For those that are wondering: yes, the title is just meant to catch your attention. Sort of.
Just a few days ago I predicted a surge for Gingrich. Now we’ve got one. Not much of a prediction really as it’s entirely expected. Evangelicals just can’t vote for a Mormon. It doesn’t matter if he’s ahead in the polls in a race with Obama (and is the only one of the Republican candidates that is.) Because — as I’ve said elsewhere — Evangelicals are generally religious first and political second. (Nothing wrong with that in and of itself.)
A Mormon president is simply unthinkable to a devout Evangelical. It would utterly undermine everything they’ve used for a century as their primary form of border control. You won’t be able to go to an anti-Mormon class without someone in the group raising their hand and saying “oh, come on, the President of the United States is Mormon. We must be missing something here.”
What would it take to end anti-Mormon bigotry in Evangelical Churches? Not much. In fact, if one Evangelical in every Evangelical church went to their minister and said “you need to start treating Mormons tolerantly or I’m out of here” they entire counter cult movement would disappear overnight outside of a few ‘skin-head’ style churches.
This is the problem. Most Evangelicals aren’t outright bigots towards Mormons. Only about 1/3 are. The rest, however, have just enough sympathy to the bigoted group to let it go on without resisting.
A Mormon President would likely put a massive wrench in everything they are trying to do. It might even been enough to end the anti-Mormon bigotry in a giant swath of Evangelical Churches. (Though it would not endear them to us… I just mean the intolerance would end. They’d be forced to come up with legitimate differences between us and them — which are many.)
So really, I don’t blame them for hating Romney so much that incompentence, probable harrassers, and adulters all look better than a Mormon. In a way, they are doing the only thing that makes sense from their point of view.
But we Mormons have got to stop kidding ourselves. The controlling faction of the Republican party hates us more than we realize. Because we just don’t have equivalent negative feelings for them, we think they don’t for us. In short, the Republican party thinks we’re a hideous cult and they just accidently made it obvious that anyone is better than a Mormon in their eyes.
Funny thing is every one of their Messiahs has turned false on them. Even Gingrich is already starting to stumble. We might just end up with a Mormon candidate (though I still doubt even Romney could beat Obama in a general election) by pure accident and over the full on objections of the controlling faction.
But honestly, I still don’t even believe that. Next up: Ron Paul finally gets his one and only chance to be a serious candidate thanks to the Romney factor.