigning in the governor race a few years later, he courted the same group in a gay bar, promising to “keep [his] head low” in the battle for so-called “gay rights”. He was unanimously endorsed by the group’s members.

During Romney’s tenure as Massachusetts Governor, the state’s Supreme Court issued an opinion stating that it was a violation of the state’s constitution to allow only heterosexual couples to marry. This opinion called on the legislature to “take such action as it may deem appropriate in light of this opinion” within 180 days, effectively ordering the legislative branch to create a revised marriage statute. Refusing to let the judiciary infringe upon its power, the legislature did nothing. On day 181, Governor Romney took it upon himself—absent any authority or legal mandate—to order town clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples, making Massachusetts the first state in the country to allow them.

For all his subsequent grandstanding—criticizing the Court, participating in pro-traditional marriage rallies, and endorsing changes to the U.S. Constitution to require marriage be between a man and a woman—Romney was either ignorant in regards to his duties as governor, or duplicitous in his actions. Being bound in no way (and having no authority) to issue such an executive order prior to legislative action, the first homosexual marriages—and no doubt the impetus for other states to follow suit—occurred due to Mitt Romney’s actions alone.

Abortion

In the 1994 Senate campaign, Romney repeatedly affirmed that he supported “safe and legal” abortion. He promoted “sustain[ing] and support[ing]” Roe v. Wade since it “[had] been the law for twenty years”. “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard,” he said in one debate. Going so far as to attend at least one Planned Parenthood event, Romney was a clear supporter of abortion.

Consistently citing his own personal beliefs that allegedly conflicted with his public policy positions led Ted Kennedy, his opponent in the Senate race, to call him “multiple choice” as opposed to “pro-choice”. In response, Romney re-affirmed his personal belief that abortion should be safe and legal, saying that “you will not see me wavering on that, or be a multiple choice”. (Until a few years goes by, he surely meant to say.)

During the 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Romney said “Now, I want the voters to know exactly where I’m going to stand as governor, and that is I am not going to change our pro-choice laws in Massachussets in any way. I will preserve them, I will protect them, I will enforce them. And therefore I’m not going to make any changes which would make it more difficult for a woman to make that choice herself.” And yet, during the 2008 presidential campaign, Romney claimed that every action he had taken as governor was “pro-life”. Reversing himself in regards to Roe v. Wade as well, he said in 2007 that “Roe v. Wade continues to work its destructive logic throughout our society. This can’t continue.”

During the presidential campaign, Romney was repeatedly challenged on his shifting support for abortion rights, forcing his campaign spokesman to finally admit: “This is an issue that the governor has changed his position on, that the governor was wrong on in the past and believes he is right on now.” During one debate, Romney said: “I’ve always been personally pro-life, but for me, it was a great question about whether or not government should intrude in that decision.” Framing the termination of a life as a simple personal decision and nothing more shows clearly what (little) understanding Romney had (has?) about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Terrorism

Mitt Romney’s take on foreign policy and war is no different than your average post-9/11, fear-mongering neoconservative. His policy statement on international terrorism from his presidential campaign frames the issue as being a direct byproduct of “radical Islam”:

The defeat of this radical and violent faction of Islam must be achieved through a combination of American resolve, international effort, and the rejection of violence by moderate, modern, mainstream Muslims. An effective strategy will involve both military and diplomatic actions to support modern Muslim nations. America must help lead a broad-based international coalition that promotes secular education, modern financial and economic policies, international trade, and human rights.

Devoid of any references to history or fact, this and similarly shallow positions on weighty issues involving the deaths of untold numbers of individuals show how poorly Romney understands the reasons why America is despised in many parts of the world. Instead of seeking to understand and advocating sound foreign policies such as the just war theory and the golden rule, Romney advocates a jingoistic, imperial campaign against something as loose an affiliation as “radical Islam”.

One example of Romney’s misunderstanding of the military, war, and foreign policy occurred while governor in 2003. He said: “Through their service, National Guard and Reservists play an important role in our efforts to advance democracy, peace and freedom across our nation and around the world.” Of course, the National Guard was never intended to “advance democracy, peace and freedom across our nation and around the world”; National Guards were established and are to be properly used only in the legitimate defense and security of the state in which they reside.

In a 2006 interview, Romney explained his overall assessment of the war effort as follows:

Well, I think it shows a complete lack of understanding of the kind of enemy that we’re facing. This is not a small group of wackos in the hills that all we have to do is go find one person and it suddenly goes away. This is, instead, a movement. It’s a jihadist movement. It’s an extreme wing of Islam. It includes people, hundreds of thousands, potentially millions of people throughout the world that are intent on bringing down America, bringing down civilization as we know it. It’s going to be a long-time fight against these people. And that’s why the president has called it a war. Iraq is one front in that war. And there will be other fronts in this war, I’m sure. But the idea that somehow if we just go home and sit back quietly that it’ll all go away is just pollyannish and not realistic. After all, what did we do to deserve 9/11? They attacked us also on the USS Cole, they attacked our embassies and we sat back and negotiated.

Making no apologies for continued warfare, nor showing any understanding of the reasons why America is sometimes attacked and oft-despised, Mitt Romney, in short, favors empire. Undeclared, perpetual warfare against a loosely-organized and poorly supplied rag-tag band of “insurgents” is something to which Romney is eager and willing to commit blood and treasure, with no qualifiers whatsoever. As said earlier, this is a full embrace of the neoconservative promotion of warfare to vanquish whatever enemy may exist. Imperial hubris fuels Romney’s misguided rhetoric on matters of foreign policy, and those who disagree are mocked.

On the issue of Guantanamo, Romney said with excitement during a debate in the presidential campaign that he would favor doubling its size as opposed to shutting it down. On Iran, Romney supports “stopping” the “greatest immediate threat to the world since the fall of the Soviet Union,” ignoring the fact that the country has no current nuclear weapons and an obsolete military. And on the subject of waterboarding, Romney refused to label it as torture, noting that by making such an admission, he would be prevented as President from using it. (Such a principled stance, is it not?) His defense was as follows: “I just don’t think it’s productive for a president of the United States to lay out a list of what is specifically referred to as ‘torture’.”

Romney’s policies relating to terrorism were best summed up in a 2007 interview, a summary of which reads as follows:

Romney’s responses — not to some of the questions but to every single one of them — are beyond disturbing. The powers he claims the President possesses are definitively — literally — tyrannical, unrecognizable in the pre-2001 American system of government and, in some meaningful ways, even beyond what the Bush/Cheney cadre of authoritarian legal theorists have claimed.

After reviewing those responses, Marty Lederman concluded: “Romney? Let’s put it this way: If you’ve liked Dick Cheney and David Addington, you’re gonna love Mitt Romney.” Anonymous Liberal similarly observed that his responses reveal that “Romney doesn’t believe the president’s power to be subject to any serious constraints.” To say that the President’s powers are not “subject to any serious constraints” — which is exactly what Romney says — is, of course, to posit the President as tyrant, not metaphorically or with hyperbole, but by definition.

As for the restraints on presidential power, Romney further betrayed any understanding of or adherence to the Constitution when asked during a debate in the presidential race whether he would need authorization from Congress to use a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. He responded:

You sit down with your attorneys and [they] tell you what you have to do. But obviously the president of the United States has to do what’s in the best interest of the United States to protect us against a potential threat. The president did that as he was planning on moving into Iraq and received the authorization of Congress…

Asked whether he thought President Bush needed such authority from Congress, Romney replied: “You know, we’re going to let the lawyers sort out what he needed to do and what he didn’t need to do.” Absent any demonstration of personal opinion, declaration of principle, or any substance whatsoever, these answers support the idea that Romney’s political strategy is to always maintain the ability to adapt to circumstance. Such moral cowardice on issues involving the lives of so many people should rightly be deemed offensive.

