Mormons are a conservative lot and, for a lot of reasons, they’re a natural fit for the Republican Party. We shouldn’t forget, though, that the most powerful Mormon in the country is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat. When it comes to politics, I don’t like to critique people’s religious beliefs. Ask me what I think of a particular religion in a private setting and I’ll tell you, but I don’t want to try to score political points by running down someone’s private faith. I understand that a lot of Democrats (e.g., some in the gay community) feel like the Mormons are trying to oppress them and are very willing to fight back with tough language. I sympathize. I do. But even Democrats who fight back against Mormons do so with mockery and snark, not with incitement to fear. Even when Howie Klein, in the above cited piece, cites some history to show that the Mormons have been interested in winning the White House ever since Joseph Smith ran for the White House, he doesn’t say “egads, the Mormons are all out to get you and turn this country into a theocracy.” Yeah, Joseph Smith wanted to do that, but that doesn’t mean that Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman have the same intention. Nor does it mean that Harry Reid will switch parties to support a fellow Mormon’s presidential campaign.
But, you know, we could make that argument. We could treat Mormons exactly the way that the Republicans treat Muslims. We could forget all about Mitt Romney’s record and his ever-changing positions on the issues, and we could demonize his religion. We could pick it apart and make it seem silly. We could make it seem incredibly sinister. The whole left-leaning media world could get on board to one degree or another in pushing that narrative. We could even add in a little hysteria to mirror the right’s hysteria about Latino immigration. We could point out that Mormons are outbreeding the rest of us and they’ll only need a couple more centuries to become the majority in this country.
We could do these things, but we don’t, and we won’t. And that’s because we actually believe in a few things that are more important than winning. We won’t just say anything that can instill fear in people in order to manipulate them. We won’t make naked appeals to tribal/racial/sectarian feelings. We won’t step all over the spirit of the First Amendment and Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution.
Likewise, we won’t try to win elections by making it harder for targeted Republican groups to vote. I could go on at length about the things the Left won’t do, but could do, to win elections. It can be frustrating to support a party that often fights with one hand tied behind its back while the other side is kicking us in the crotch, but I’ll take the frustration over the morally bankrupt tactics of the other side.