I was listening to Glenn Beck on the radio today, and he had a long segment where he discussed his reaction, as a Mormon, to Mitt Romney’s nomination. Beck had to pause several times because he was choked up. He said he was talking to his son and his son asked about Romney, and Beck said: “he’s the same religion we are. He’s a Mormon.”
Beck said it was an incredible thing and the sign of yet another barrier broken to have a Mormon nominated for a major party’s nomination for president. Just as Obama’s election is a sign that the United States is putting behind its racist past, the fact that people are willing to vote for a Mormon is a sign that we are finally being accepted as a people and is a sign of new religious tolerance, Beck said.
Now it is worth pointing out that Beck supported Rick Santorum during the primaries and has been extremely critical of Romney over the years. So Beck may have his faults, but he is not a long-time shill for Romney. Personally, I thought he was speaking from the heart. He repeated several times how touching it was to hear Romney talk about his family and kids during his acceptance speech.
Here’s the thing: I didn’t have any feelings of “Mormon pride” during Romney’s speech. My wife and I watched it last night after the kids went to bed, and we both said, “well, I hope he can fix some of the mess created in the last 10 years,” but we both also have our doubts that Romney will make any big changes. Both of us like Romney as a common-sense problem-solver. We feel comfortable with him as a person because he has an aura of competence. But we also worry that, like President Bush during the TARP debate, Romney will abandon principle at crucial times.
I should point out that the Republican candidate is my third cousin once removed. My grandmother’s maiden name is Romney, and she grew up in Mexico with the Romney clan. So, if anybody should be feeling some nostalgia for this Mormon moment, I should, right?
But somehow I don’t feel that way. Should I? Do you feel Mormon pride?
Please note: I would ask that this thread not become an insult-fest regarding Glenn Beck or Romney for that matter. Most people are aware of their faults. Concentrate instead on the question: should we Mormons be feeling that an important barrier has been breached? Should be be feeling proud that a fellow Mormon has been nominated as president?