And on and on…

Other items of note include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • In an attempt to better understand the base of voters to which he was making an appeal (no doubt to help shape his policies, delivery, and strategy), Romney spent around $1 million during the presidential campaign on polling to gauge voters’ views. Like the nearly $50,000 spent on voter research in the fourth quarter of 2009 by Bob Bennett, whom Romney has endorsed in his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, this money shows an unwillingness to simply advocate one’s beliefs and principles and let the voters decide. To such poll-dependent politicians, campaigns are games in which they must shape themselves to appeal to the electorate.
  • Though a member of and former leader in the LDS Church, which believes that God communicates with a living prophet (of whom there have now been sixteen), Romney said in an interview during the presidential campaign that “well, I don’t recall God speaking to me. I, I don’t recall God speaking to anyone since, uh, Moses and the [burning] bush, or perhaps some others, but, but I don’t have that frequent of communication.” Perhaps he forgot the apostle Peter’s advice: “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”
  • During his presidential campaign, Mitt Romney was repeatedly asked about his position on medicinal marijuana. One of his replies, indicative of other statements on the issue, was: “The concern, of course, is that marijuana has become the entry drug of choice and contributing a lot to the drug culture. That’s the concern. And that’s why, as the federal government, and I as a candidate, support keeping marijuana illegal, because I don’t want to encourage more involvement in or allow more people to get involved in the marijuana and the drug culture.” Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution, of course, does it give the federal government the authority to wage a drug war, much less conduct federal raids against peaceful individuals using medically-prescribed foliage to alleviate pain. “And if you elect me president,” Romney said on another occasion, “you’re not going to see legalized marijuana. I’m going to fight it tooth and nail.” Favoring a pharmaceutical industry whose artificial drugs kill thousands while using the force of government to annihilate the market for a drug that has never killed a single person is not good public policy.
  • In an interview late last year with Larry King, Romney was asked if he thought Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke should be appointed to a second term. With only mere seconds connecting the statements, he first said that Bernanke had been doing a “good job”, and then said “Look, we’re printing money like crazy, we’re borrowing, and we’re spending money at a rate that is just unconscionable.” Romney obviously understands nothing about how the Fed was created, why it exists, or how it operates. If he did, he would realize that the ability to print and spend money like crazy are directly and primarily attributable to the existence of the Fed. Indeed, his excoriation of printing money is especially disingenuous (or naive) after having made statements that he approves of “the Federal Reserve [taking] the action necessary to provide more liquidity in the market” and that “the action they already took with regards to providing lower [interest] rates was a good move”.
  • While campaigning for governor, Romney repeatedly assured voters that he would not raise taxes, but after elected proposed three taxes of his own, while passing taxes (also called “fees”) during each of the four years he was in office. Claiming to have passed budget cuts, he actually oversaw an expansion of Massachusetts’ budget to the tune of billions of dollars in just four years’ time. In 2002, the Center for Small Government obtained enough signatures to place an initiative on the ballot that would end the state income tax. Despite a general media blackout and being dismissed and ignored by gubernatorial candidate Romney, the initiative received 45% of the vote. For all his rhetoric about fiscal conservatism, Romney failed to support a key opportunity to prove his colors. Rather than striking at the root, he preferred to hack at the branches by supporting a reduction in the state income tax by a small fraction of one percent.
  • In his new book, Romney asserts that the recent economic stimulus bill “will accelerate” the nation’s economic recovery, while only months before declaring at a visit in Utah that the stimulus “was a bad miscalculation that’s going to cost the American people a lot.” Romney supported—and still supports—TARP, a horribly un-constitutional bank bailout, declaring “Had we not taken action, you could have seen a real devastation.” However, in September of last year Romney said that when government is trying to bailout banks, “we have every good reason to be alarmed”. Which is it, then?
  • And on and on…

Commenting after a 1994 senatorial campaign debate, one Massachusetts reporter wrote the following, which could very well be a sound piece of advice in regards to any Mitt Romney political campaign:

[Romney] demonstrated very clearly in the debate last night that he has more in common with liberal Democrats than he does with conservatives… Conservatives should not let their disgust and anger with Ted Kennedy’s big government liberal record blindly lead them to support Mitt Romney.

Again, Mitt Romney’s private life may very well be worthy of respect, praise, or even emulation. His public record and policy advocacy, however, should lead the astute political observer to completely reject him in consideration as a political candidate, conservative commentator, or individual of influence in regards to any policy making.

As is evidenced by the information here provided, Romney’s so-called conservative record is a long history of flip-flops, hypocrisy, cognitive dissonance, and superficial rhetoric not supported by any historical or factual basis. He is a statist wolf in a small government sheep’s clothing—a color-changing chameleon with the ability and willingness to adapt to whatever environment he is in.

Voters beware.

132 Responses to “The Chameleon-Like Qualities of Mitt Romney’s Conservatism”

  1. jasonthe
    March 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    I’m just making a note of this post, should Mittens! become the GOP nominee in ’12.

  2. Clumpy
    March 20, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Connor, you may find this movie synopsis relevant. It’s a literal cinematic depiction of the chameleonic property you are describing.

  3. Ronald Schoedel
    March 20, 2010 at 7:58 pm #

    Awesome job, Connor, compiling all of Mitt’s “problems” in one post. This is a definite keeper.

  4. Eric Checketts
    March 20, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Wow. Great article. A lot of things I knew, and a lot more things I didn’t know.

    I cannot support a candidate who tolerates abortion in circumstances other than rape, incest, or if the mother’s life is in peril.

    I cannot support a candidate who supports pre-emptive war, the PATRIOT Act, etc.

    And I certainly cannot support a candidate who, being LDS and a former Stake President, does not think that God has spoken to him “or any other man since Moses and the burning bush.”

    I support Ron Paul or any other candidate who is unwavering in their commitment to the Constitution. We can’t afford any longer to have elected officials who view the Constitution as something open to interpretation. There is enough explanation in the Federalist Papers to make it very clear what our founding fathers meant by the words they chose.

  5. a concerned mommy
    March 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

    WOW!! His endorsement of Bennett had me convinced already, but seeing all of this info compiled together makes an even stronger case against his supposed conservatism.

  6. Kelly W.
    March 20, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    Doesn’t Mitt have one of those hot tubs?

  7. Ryan Smith
    March 20, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    Yikes! I hadn’t heard his comment about God not speaking to him or any other man. Sad, sad, sad.

  8. jim
    March 20, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    Connor,
    “…he’s a member of the LDS Church in good standing…”

    Well, he does believe the 11th article of the LDS faith. His own conscience on LDS ideals are just different from yours.

  9. jim
    March 20, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    That is a really nice looking suit, does anyone know what brands he tends to wear? Or is that custom made?

  10. Jim Davis
    March 21, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    I tried giving Mitt a fare shake in the presidential primaries but I found myself nodding my head at a lot of what he said but shaking my head at most of what he’s done. This proved to me that he is dishonest and will say anything to get votes.

    To my fellow Mormons who may consider supporting Romney again in 2012… Please, take to heart the Lords counsel found in D&C 98:10 (5-10) about how to choose your secular leaders:

    Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.

    Be honest with yourself and don’t be blinded by his party, religion, eloquence, or appearance. These weren’t qualifiers in the Lord’s verse. Has Mitt REALLY been good? Has Mitt REALLY been wise? Has Mitt REALLY been honest?

    If you can answer these three questions with a sincere and educated yes then proceed with your support (although I’d be concerned about what type of education you received if you truly thought Mitt qualifies under the Lord’s standards). But if you’re like most of my fellow Mormons, you’ve blindly supported Mitt while reciting his religion and business experience as qualifiers. Such a member should refrain from voting altogether-for an ignorant vote is far more damaging then no vote at all.

  11. Kelly W.
    March 21, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    I seem to remember some years ago when Mitt was asked about his stand on gay marriage, that he had “repented” of his mistake he made in MA (can’t spell it!) and had since changed his stance on gay marriage. Anyone else remember that and could expound on that?

    It seems that governors with Mormon ties are pretty keen on gay marriage. Jon Huntsman was pretty vocal on the issue. He was going to push gay civil unions but got side-tracked in China before Utah could pursue the question.

    That would have been a sweet scene — the Church taking a stand against gay civil unions in Utah and Jon Huntsman kicking against the pricks on the issue.

  12. Chris
    March 21, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    Nice work, my friend. Well written and researched – a real gem.

  13. jim
    March 21, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    Is that shatnez?

  14. Connor
    March 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Witness the latest hypocrisy of Mitt Romney:

    [Obama’s] health-care bill is unhealthy for America. It raises taxes, slashes the more private side of Medicare, installs price controls, and puts a new federal bureaucracy in charge of health care. It will create a new entitlement even as the ones we already have are bankrupt. For these reasons and more, the act should be repealed. That campaign begins today.

    ::: rolls eyes :::

    Why do people trust this man?

  15. Tim Harper
    March 22, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Jim Davis: that is the exact same scripture that came to my mind when I read this post.

  16. Jim Davis
    March 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    It’s a good scripture! I especially love how it is prefaced with an admonishment to “befriend the Constitution” (D&C 98:6). One might ask themselves if the people they’ve supported in the past have truly been friends to the Constitution or if they merely give it lip service.

  17. John C.
    March 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Connor,
    To call Mitt a political suck up is one thing; to imply that he is engaged in priestcraft is quite another. I don’t much like the man or the politics, but I think it would be best to leave the “habiliments of the priesthood” out of it. I don’t believe Mitt has used his LDS beliefs as a selling point (beyond the notion that he is a believer in general). It would be wrong to characterize him as playing it up for votes. That some people prefer him because of his religious affiliation (or reject him because of it) is another thing entirely.

  18. Connor
    March 22, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    No, John, Mitt hasn’t really used his LDS beliefs as a selling point. (I haven’t made that assertion.) Latter-day Saints are doing the selling for him, MLM-style.

  19. John C.
    March 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    Ok. I took the mention of priesthood in this context to imply that you thought he had. Sorry for the misinterpretation.

  20. rachel
    March 22, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    I agree with that (Latter-day Saints doing the selling for him). I have heard the talk in my own locale about how wonderful it would be to have a president who held the priesthood. Nevermind his policies. Actually, many peopl to whom I mention his flip-flopping say that people can “repent and change.” Agreed, but I don’t think this is one of those situations. I think it is political expedience.

  21. Jim Davis
    March 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

    Agreed Rachel. While yes, someone can repent or change… It seems that Mitt has conveniently repented too many times on too many issues for his ‘change of heart’ to be considered genuine. I find it hard to believe that his policies conveniently change depending on who the majority of his potential voters are. Plus, many of his current policies aren’t even worthy of my support anyway. He’s a party hack. He is more loyal to self and party then he is to true principles and the Constitution.

    On several occasions a fellow Mormon will act surprised when I say I don’t support Mitt Romney by saying, “But he’s a Mormon!!!” I have two words in response to this reaction:

    Harry Reid

  22. jim
    March 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Rachel,
    “I have heard the talk in my own locale about how wonderful it would be to have a president who held the priesthood. Nevermind his policies.”

