Candidates for political office can only run on their record, plans for the future, and moral character that voters assess as either good or bad. The candidates for the Republican nomination for president have misinformed the electorate regarding their political records, but their plans for the future are likely accurate representations of what their administration may look like if they prevail and win the presidency. The interesting aspect of the GOP field is that of all the candidates, Rick Santorum may be the only man who is true to his core beliefs, and he was rewarded last Tuesday when he defeated Willard “Mitt” Romney in three Republican primaries. Romney’s character is going to be a deciding factor during the primary race, and as the public learns more about his character and lack of integrity, his record as governor will be the least of his problems.
A while ago Romney said his main concern was for the vanishing middle class and not the poor or the one percent. He contended that the wealthiest 1% were doing fine and the poor were protected by safety nets, but his economic plan belies his statement and exposes his propensity for lying to curry favor with voters. Romney’s 59-point economic plan favors the wealthy he asserts is doing fine, punishes the middle-class he claims to care about, and decimates the safety nets the poor depend on for daily sustenance. Part of his plan includes repealing the Affordable Care Act that gives 30-40 million Americans access to affordable health care, and it shows that he does not care about healthcare for the poor or middle class; unless they live in Massachusetts. Voters can assume, based on his record, that Romney will carry out his economic plan that belies his concern for the middle class and judge his character accordingly.
The lack of concern for Americans who are not the wealthy elite is part of Romney’s record while he was head of Bain Capital and it shows that as a person, Romney’s love of money disallows him from caring about hard-working Americans. One of Bain’s procedures to “help” struggling businesses was either firing employees and re-hiring them back at lower wages and no benefits, or closing the business and shipping jobs overseas. He displayed the same level of indifference for working class Americans when he said the American automobile industry should fail regardless the millions of jobs that would be lost. What kind of person is willing to let millions fall into poverty because it fits the business model that enriches the wealthy elite? A person of low moral character. Voters will reject a man who cares more about profit than the lives of people he hopes to serve as president, and it belies his assertion that he is a Christian.
Although a candidate’s religion is not supposed to be a factor in an election, Romney’s adherence to Mormonism will play a significant role with evangelical Christians particularly, and the religious right in general. There is one thing about evangelicals; they know their bible even though they do not always practice the tenets of Christianity. At the very end of the book of Revelation in chapter 22:18-19, it says (referring to the bible), “if one puts anything onto it god will put on him the scourges that are written in this book, and if one takes anything away from the words of the book, god will take his portion away from the trees of life, and from the sacred city, that are written in this book.” The Mormon religion is predicated on “latter day” prophecies that were revealed to Joseph Smith by an angel, and it is contrary to the bible and Christianity in general. It is not just the Mormon religion that has as its basis additions to the bible. Religious cults such as Seventh Day Adventists, Christian Scientists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses also follow teachings of men who god revealed special information to in a fit of religious fervor, and they are often in stark contrast to traditional Christianity.
Some of the Mormon practices evangelical Christians reject are baptizing dead people, exclusion of minorities until 1978, secretive temple ceremonies, isolation from family, and proselytizing other main-stream Christian denominations. One critic, Baptist minister R. Philip Roberts recently said “evangelicals are concerned about the great boost a Mormon presidency would give to the church’s proselytizing efforts.” Many main-stream Christians are concerned that Romney is too close to his faith and will acquiesce to church leaders as required by the faith. Mr. Romney should never have claimed he was a “Christian” because the veracity of his statement is easily disproved by any Christian and the simple fact that he lies about his religion to garner votes brings his character into question.
Romney’s road to the nomination is not going to be easy, and he cannot count on the religious right’s support. Regardless the extreme position Rick Santorum takes on nearly every subject, the man is true to evangelical beliefs and he was rewarded by true evangelical voters. Even though Santorum’s proposed policies are unacceptable, they do follow bible tenets and the religious right easily identifies with his positions. It is not the case with Romney, and his extreme economic proposals to reward the wealthy elite and punish the poor and middle class belie his alleged concern for anyone but the rich.
Americans can tolerate nearly anything from political candidates, but they will not support a man who continuously displays character flaws like lying. If Romney is bent on rewarding the rich he should promote trickle-down economic theory to justify giving the wealthiest 1% more tax breaks and promise to outsource jobs and cut safety nets as cost-saving measures. At least he would be honest and voters would accept his economic policies as fiscal austerity for all but the rich; they may not vote for him, but they would know he was true to his words. He should also embrace his religion and stop identifying with main-stream Christianity because of all of Romney’s character flaws, lying about his religion may be the one that gives Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich the Republican nomination for president.