Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mitt Romney's cash cow, Utah

Mitt's in town. I saw on the local news his plane had landed. He descended the staircase where a line of Boy Scouts awaited his arrival. There were hearty handshakes for all the boys, who were all white, toothsome, wholesome and Mormonsome. What else can I say? This is Utah.*

Mitt enjoys a fan base here in Utah unlike any other place in America. It's where Mitt's Mormons live, and some very big donors, just dying to plunk down thousands of dollars for the honor of sitting with the Great Man himself. Mitt has been in a little bit of a public relations quagmire lately, starting about the time of the summer Olympics, and needs to be amongst those who adore him.

And why not adore him? Some Mormons believe Mitt is the answer to a prophecy. Some other Mormons claim there is no such prophecy. It's called the White Horse Prophecy (not White House, but Horse.) The simplest explanation I can give is that it is another bit of Mormon mythology, which claims Joseph Smith or Brigham Young said there would come a time when the U.S. Constitution “would be hanging by a thread,” and a Mormon would come along to save the country.

Hooray for Mitt, savior of our Constitution!

Except Mitt apparently dismisses the idea. In the Wikipedia entry, “White Horse Prophecy”, Mitt is quoted as saying, “That's not official church doctrine....I don't put that at the heart of my religious belief.” But I'll bet at night when he says his prayers he says to God, “If the White Horse prophecy is real, then I'm your man!” Right about now it looks as if it will take an act of God to get Mitt elected, but that's right now. I'm not na├»ve enough to believe nothing can change by election day to turn the whole election around, with or without an act of God.

It really doesn't matter to Mitt's minions, his faithful followers, whether a prophecy is true, or whether he's even the best candidate for president. He's their guy! He's one of them! He's Brother Mitt!

I'm not comparing Mitt's origins or status to Barack Obama's personal story, but there is something groundbreaking in his candidacy: Barack Obama was the first black man to be a major party presidential candidate, and Mitt Romney is the first Mormon. And now they're running against each other. None of that is in the “prophecy,” but not that many years ago this presidential election scenario would have been improbable, if not impossible for anyone to have imagined.

*As an aside, as I was writing this post my phone rang. I let it ring because when I looked on the Caller ID it said “Brigham Young.” I assume that means Brigham Young University, and not a call from Brigham Young in the afterlife. It's just another of my many daily reminders of where I live, and the folks I live among. If Brigham, or his university, wants to talk to me they can leave a message and maybe I'll get back to them.

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