    What would be the purpose behind that? The rest of the folks here seem to want someone who support core LDS values, even if they aren’t LDS. Tne other issue is finding consistency and follow through with promises. I think you are right about political expedience.

  23. John
    March 23, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    GREAT article Connor! This one’s getting book-marked in preparation for 2012. Thank you for such diligent research and great presentation!

  24. Adam
    March 24, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    Well researched, intelligent article Connor. I’m interested if you believe there is room for a candidate to change his mind on an issue in light of new evidence? Better stated, is there a line to be drawn between “open-minded” and “flip-flopper?” My question is both as it applies to Romney specifically and candidates generally.

  25. jim
    March 24, 2010 at 11:15 pm #

    Kelly W,
    I found something interesting, at one time at least, a significant population of Mormons collectively ‘kicked against the pricks’ over an issue. The state of Utah was very influential in passing the 21st amendment to the U.S. constitution, which repealed the 18th amendment. (prohibition) Despite opposition by the 7th LDS president Heber J. Grant. It would be interesting to know why so many voted against his advice, and what reasoning was used.

    Additionally, do you think this is a problem in the LDS belief that the U.S. constitution is an inspired document, given that an amendment was ratified which went against an LDS presidents advice?

  26. L. Brown
    March 25, 2010 at 4:47 am #

    What doesn’t make sense is that the Consitution is so simple and direct that these “high and mighty” people of Washington can’t seem to find their way around it. It’s so annoying really. And the people around me seem to think that the government has nothing to do with them and all to do with politicans. Yet, the very politicans and leaders of this country don’t even know themselves. Is the Constitution ever read? Anyways, I almost wish I could find an island in the middle of the Pacific so I don’t have to put up with the stupdity of people. But, alas, it will never be so. Long live the Republic, down with Socialims and stupidity.

  27. oldmama
    March 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    maybe it doesn’t matter why–

    but why, then, do so many LDS ‘revere’ this man?

    Is he naive or is he evil?

    Can anyone know?

    What is it about him that makes most otherwise intelligent LDS stop thinking when his name comes up?

    I would love to be illuminated on this–

  28. Liz
    March 25, 2010 at 11:24 pm #

    Well written. But what’s your point? He wouldn’t make a good president? Or perhaps you’re saying, he is a liar and has no soul? Tries to be all things to all people? If so, I find the “shapeshifting” you allege superficial and negligible.

    Watch the video clip of him on the steps of the legislature in Mass. leading the protest against the “legalization” of gay marriage without consent of the people. Politically prudent? No. Rock solid principle he’s acting on there. Watch it, seriously.

    You have fallen into the trap of believing that words mean more than actions. Romney is that rare politician that acts consistently, regardless of what he says. He is highly intelligent as you say, but he is also morally consistent IF YOU LOOK AT HOW HE GOVERNED.

    In addition, I ultimately judge a person by the way they treat their wife and kids. You could argue Obama ranks high using this litmus test. I suspect the full truth isn’t known about Obama’s relationship with his wife and children, but I’m guessing, and perhaps in part my suspicion only serves to fit my own narrative. Nonetheless….

    Romney treats his family oh so right, baby. He has now become a politician, yes. But a liar, he is not. And he is our next, BEST hope for 2012.

    Keep searching for truth, it makes for an enjoyable read.

  29. Kelly W.
    March 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Has Mitt come out and denounced Obama’s health care plan that Oh So Closely mirrors the health care plan he passed in Massachusets? (Man, how do you spell that state?) If Mitt denounces Obama’s plan, then he has flipped again.

  30. Connor
    March 25, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    Adam,

    I’m interested if you believe there is room for a candidate to change his mind on an issue in light of new evidence?

    Absolutely. Heck, I was a Romney supporter about four years ago, so I clearly changed my mind!

    Red flags pop up, though, when one changes one’s mind during or just before a political campaign, and also when one changes one’s mind on a host of crucial issues—not just one.

    Liz,

    Watch the video clip of him on the steps of the legislature in Mass. leading the protest against the “legalization” of gay marriage without consent of the people.

    Did you even read the above article? Romney was entirely to blame for enacting same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. Thus, any later outcry is disingenuous if not outright hypocritical.

    You have fallen into the trap of believing that words mean more than actions.

    Really? Again, did you read the article? Because I painstakingly researched, documented, and explained actions. You know, that whole “by their fruits shall ye know them” thing?

    I think you had it right: you’re trying to shape things to fit your own Romney-can-do-no-wrong narrative.

  31. Liz
    March 26, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    Connor, you caught me. I skimmed your article because it is a football field long and I have ADD. Self-diagnosed. But you are, um, disingenuous in a sweet kind of way when you state that “Romney took it upon himself [I paraphrase ADD] to order the marriages of same-sexers…..
    Passionate you are, but accurate you are not. Also the statement that Romney is ENTIRELY to blame for same-sex marriage in Mass. is, um…how shall I say, a bit ebullient. I wouldn’t say this if I didn’t think you couldn’t take it.

  32. Liz
    March 26, 2010 at 12:31 am #

    Connor, because you have such fabulous potential I will also point out your use of straw men extremes. Obama is a master at this. “You’re trying to shape things to fit your own Romney-can-do-no-wrong narrative.” Be honest with yourself, was that my narrative? Or are you being a bit ebullient again?

  33. Jeffrey T
    March 26, 2010 at 3:27 am #

    But you are, um, disingenuous in a sweet kind of way when you state that “Romney took it upon himself [I paraphrase ADD] to order the marriages of same-sexers….. Passionate you are, but accurate you are not.

    Liz, make no assertions without sources to support them. Connor has his. What are yours?

  34. oldmama
    March 26, 2010 at 7:56 am #

    whatever his actions may be, when Romney speaks, his rhetoric is very predictably neo-conservative.

    In what other way do *people* convey themselves than by words?

    He is a party man.

    If he understands the constitution he doesn’t convey that by anything he says.

    He is very wealthy, and was Caroll Quigley the man who said that the ‘elite’ don’t conform to the same standards as “the rest of *us*”–?

    In other words, Romney sees the world from a very different perspective than those LDS who see him as a political savior. He comes from a political family, and his father was a self-acknowledged “Rockefeller Republican”.

    If LDS are comfortable with that–

    if it is that important to have an LDS running for president that most other commonalities can be brushed aside . . .

    well, then, I would say that those LDS need *their* celebrities. Even *their* royalty, the Book of Mormon prophets, saying, as they sighed, “let *them* have *their* king”–

    *used to apologize for writing in the collective

    I have ‘brushed up against’ this sort of elitism within “the church”, and it’s not as pretty as it looks on media portrayals.

    Priesthood leaders (aka general authorities), at least the vast majority of them, work very hard to keep this sort of elitism out of the “higher courts of church government”.

  35. Liz
    March 26, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    Watch the video, Jeffery. That, and Romney’s own account, as well as political attacks made on him because of his efforts are my main sources.

  36. Jeffrey T
    March 26, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    Liz, links?

  37. Connor
    March 26, 2010 at 10:15 pm #

    A couple relevant news stories:

    American Conservative

    Romney has taken up the banner of repealing a bill closely modeled on the bill he signed into law. One could say that there are many cynical, opportunistic politicians willing to adopt whatever position works to their advantage. How is Romney any different? Well, he has become a pro-repeal leader while continuing to insist that the state health care bill he signed was good and necessary. So he has continued to advance the completely untenable Scott Brown position: we will never yield in our opposition to the outrageously irresponsible and unaffordable federal bill, and we will defend the outrageously irresponsible and unaffordable Massachusetts bill to the death!

    Associated Press

    Mitt Romney has a problem with Obamacare. It looks a lot like Romneycare. The prospective Republican presidential candidate’s vulnerability on the issue was evident this week, when he was interrupted during a tour for his new book by a woman upset with the Massachusetts health care law Romney signed as governor in 2006. That law has some of the same core features as the federal law President Barack Obama, a Democrat, signed on Tuesday.

    And that’s creating an uncomfortable straddle for Romney as his party makes attacking the new health care law its main message this midterm year.

  38. Kelly W.
    March 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    Thanks Connor, I caught that AP article in my morning newspaper. Looks like Mitt is flipping again. But most Utahns will flip with him.

  39. oldmama
    March 27, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    And that is what I want to know. Why will “most Utahns . . . flip with him”?

    I am curious about this from a sociological point of view.

  40. Kelly W.
    March 27, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    oldmama, I think that most Utahns, Mormons anyway, have been raised from birth to have an “endure to the end” type of blind faith in their leaders. When Mormons have a blind faith in their religious leaders, they consider this a good trait. But Mormons are much too quick to translate their quality of blind faith to political leaders. They seem to have adopted Mitt as their “blind faith” political leader because of his “sheep’s clothing.”

  41. Adam
    March 27, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    I don’t think the “blind faith” as you term it is nearly as prevalent as it maybe used to be in the Mormon faith. I would also disagree completely with the assertion that Mormons translate the quality of “blind faith” to political leaders. It would be important to qualify that statement with a certain type of political leader.

    The fact is, I think most Mormons like Mitt because they have an innate sense that he shares their core values. Despite the 1994 debate that Connor posted where he disavows his core values, most would consider him an inherently “good” and “righteous” person. He is better than the alternative and even in his worst moments of flip floppery, he still shares their basic moral belief system. This seems familiar and comforting and is certainly simpler than really analyzing his political posture. Also, he does a good job of speaking the code words and phrases that remind Mormons that he is one of them. There is an entire vocabulary that is particular to Mormons and they hear it in his speech.

    Give it time though. Just because a candidate is Mormon won’t make him enduringly popular with the members-think Harry Reid. Given enough time and enough movement away from a principle defense of their core values, they will leave him.

    With all that said, I have been surprised by how many Mormons I have heard who have justified his stances with “Well, he had to say/do that to get elected in Massachussets.” To me, this is the most insidious type of rationalization as it sacrifices true principles and character in the name of political expediency.

    By the way, please forgive me the use of the “they” rather than the “we” form as I count myself among the membership of the church. I do not however, count myself among the membership of Romney supporters. I am actually harder on him because he is Mormon and doesn’t stand up for the principles that I would expect. I find that more disappointing than if we didn’t share a religious belief.

  42. Liz
    March 27, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    Two points. Though challenging for some, it is not impossible to understand the not-so-subtle differences between Romney’s success in Massachusetts, and Obamacare. One is that Romneycare passed with 98% approval or the legislature, was it? And Obama’s deal was done forcibly.

    The other point is, if Utah can get rid of Bob Bennett in spite of Romney’s aggressive endorsement of said Senator, where does your argument that Mormons worship Romney go now? Could it be possible the majority of Utahns really do think for themselves? Oh no, a primary underpinning of the gripes on this blog may be crumbling…….

  43. Liz
    March 27, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    I suspect that the expectation of some visitors to this site that Romney be more god-like is a bit more weird than those that might think he is god-like. Coin-toss maybe.

  44. Connor
    March 27, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Though challenging for some, it is not impossible to understand the not-so-subtle differences between Romney’s success in Massachusetts, and Obamacare. One is that Romneycare passed with 98% approval or the legislature, was it? And Obama’s deal was done forcibly.

    Whether one voluntarily eats dog poop or is forced to do so, the simple fact remains: it’s dog poop.

  45. Liz
    March 28, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    You know, Connor, under the Constitution, if you want to eat dog poop, you should be able to. Are you joining the liberals in insisting people can only consume what the elite deems is good for them? Seems so.

    Remember, one man’s dog poop is another’s filet mignon. It’s called, freedom.

  46. Yin
    March 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Well, this is a fun analogy…

    Someone may oddly consider dog poop to be filet mignon, but that doesn’t change the basic fact that it’s a piece of crap. Poo is poo, regardless of what you call it or think it to be.

  47. Liz
    March 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Negative Yin. You have an old mattress with slight urine smell. Garbage to you, garbage to everyone, right?

    Wrong. There is a whole industry that revolves around those mattresses. They are money makers. I’m sure you’ve seen them being carted up and down the freeway in old trucks, maybe you’ve seen them lying on the freeway. There are hundreds of secondary markets, millions of different tastes. Allow me to assume you are Asian. We don’t eat certain domesticated animals, rodents, bugs, etc. here in this country. They are desirable as staples in China, if not delicacies elsewhere. If you step out of the elitist mind set, there are other ways of thinking, other ways of valuing. Open your mind to it.

    To get back on topic, people in Massachusetts are not your typically Ron Paul posse. They want big government. Romney ultimately delivered it on the healthcare front, but had the presence of mind to keep it private market based and cut out waste to the degree the liberal legislators would allow. The guy’s a freakin’ genius, he’s a tightwad (and I mean that in a complimentary way), and he’s not so arrogant he thinks he knows what’s best for people that are clearly articulating what they want. He also understands federalism, a rarity in politics today, it sometimes seems. So, your dog poop might be another man’s filet mignon.

    I am not saying absolute truths don’t exist, but when it comes to placing a VALUE on something, Poo is not poo. Regardless of your opinion that everyone should see things as you do.

  48. vontrapp
    March 28, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    The point here is that Romney thinks the poo is filet mignon, that is except when he doesn’t. What do we call that? Oh yeah, flopney, or a chameleon.

  49. Jeffrey T
    March 28, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    Liz,

    The point is, Obamacare and Romneycare are the same thing. Romney says that one is poo, and the other is not.

    Connor is calling him out on his blatant, disingenuous hypocrisy.

  50. Connor
    March 28, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    Liz,

    I’m not talking about the value being assigned to the poop by anybody, since you correctly point out that perceptions are different, and while most people correctly would not ingest said fecal matter, others may have some odd fetish that entices them to do so.

    Similarly, some people love tyranny and bondage. Some people love big government who will tax and tax and then tax some more, so long as they get their welfare check in the mail. This is why, rather than talk about perception, I’m talking about the underline reality: it’s still poop.

    The issue here is not whether government-run health care is good or bad, but rather how Romney has any authoritative standing to criticize a plan that was based in part on his own, carries the similarly offensive individual mandate, and is founded on the same philosophy of central economic planning and heavy government regulation.

  51. jim
    March 28, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    Who do the LDS want to run for office, Thomas S. Monson?

  52. Adam
    March 28, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    I’m guessing President Monson is already a bit busy to have time to run for political office :)

    I think part of the problem is treating the “LDS” like one large homogeneous group. Certainly there is a commonality of thinking but it isn’t as though all LDS people think/act/vote in lockstep. I know that perception exists because Utah is so staunchly Republican, but Matheson didn’t get elected solely by non-members.

    So I’ll just speak for myself. I want someone to run who is consistent and follows through on their word. If LDS, I would prefer that he/she courageously state that their value system does inform their political opinions and agenda rather than pandering to the audience of the day to get votes.

  53. oldmama
    March 29, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    While I am a devoted LDS, experiences I have had have taught me what a narrow culture *we* can be. Not always, of course, and not everyone. The intelligent and loving exceptions are refreshing–

    This has taught me a lot about ‘group think’–

    made me see that comfort at all costs is expensive.

    I think I agree with Adam on this; it’s comfort. And Romney knows what he is doing. To me, often, he appears naive, but I think he must not be at all.

  54. oldmama
    March 29, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    And, Yin, I appreciate your humor–

    Perhaps the person who responded to you (whether or not you be Asian) has lived in Asia. Well, I have, extensively. And you are correct; *it* is not valued there any more highly than here, except, possibly, as fertilizer.

    And, then, why not?

  55. Liz
    March 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Some people love tyranny and bondage? Connor, your age is showing and you’re losing me here.

  56. Jeffrey T
    March 30, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    Liz,

    It’s true. Just look around :)

  57. Adam
    March 30, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    Liz, I’m enjoying your opposing perspective but not your continued attempts to point out Connor’s relative youth and dare I say, inexperience? I don’t want to put words in your mouth. The suggestion that you are therefore older and wiser is also curious. Both are red herrings though I suppose entertaining in an…um…pointless kind of way.

  58. Connor
    March 30, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    Liz,

    One of the signs of intellectual sloth is to refer to somebody’s personality or traits to dismiss their argument.

    Such petty behavior doesn’t work around here.

    In response, I might turn your words back on you and say “[Liz], your [ignorance] is showing and you’re losing me here.”

    But, pretending you asked a sincere question rather than launched such a silly attack, I’ll respond.

    I said that some people love tyranny and bondage. This is true: Many prison inmates love the three warm meals, exercise, entertainment, and network of like-minded individuals; tens of millions of American welcome a monstrous federal government with open arms; the vast majority of individuals shackle themselves with debt in pursuit of instant gratification; one statist after another is elected into office despite clear evidence of their disdain for the principles of liberty and limited government.

    Freedom is a scary thing to most people.

  59. jim
    March 31, 2010 at 12:13 am #

    Adam,
    “I’m guessing President Monson is already a bit busy to have time to run for political office :)”

    Joseph Smith ran for office, he was assassinated while in Carthage Jail just a few months into the Campaign. He had some seemingly progressive ideas, and some which seem barbaric. I suppose times where different in 1844.

  60. Jim Davis (not to be confused with jim)
    March 31, 2010 at 1:05 am #

    Some people love tyranny and bondage?

    Do you remember when the children of Israel escaped from captivity? After a while they complained against Moses that it would have been better to die a slave than live free with hunger (Exodus 16:3).

    There are millions of people today with this mentality. They would rather live under a government dictating how they should live and giving them what they want than have the responsibilities attached to being free. I know it looks odd at first glance but some people really do love tyranny and bondage. To them it feels safe.

  61. jim
    March 31, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    Connor,
    “Freedom is a scary thing to most people.”

    One definition:
    “the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints ”

    I know that ‘freedom’ is not absolute. Although there are some that would rather not consider anything in terms of limits.

    There are physical and physiological limits. Legally, there are so many limits and exceptions that sometimes only specialists in law really understand them. There are also religious and philosophical limits, detailing what is an ideal way of life. Perhaps most limiting is knowledge. What you don’t know or ignorance.

    What kind of freedom are you advocating? in one way or another there are externally imposed restraints on an individual.

  62. Connor
    March 31, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    It just keeps on coming

    Mitt Romney offered an enthusiastic defense last night of the comprehensive health care law he helped create four years ago in Massachusetts, even as he pointed to crucial distinctions between it and a similar national program enacted last week by Democrats.

    Yesterday, Romney proudly acknowledged that his bill included a set of new insurance regulations that “President Obama always likes to talk about in his health care plan — the good stuff.’’ Romney trumpeted the achievement of near-universal coverage in Massachusetts, while declining to acknowledge that the mechanism he used to achieve that goal — a requirement that individuals buy private insurance — is the same as the much-criticized mandate of Obama’s plan.

  63. Connor
    March 31, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    Jim, the freedom I am advocating is the ability to live out your life the way you want, free from any regulation, restriction, or other impediments, provided you do not harm another individual in the process.

  64. Liz
    March 31, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Yes, I was immediately sorry I said Connor was young. I am sorry. Youth is a virtue.

    I don’t think prisoners love tyranny and bondage. If that were so, why the barbed wire? Nice try, though.

  65. vontrapp
    April 1, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    *Some* people like it. Not all prisoners do, hence the barbed wire.

  66. Jim Davis
    April 1, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    Liz, if these are the best arguments you can make against facts and common sense then you’ll continue to get intellectually slaughtered on this blog.

    Let’s settle this issue so that we can move on to meatier matters… Do you agree that there are some (whether they’re aware of it or not) that desire bondage over liberty? A simple yes will end this nit-picky argument. If you believe everyone desires liberty over bondage then please provide examples.

    Connor, Jeffrey and I have been using the words “some” and “many” when referring to those who love bondage. No one has made the assertion that all people prefer bondage over liberty. We have provided examples such as prison inmates and the children of Israel to prove that some really do desire bondage. On the other hand you’re language infers that no body wants to be in bondage. You tried using barbed wire to refute Connor’s example of “many” inmates preferring luxury over freedom when he wasn’t even saying that all inmates want to be in bondage.

  67. jimmy
    April 1, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    “Jim, the freedom I am advocating is the ability to live out your life the way you want, free from any regulation, restriction, or other impediments, provided you do not harm another individual in the process.”

    That vaguely sounds like the The Wiccan Rede.

    “As Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will”.

    Wicca is a neopagan religion which is markedly open to a wide variety of experience, much more so than the LDS faith.

  68. vontrapp
    April 2, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    And the LDS faith states “let a man worship how, where, or what he may,” methinks that would include wiccan stuff. It’s not our place to judge others religions, their faith, their motives. It is ONLY to us to judge the affects people have on other people. We can judge a rapist to have broken fundamental natural law, we can judge a politician on his proposed public policy that effects other people. We cannot judge one’s actions alone which cause no harm to another.

  69. jimmy
    April 2, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Vontrapp,
    The LDS faith has already judged other religions, what are you talking about? Everything else is apostate and degenerate, to one degree or another, that has been stated by LDS authorities many times over. The entire foundation of the LDS faith is that is a ‘restoration’ from a state of apostasy which the world was under.

    My observation is that LDS members tend to judge everyone according to their own standards and belief, regardless of what understanding other people have. Mitt Romney also appears to be judged largely for positive law policies, not ‘natural law’.

  70. vontrapp
    April 2, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    Jimmy, please don’t twist my words, and don’t twist my religion. I can recall off the top of my head several instances where prophets and apostles have *praised* other religions. Pres. Hinckley was particularly fond of finding the goodness in other religions. Yes, we believe that ours is the only *fully* true church, and the only one with authority. It doesn’t mean we judge every one else and condemn them to hell.

    And I specifically said it is in any citizens purview to judge a politician on policy, as a politicians policy leanings have a very real potential to effect individuals.

  71. jimmy
    April 3, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Vontrapp,
    Do you endorse the Wiccan Rede?
    ““As Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will”.

    The Wiccan Rede a perfectly fine philosophical statement. The 11th article of faith is fine for stating a belief in philosophical freedom on a LEGAL basis. LDS leaders might even endorse the ‘harm none’ stated above. The “do what ye will’ part I imagine is a bit more difficult for them to endorse.

    I said nothing of condemning or judging anyone. It is a logical outcome however if one believes another individual or organization is lacking in understanding or behavior. Criticism could be very subtle, or even pitched as a positive. Certainly its more skilled to praise people or organizations whenever possible.

  72. vontrapp
    April 4, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    I do not endorse that anyone “do what ye will”, no, but I do not prohibit it either. I will always extol what I believe to be the virtues of acting one way over another, and I will be glad to see anyone come unto Christ and put away the natural man. But that does not mean I will condemn one who heeds not my beliefs, or prohibit one who acts contrary to my virtues, so long as they harm none.

    I see it as a philosophy instead of a faith. Maybe wiccans see it as a faith, maybe some deeply believe that as long as they harm none, they are just fine morally and will see heaven. Who am I to tell them differently except by persuasion and long suffering? It may not be eternally sound, but I believe it is a socially sound philosophy, as far as from what we shall forcefully prohibit an individuals actions and choices.

  73. Greg
    April 9, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    Finally, someone has done an excellent job of pulling together many of Mr. Romney’s conflicting positions throughout the years. Men of principle are simply hard to find. Thank you Connor. I would only add one other thing to this list. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to blog about it in the near future. I’m sure I’ll be referring to this piece many times in future posts.

  74. rachel
    April 10, 2010 at 11:55 pm #

    I was very surprised to hear that Mitt Romney won a straw poll taken at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference with 24%, but only one vote above Ron Paul, who also came in at 24%. Of course straw polls are not guaranteed to be a whole lot more than interesting, but interesting it was, in my opinion. Here is a link to the poll.

  75. Chris
    April 11, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    “…the freedom I am advocating is the ability to live out your life the way you want, free from any regulation, restriction, or other impediments, provided you do not harm another individual in the process.”

    Based on this, I would assume that you would be in support of laws which permit same-sex marriage. Or is there a better way to interpret that?

  76. Connor
    April 11, 2010 at 10:50 pm #

    Based on this, I would assume that you would be in support of laws which permit same-sex marriage.

    Incorrect.

    Living a homosexual lifestyle and entering into a societally-sanctioned union are two entirely different things.

  77. Chris
    April 11, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    “Living a homosexual lifestyle and entering into a societally-sanctioned union are two entirely different things.”

    Thanks for the reply, Connor. Those certainly are two entirely different things, but I’m not sure I understand how that plays into the question. It seems like it would be fair to say that individuals who wish to be legally and lawfully wedded to the person of their choosing face “regulation, restriction, or other impediments” and it would be arguable to say that they aren’t harming other individuals in the process. So doesn’t this situation violate their freedom? If marriage was prohibited for heterosexual couples, would it not be a violation of their freedom?

    Don’t get me wrong; I’m not in favor of same-sex marriage. I’m just trying to figure out how to reason through it (hence I’m playing devil’s advocate).

  78. jimmy
    April 12, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    First of all what is meant by “lifestyle”?

  79. Jeffrey T
    April 12, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    Chris:

    I (and I suspect Connor) would never prohibit anyone by law from living a homosexual lifestyle; but I would never ask the government place an official stamp of approval on those acts (aka, marriage). I suppose I would ideally not want to the government to do it for heterosexual marriage either.

  80. Connor
    April 13, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    The JBS highlights Mitt’s latest ruse:

    Behind Romney’s [recent straw poll] victory is Romney’s recent magic act: Campaigning against an Obama health care plan almost identical to the one he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts while at the same time positioning himself as the “conservative” Republican presidential contender. With his risible “conservative” packaging, the Republican contender has truly become the greatest pretender.

  81. jimmy
    April 14, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    Chris, Jeffery T and others,
    Homosexuality is a sexual orientation, not a ‘lifestyle’. When it comes to marriage, its a type of regulation. In a sense anyone married has lost some degree of ‘freedom’, relations outside of marriage now have legal implications, and social sanctions. Homosexuals seeking marriage are requesting more responsibility and more regulations.

  82. Chris
    April 15, 2010 at 11:16 pm #

    If anybody’s still reading this – this has been a nice discussion about homosexual orientations/lifestyles, but nobody has answered my original questions. Any thoughts?

  83. Jim Davis
    April 15, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    Chris, if this is the question you wanted a response to…

    If marriage was prohibited for heterosexual couples, would it not be a violation of their freedom?

    …then you bring up a very good point. In my perspective the government should not be licensing marriages to begin with. Licensing is the government granting permission to do something. How government got in the business of giving permission to marry is beyond me. Marriage is a religious term/matter. A religion should be able to marry or not marry who ever they want (given that they don’t infringe on anyone’s rights).

    In my mind, the only justification for government to be involved in a marriage would be to enforce the contract that two adults undertook and deal justly with the adults in the breaking of that contract. Government granting permission to marry to some and not to others seems absurd to me.

    While I have this libertarian philosophy when it comes to marriage I simultaneously agree with what religions have done with Proposition 8. The reason I believe they’re justified is because they’re defending themselves from affirmative-action-type-laws. Affirmative action is legally sanctioned privileges for “minority” groups. A government who grants special privileges for groups and at the same time licenses marriages is the perfect recipe for a loss of freedom for religions. The government, under affirmative action laws, could force a religion to marry homosexuals against their will (they have tried before).

    My opinion for now is that while government is in the business of licensing marriage and at the same time granting special privileges/rights to certain groups (e.g. homosexuals) it is in the best interest of organized religions to protect their right to worship/marry who they please.

    On a sad side-note… Mitt Romney is for affirmative action. Affirmative action destroys individual rights/freedom because you can’t give special rights to groups without destroying them for others.

  84. Ralph Hughes
    April 20, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    I direct this question to those who believe, as Mitt Romney should know, that “…it is a part of the doctrine of the Latter-day Saints, as much a part as any other tenet of their religion, that the Lord Himself “established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood”, and that this Constitution “should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles.” (From an October 1941 First Presidency Letter) and God and Christ spoke to Joseph Smith in the Spring of 1920.

    Is there any excuse for so many LDSs to continue to support Mitt Romney for President of the United States?

  85. THOMAS DYCHES
    April 21, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    Thanks for this in-depth report Connor. HOPEFULLY this lengthy treatise can convince not only Mormons but Republicans in general that Mitt, though he may be a good man, is definitely not a constitutional nor consistent choice.

  86. Ralph Hughes
    April 21, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    Romney’s statement “well, I don’t recall God speaking to me. I, I don’t recall God speaking to anyone since, uh, Moses and the [burning] bush, or perhaps some others, but, but I don’t have that frequent of communication.” demonstrates to me a lack of courage and principle. Yet it amazes me how many LDSs are willing to overlook that flaw.

  87. Gary
    April 26, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Connor, salute on your meticulously documented critique. Given Romney’s record, he is indicted by his own words from his famous religious freedom speech: “Americans do not respect believers of convenience.”

    Here’s one you didn’t mention. On a prominent Iowa radio talk show, defending his record of aggressively promoting abortion on demand prior to running for president, Romney despicably resorted to throwing leaders of the Church under the bus.

    Romney said: “There are Mormons in the leadership of my church who are pro-choice. …Every Mormon should be pro-life? That’s not what my church says.”

    Video:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/jonathanmartin/0807/Mitt_unplugged.html

    (Note that by not naming which LDS leaders he alleges support abortion on demand, he outrageously casts aspersions on all of them.)

  88. Ralph Hughes
    April 26, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    If I had said the things that Romney has said that have demonstrated such disdain for certain moral and constitutional principles, I would find ways to publicly acknowledge and apologize for my errors before ever showing my face in the political arena again, or even among other Latter-day Saints. I don’t know how he does it. I find myself looking for ways to make other Latter-day Saint voters aware of these incidents, and am frustrated by most who simply will not believe that he has said the things that he has. Because of his support for the re-election of Senator John McCain in Arizona he has LDS voters thinking McCain is a good man worth of our votes.

  89. Kelly W.
    April 27, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    “am frustrated by most who simply will not believe that he has said the things that he has”

    Ralph, your comment is true. Just last month I was talking to a stalwart LDS at church, and told him that Romney said ………

    The LDS member simply said: “Well, I never heard him say that!” implying that I was wrong to even imply that Romney would say such a thing!

  90. Ralph Hughes
    April 27, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

    I too have gotten the reply a number of times “Well, I never heard him say that!” or similar. Probably didn’t even pay attention to those debates and interviews. Truth be known, most American LDSs would not recognize the errors in some of the things Ronmey said and did. So anxious and hopeful are many LDSs to get a Mormon into the White House that they excuse his most obvious blunder.

    I may have written this before, but my top priority is to awaken LDSs to our responsibility to honoour the US Constitution and awaken ourselves and others to our “awful situation”. Mitt Romney stands out as a reason for and a means of promoting that awakening.

  91. Chino Blanco
    April 29, 2010 at 3:08 am #

    Kudos. Now if only more LDS would be as diligent in doing their homework about Romney.

  92. Donna
    May 8, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    Hey! what religion did Obama believe? what wrong after Mitt changed from pro choice to pro life?(is not flip-flop,it is changed from bad to best,or changed from kill babies to save babies)no prresident in the history ever attack America and anti America as Obama is doing now, no president in the U.S. ever linked to terrorist and had a lot of communist friends as Obama, America is for democracy,because it is the free world leader but now the socialism is the president,what wrong about a Mormon to be the president? why a catholic,a Muslim,and a christian can be president,this great country is freedom for every thing,but you guy just blamed Mitt for Mormon,for changed from pro choice to pro life,blamed for what ever you can say because you don’t know the constitution of this country and you don’t know the bill of right and final thing is you very fear Mitt leadership,Mitt experienced,and Mitt character,because he is the America dream,why every sources turn to him,but no other because he is the real leader,the top of all,and the most power full leader at this time in America political now.

  93. Ralph Hughes
    May 8, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    Donna, you gotta lotta homework to do.

  94. Ralph Hughes
    October 21, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    A letter I recently wrote and sent to Brother Romney,

    As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you and I, and for that matter, all adult members, are under a divinely mandated obligation to defend, uphold, and abide by the principles of the Constitution of the United States. And since the Lord put His “stamp of approval” on our Constitution in 1833, I suggest that we are responsible to the Constitution as it stood in that year, which included the Bill of Rights and the 11th and 12th Amendments.

    Many laws have been passed and many programs instituted by our government that are diametrically contrary to our Constitution, especially as the Lord and the American Founding Fathers intended that it should be understood. There has been an alarming increase in the abandoning of the ideals that constitute the foundation of that Constitution
    .
    In April 1966, Elder Marion G. Romney, speaking in the General Priesthood meeting, included the statement “When Zion is redeemed, as it most certainly shall be, it will be redeemed under a government and by a people strictly observing those ‘just and holy principles’ of the Constitution that accord to men their God-given moral agency, including the right to private property.” Elder Romney further stated his prayer “That we will develop the understanding, the desire, and the courage born of the Spirit, to eschew socialism and to support and to sustain, in the manner revealed and as interpreted by the Lord, those just and holy principles embodied in the Constitution of the United States for the protection of all flesh, in the exercise of their God-given agency.”

    The Mormon people have, I believe, the most serious responsibility of any people to prepare a remnant that will ultimately restore the principles of the U.S. Constitution as approved by the Lord to our government. And because of your experience in government and your knowledge of these principles, you are probably the best person in the Church at this time to rally Latter-day Saints and lead the charge in preparation for that time when people will want to live under the principles of the U.S. Constitution that the American Founding Fathers and the Lord intended us to live under. Please keep these things in mind as you proceed in your future political plans.

  95. mormonlibertarian
    October 22, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    That is a brave thing you did, Ralph–

    Unfortunately, I fear that Mitt Romney will just smile and say, “ah, I’m already doing that”–

    and go on as before.

    If the man understands how far he has wandered from the constitution in his political and business dealings–

    then he won’t care.

    If he doesn’t understand, I daresay it may be too late for him to understand.

    Who knows?

    It’s worth a try, and I would say that you did the noble thing. You did the Book of Mormon thing; I am impressed. Often prophets have preached where they sensed there was little hope, but the blessings were on the head of the prophet who had the courage to do so.

  96. laura
    February 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    I was in Massachusetts and was one of the “Women for Romney” team. At a fundraising dinner he talked about the right to have an abortion and I almost fell off my chair….. He lost me right then and there.

  97. Kelly W.
    February 2, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    I was watching Romney being interviewed on Good Morning America by George Stephanopulous just a couple days ago. Stephanopulous brought up the fact that Obamacare is almost identical to the Romneycare that he championed in Massachusetts. George asked, in light of Romney’s book called No Apology, if Romney would apologize for the disaster of Romneycare in Massachusetts since Romney was so against Obamacare. Mitt replied that he would not apologize for Romneycare, because states have the right to impose manditory health care, yet the federal government does not. George questioned Romney further asking for clarification, and Mitt says that the reason Romneycare is constitutional, yet Obamacare is not, is that Obama is seeking to take away the states’ rights to impose manditory health care by making it a federal law.

    Mitt conceded that Romneycare was not doing so well, but he was clear to say that he did NOT apologize for imposing Romneycare, but yet he conceded that if he were to do it over again, he’d do a hundred things differently in his health care law for Massachusetts.

    While he made it clear that this was not an apology, it sounded like one to me.

  98. Ralph Hughes
    February 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    Again, Mitt Romney shows that he is short on principles. His mandatory health care program deprives citizens of their free agency, the freedom to choose for themselves. It also forces one group of citizens to pay for the health care of another group. Come 2012 it will be essential that we awake as many LDSs as possible to the shortfalls of Mitt Romney so that they will begin to understand which principles they should be supporting. Thank you all for your contributions to this topic.

  99. THOMAS DYCHES
    February 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Kelly W., please don’t be fooled by Mitt’s states’ rights defense. I also read chapter 8 of Mitt’s book on health care because I wanted to learn how he justifies government-funded health care systems. He admits in his book that Massachusetts took existing funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Federal) and simply rediverted it to help fund the so-called Romneycare system. So it’s a fallacy for him to make it sound like Massachusetts’ system is strictly a state-based and funded system. And I always have to say that I oppose government involvement in health care on either the Federal or State level because it is socialistic to me. However, if a state legislature and its citizens want to be stupid and engage in Socialism, by all means, go ahead. But Mitt shouldn’t try to deceive us by telling us Massachusetts’ system is constitutional when it is receiving federal funding.

    Thomas, PYROLITICAL Radio Show

  100. THOMAS DYCHES
    February 2, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    And as a follow-up to my last comment…

    Another reason to argue against state-based health care systems is this: when those systems run major deficits or face bankruptcy, who do the states automatically call upon to bail them out? Why, the Federal Guvmint of course! We Americans will pay the price for Mitt and Co’s little experiment in Massachusetts as it continues to run into the ditch.

    Do you see the problem with having government do something it isn’t naturally or morally designed to do? If government is fundamentally a gun, or “force like fire” as Washington put it, then why the heck are we using a gun to control and fund health care? Makes a lot of sense right??

    Thomas, PYROLITICAL Radio Show

  101. Connor
    March 5, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    This article agrees with my thesis:

    The problem has been fed by the fact that, in each of his runs for public office, Romney has remade himself. Last time out, he shed his moderate social views on abortion and gay rights, then struggled to convince primary voters of his conservative bona fides. A perception grew that the handsome candidate, with his almost-too-perfect hair and teeth and seemingly scripted answers to every question, would say anything to get elected.

  102. Jennifer
    March 9, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    I saw this on your side bar. You have done great research. I will refer back to this when people have questions. I seriously feel sick to my stomach now that I have made it to the end of the post…I really hope he never wins anything else.

  103. THOMAS DYCHES
    March 16, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    And just for the record, I don’t have a problem with Mitt’s hair or teeth. Just his policies and political history. Just had to make that clear. LOL

    Thomas, PYROLITICAL Radio Show

  104. Liz
    March 17, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    Romney is the man. He is in pole position and he has the skills. Look for your prophet elsewhere, Romney is just a man. A man ready to fix this country’s fiscal problems.

  105. Liz
    March 17, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    I also like that Allen West. Maybe for VP. Military experience, straight talker…someone in Florida says he seems to be too glib, throwing out red meat, I haven’t seen that in the video clips. Romney/West 2012

  106. Brennan
    March 29, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    Liz, you are still posting on this……..

    really???????

    saying Mitt is “ready to fix this country’s fiscal problems.”

    PLEASE! Have you still not read the article? Have you not read ANY of the comments above?

    I have ADHD, (diagnosed by a doctor) and I still managed to read the article and ALL the comments.

    Mitt is terrible!!! Pick a candidate who will stick to his beliefs!

  107. Ralph Hughes
    March 29, 2011 at 12:34 am #

    Mitt Romney sticks to his beliefs (with the exception of that about God speaking to man since He spoke to Moses at the bush). It’s just that his beliefs seem to change with the audience he is speaking to and what they want to hear.

  108. Ralph Hughes
    March 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Mention on another thread of Arizona Senator John McCain gave me a flash back to his stumping here in AZ and being introduced and endorsed by Mitt Romney. My contempt for John McCain goes back many years and includes his betrayal of a congressional committee investigation into missing POWs (MIAs), his betrayal of the 2nd Amendment which fueled a recall effort in AZ,, and his numerous promotions of unconstitutional legislations and programs beneficial to establishment of the NWO. How anyone of moral and constitutional principles can support McCain is beyind my comprehension.

  109. THOMAS DYCHES
    March 30, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Ralph, I also believe anyone with “constitutional principles” cannot support Romney. I remember when Romney stumped for Senator Bob Bennett last year at the UT State GOP Conv. What a joke. That didn’t help Bennett any.

    Thomas, PYROLITICAL Radio Show

  110. Ralph Hughes
    March 30, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    Thomas, Truth be known, Romney’s support probably gleaned a lot more votes for Bennett than we realize. Romney still wields a lot of influence among LDS voters. That guy just cannot seem to get it right, can he>

  111. THOMAS DYCHES
    March 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    No he can’t Ralph. He obviously doesn’t get it or he’s in bed with the elites. I think it’s the former because I prefer to attribute to ignorance over malice.

    Thomas, PYROLITICAL Radio Show

  112. Adam
    April 12, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    You need to do a little fact checking with what he did with the budget in Massachusetts and not just link to some opinion article of a woman who obviously has a bias. He never claimed he cut the budget, he cut the budget deficit.

  113. Jared
    May 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    Connor, I hope you cut out completely the reference to Mitt supposedly “banning the Boy Scouts” from volunteering in the Olympics because of their stance on homosexuals. You added the word “allegedly” after I questioned your dubious sources, but you have no evidence whatsoever that it’s true. It doesn’t pass the smell test since Mitt was on the BSA national board. I have also heard (through admittedly dubious sources as well) that one of the reasons for NOT including Boy Scouts was the IOC didn’t want anyone in uniform that resembled anything military. That makes a lot more sense than a former Bishop, Stake President, and BSA board member deciding to make such a silly ban.

    That was the first one of your references I looked into, and it was a pretty lousy source (some random blog). I wonder how many people on here have bothered checking your sources.

  114. Curtis
    May 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    The reason SLOC did not include the BSA in the Olympics had nothing to do with Homosexuality. The IOC didn’t like the uniforms and forbade it. The IOC didn’t want anything military or military uniforms near or associated with the games. I suggest that you take out the BSA reference as it is factually inaccurate.

  115. Connor
    May 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    You added the word “allegedly” after I questioned your dubious sources, but you have no evidence whatsoever that it’s true.

    This article, written by a Latter-day Saint who ironically now supports Romney, carries the same tune. Given Romney’s advocacy of homosexuals within the BSA and his Massachusetts political aspirations, the “uniform” reason for excluding the Scouts from active participation seems to be an appeasement.

    Given the other factors involved in the BSA/homosexual issue, and the assertions made by Rick Perry and others (including the journalist here linked to, which even after deciding to support Romney, never retracted his statements on these issues), I’m inclined to think that the allegation may have some merit. Not saying it’s 100% factual, but I do believe there’s enough skeptical suspicion to merit consideration of the allegation, substantiated as it is by a few others.

    Either way, it’s a complete side issue to the main arguments presented, and should be treated as such, whether it’s true or false.

  116. Ralph Hughes
    May 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    As more LDSs awake to our “awful situation” and realize how much of it is due to neglect of the principles the Lord gave us for good government, they will likely look for candidates for office who demonstrate understanding of the Constitution and a determination to be guided by it. I would not be surprised if Mitt Romney started paying lip service to the Constitution. And if Romney doesn’t do a turnabout PDQ we need to start warning our fellow LDSs that he is ignoring a major tenet of our religion in ignoring the principles of the original Constitution. I appreciate the information available on this blog and elsewhere that reveals Romney’s disdain for the US Constitution and ask that others, as they become aware of further evidences that he is disdainful of our Constitution, make note of them here with references. It will be a big help in our efforts to awake our fellow Mormons.

  117. Ian
    October 27, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Gun rights – The blogger’s big problems are that Romney fought against assault rifles, encourages federal background checks for would-be gun buyers, and he’s only been hunting twice even though he said he hunts. I’m okay with all these things.
    Health care – Clearly Romney wants national health care, but his plan is intended to lower the costs for everyone. I don’t like it or agree with it, but he’s never waffled on it.
    Homosexuals – Because Romney thought homosexuals should be protected in the workplace (which I agree with in limited circumstances), Republican gay advocacy rights supported him (shocker). In Mass., the state supreme court allowed for homosexual marriage, and Romney put that into effect. Had the supreme court not done that, Romney would’ve most certainly not allowed it.
    Abortion – This is his biggest “flip-flop.” He would not have been elected in Mass. if he had openly opposed abortion. What he told them in Mass. was that he wouldn’t challenge it. Now that the presidency is at stake, he can say he’s pro-life without undermining his entire campaign. It’d be nice if he had always said he was pro-life, but he wouldn’t have won the governorship and we wouldn’t be talking about him now. The curse of being a Republican running in a Democratic state is that you either bend on a few issues or you don’t get elected (and then nothing changes).
    Terrorism – The blogger doesn’t even try to say Romney flip-flopped here. He details how Romney believes in being extremely aggressive in putting an end to those radicals who threaten our country. I have no idea why there’s anything wrong with this belief.
    Miscellaneous – The blogger is upset that Romney spent money polling potential voters, does not support legalized marijuana, and told a reporter he has never talked to God before (come on, that’s an obvious landmine, it wasn’t a question of revelation, it was a question of face-to-face contact with God).

    Maybe this blogger’s zeal for Ron Paul has led him to see Romney in an unfavorable light, through no fault of Romney.

  118. Rich Alger
    December 1, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    I think Romney will make an excellent President. He can beat Obama, unlike Ron Paul or the Libertarian nominee. I may not agree with Mitt’s change on some of the things you listed but I definitely agree with him at least 80% of the time.

    I appreciate libertarian principles. I admire Ron Paul’s consistency. He plays a very important role in checking the Republican party. Though I think some of his foreign policy is downright dangerous.

  119. Ralph Hughes
    December 1, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    I consider Mitt Romney a disgrace to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. He comes up very short on cetain important moral and constitutional principles.

    IMO Ron Paul upholds true LDS standards all the way across the full range of political issues. He puts to shame all other LDS politicians I know of, especially Romney, Huntsman and Hatch.

  120. Ryan Lanier
    January 10, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    Agree with nearly everything you wrote re: Romney.

    Then you go off the rails and show your Ron Paul colors on foreign policy. Very dangerous mindset. Which makes Ron Paul a dangerous man.

    Your write: “Instead of seeking to understand and advocating sound foreign policies such as the just war theory and the golden rule, Romney advocates a jingoistic, imperial campaign against something as loose an affiliation as “radical Islam”.

    Tell me – is the Taliban a loose affiliation to radical Islam as you suggest? How about Al Qaeda? How loose do we need to be with labeling our enemies before we decide that we don’t really have any?

    Another doozy: “Mitt Romney, in short, favors empire. Undeclared, perpetual warfare against a loosely-organized and poorly supplied rag-tag band of “insurgents” is something to which Romney is eager and willing to commit blood and treasure, with no qualifiers whatsoever. As said earlier, this is a full embrace of the neoconservative promotion of warfare to vanquish whatever enemy may exist.”

    I won’t speak for Romney on this matter, but you make gross generalizations here, calling everyone of Romney’s supposed ilk to be “neo-conservatives.” Are you saying that we are doing harm by being in Japan, Germany, Korea, etc. Are we building empires there? Did we take Iraq’s oil? In fact, the US is often criticized for leaving the Persian Gulf too early to leave Kuwait to fend for itself. Tell me, were we building a empire then? If so, why did we stop? Surely, that would have been a great foothold to securing oil for decades. Please explain your logic.

    And Lybia. Many “neo-cons” (myself included) did NOT support this invasion. It had nothing to do with US national interests. The neo-cons you might be thinking of, or at least the “talking heads” (Limbaugh, Levin, Elder) also opposed it. We understand the proper use of military. Problem with Ron Paul is he never seems it to be warranted.

    I encourage you to think of the good the US has done, and without her influence, the ill that would befall her and many other nations had she not pursued war when it was to protect her citizens and interests.

    As one poet once wrote “Wake up or die in your sleep”.

  121. Kathleen OMeal
    January 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    I am not concerned that Romney changed his stance on abortion and publicly explained why he changed his opinion on this. I would be more concerned about someone who could not admit an error in judgement. I think it speaks well of character to make change such as this. As LDS, we should be lauding this and not using this from such a shallow perspective. I am sure Romney will downsize Washington quickly and decisively and we will all go through very hard times. Get ready to take in some neighbors who will not have enough to live on. That seems like a way we can all help the economy right now and really at least to act our way through being LDS people.

  122. Jim Davis
    January 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Kathleen,

    I don’t think the issue is that Mitt came around on abortion. It’s that he conveniently keeps on changing his message depending on who his audience is. Does that sound like an honest person to you?

  123. Ralph Hughes
    January 13, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    I think this would be better entitled “The Deceptions of Mitt Romney”.

  124. Timothy McGaffin II
    February 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    And since the writing of this great article, Mitt Romney also supports the Unconstitutional NDAA and assured us that he will “not abuse this power.”

    This SCREAMS wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    It is easy to identify the wolves in sheeps clothing.

    Those who support and follow the Constitution 100% are sheeps in sheeps clothing>

    Those who support and follow UNconstitutional acts are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    It’s time for us to mobilize and stand up for our civil rights! Spread the message of Liberty!

    Ron Paul 2012!

  125. Sean McLaughlin
    March 5, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    We are far beyond the possibility of a simple, libertarian principled government at this stage. Or should I say, too far gone! As always, politics in this country have always have been and will be about compromise between different factions who want different things. The halcyon days of our country’s breath of fresh air beginnings as expressed by Jefferson have long been eclipsed by the wranglings of people who will never understand the awful price paid by their own greed in demanding so many goods and services of a wasteful, corrupt “Big Government”. Ron Paul? Santorum? Yes, that kind of character I would LOVE to see in government. But Not a chance for them to be elected, a true conservative has nary a chance, at least not in the foreseeable future. Romney may be a mixed bag TO BE SURE but realistically, as he rounds the corner, I think I can live with him a great deal better than the alternative we’ve as had the past four years. If we were on the aggregate righteous citizens in this country, we could come up with a more righteous system in terms of getting back to a more limited government as it should be. Romney? He’s the “lesser of two evils” kind of thing in my book. I’ll take the chance that he’ll rise to his calling as President and surprise us all.

  126. outside the corridor
    March 6, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    I don’t think it’s ever too late, Sean, though it might ‘hurt’ a lot for the remedy; it will hurt everyone–

    There are others on here who agree with me that only Jesus Christ has a big enough mop to clean up the mess–
    but I see the ‘revolution’ which has followed the mentor Ron Paul as being a precursor to a millennial government–
    People are preparing now for something so much more glorious and constitutional than most of *us* can imagine–
    baby steps, you might say–

    I don’t see any other candidate leading towards that; they have all sold themselves to the highest bidder–

    I can’t agree with your idea that big government is only a problem with regards to welfare. I agree that it is, of course; I am not a believer in government subsidization of poverty–

    but I believe that big government is as much of a problem for the ‘warfare’ state as the ‘welfare’ state–

    and for the baillouts not of the most impoverished but for the baillouts of big banks who have no American loyalty–

    The poor people are not the problem.

    But I find it difficult to accept that *you* believe Ron Paul and Rick Santorum to be the same kind of ‘character'; they have very little in common at all.
    Dr. Paul has called Santorum a ‘fake conservative’ for a very valid reason; the man was very much a pro-abortion/Planned Parenthood politician just a very few years ago.

    Romney is very much a ‘big government’ politician; he has the support of some of the same banks which were bailled out–

    IF you include big bankers in the “people who will never understand the awful price paid by their own greed in demanding so many good and services of a wasteful, corrupt ‘big government'”, then . . .

    I can certainly agree with you.

  127. Sean McLaughlin
    March 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    I hear you, Conner. I with you know what I’d like to see happen and there is no underestimating the power and influence of the righteous and caring in a world growing more selfish, callous and hedonistic by the day. That’s not everybody; I know that. On a sliding character scale, I have more regard for Santorum and Paul than Romney and Gingrich. But in terms of electability, Paul is not going to make it. He never had a chance. That’s not to say I decry yours and other’s belief and support for him a waste at all, because it makes a statement and shows support for the principles espoused. In terms of big government, of course I’d have much more to say about its wrongs than mere welfare. Problem is, votes are votes and in the aggregate, those who pine after free healthcare and extended government benefits will vote for their champions, and of course, the war was very “unpopular” also with a great many who voted for Obama. I myself didn’t agree with Bush from DAY ONE on our involvement in Iraq particularly.
    Anyhow, thanks for your kind and informative response. You’ve got me thinking which is a very very good place to be.

  128. Conner
    September 6, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    Conner,
    I have posted and reposted this so many times on facebook and I just want to pull my hair out when I have fellow mormons take up their arms against me because I’m attacking a fellow mormon. Well, Mormons voting for Mitt just because he is Mormon is like…well, I can’t think of a corollary. :)

  129. Cameron
    September 6, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    Well, I don’t know you Conner. I came across a link to this on a friend’s facebook page and thought I’d check it out. I didn’t have much time and only purused it. I also don’t have much time right now, so this may be full of dirty grammar and flawed puncuation. Please excuse the jumbled nature of the thoughts that follow.
    Without taking sides on candidates I want to offer a comment about ‘flipflopping.’ It’s now two and a half years after you originally posted this and for most of that time nearly every candidate has taken a huge amount of flack for being inconsistent and has been painted by his/her opponents as untruthful or decietful. What I want to say, without supporting one candidate or the other, is that I believe that everyone who is up in arms about inconsistencies by one man over a lifetime of service needs to chill out and take a look at each situation and also the big picture. Even our God, who gave us the commandment not to kill has sent his people to war and condoned selective killing of individuals and sometimes entire societies, complete with the destruction of everything they posessed. Does this mean that God is inconsistent? It is also completely unrealistic for us to expect that we each already know everything we need to know or will ever learn, and that we will never change our oppinion or views about something. Anyone who is in a position, political or otherwise, that requires bipartisan practices, and is trying to make sound judgments based on current circumstances and under specific conditions, will do things that appear inconsistent when compared to other situations, statments, or decisions. We need our current and future Presidents to come to the middle just as we have needed every other President through out our history to fill the role of ‘President’ not the role of ‘party leader in power’. To do that, each President must be willing to make the best judgment calls he or she can make for the situation at hand, even if that means doing something or saying something he/she’s never done or said before. From what I saw here, you’ve presented evidence to support your claim that Romney isn’t consistent and are using that claim to suggest that he is therefore not a viable candidate for President. My counter claim is not based on Romney as a candidate but on your argument itself. I would popose instead that each situation of inconsistency should be analysed in context and INDEPENDENANT of other statements and situations. We should decide if we think that person made correct decisions under those circumstances, at that time. If we note a pattern of what we believe to be wise decisions, then we will have found someone we can ultimately trust to make good decisions in a variety of difficult circumstances. Someone who will actually be a sound judge and decision maker regardless of the source of the idea or which party he or she affiliates with. I believe this philosophy should be applied to all candidates.

  130. Ralph Hughes
    September 1, 2014 at 12:33 am #

    It appears there is interest in Mitt Romney running again for US President http://nypost.com/2014/08/30/why-mitt-romney-may-be-the-gops-next-great-hope-again/ Has there been any sign of his having learned about the proper role of government since 2012 ?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Sacred Cow #4: We must support LDS candidates | Sacred Cows Taste Good - February 12, 2011

    […] http://www.connorboyack.com/blog/the-chameleon-like-qualities-of-mitt-romneys-conservatism […]

  2. Will All Mormons Vote for Romney? | Politics | Mormon DNA - August 21, 2011

    […] But Romney’s problem is that there are some Mormons who don’t quite feel comfortable with him. Mormons tend to be quite conservative, and Romney’s past positions on abortion and gay marriage as well as his apparent propensity to change his mind depending on what will benefit his political career have made some Mormons a bit cautious, if not downright disenchanted. […]

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