May the Best “Man” Win

July 2, 2007

This Week’s Topic: Do you want a Mormon president?

by Carrie Ann

Sometime just before the 2000 election, I had reconnected with an old high school friend. In one of his e-mails he made a sarcastic comment suggesting that my vote was a foregone conclusion considering my religion. Yes, I voted for Bush in that election, but it was not for the reasons he thought.

I consider myself an active, run-of-the-mill Mormon. I read my scriptures, I pray, I attend church and the temple, and I try to magnify my calling. I am nothing special, but I am not a drone either. I really try to listen to the spirit in all my dealings. And that might lead me somewhere different than you are being lead even if our situations seem identical.

Being an active, engaged Mormon doesn’t necessarily mean I will vote like my Mormon neighbors. My path, my experiences lead me on. I am not looking around to see who’s with me, ahead of me, or behind me. I have to make decisions that sit right with me.

During the last election, I actually prayed at the ballot box. Proposition 3 was up for vote in Utah and I was torn. I felt one way, but I wanted to know how Heavenly Father felt about it. I didn’t want my voice to be about being a “Mormon”; I wanted my vote to be about loving my neighbor. As usual, HF left the decision totally up to me. I knew how the leaders of the church felt about it, I knew how the Mormons who organized themselves in California felt about it, then I knew how I felt about it and I had the agency to vote on it.

I get teased by my husband and by his parents about being a “Democrat”. It’s an easy way for them to categorize me, but I take well. I am not an across-the-board Democrat. I just want to vote for the best candidate. And if my path leads me to choose Hilary, or Obama, or John, or Mitt, so be it. I respect that your path may lead you to choose someone else.

Does it matter to me that we could possibly have a Mormon president (although I think the chances are slim)? To be honest, it bothers me a little. While I am suspect of anyone who seems too polished, too raised up to be in politics I think I am mostly exhausted of the question of my religion, the scrutiny. It is tiresome. We’ve gone over all that before. Let’s move on, America. But I won’t vote for or against our Mormon candidate BECAUSE he’s a Mormon. That’s called bigotry. I will vote for whom I think will best represent the values I think are the most critical in maintaining and progressing our freedoms, rights, and privileges (and if the person has decent personal values…all the better). May the best person win,


  1. First of all, you? Not special? Not how I see it… 😉

  2. I don’t think we should vote for or against Mitt because he’s a Mormon but I feel like everyone else in the Church is going to vote for him for that very reason. I think they’re going to let their predisposition determine their voting.

  3. Civicus: What are you basing that opinion on (that everyone else will vote for Mitt because he is LDS)? To say that everyone else in the LDS Church will vote for Mitt because of his religion points to a bias that you seem to have against Mormons, doesn’t it? I guess I think broad generalizations like this are based on the biased assumption that Mormons are closed minded.

  4. Christian, I said I felt like people were basing their opinions on Mitt because of his religion. I never claimed to advertise it as fact.

    So what if people don’t want to vote for a politician because he’s Mormons. There’s a legitimate fear that he might take his orders from Salt Lake City. Just like when the Church every now and then sends letter to the wards, encouraging members to speak out about a social issue.

    As for me, I am primarily opposed to Romney because he’s a political chameleon who changes his political views to suit every office he’s seeking.

  5. Great post, CA. I agree with the religious scrutiny problem. John Fowles mentioned on Mormon Matters Podcast #2 that given the potential for things to get much worse in Iraq, the last thing we want is a Mormon in office, because then it’ll be the Mormon’s fault.

  6. Ann has a good point about that. Mormons are not exactly the most popular group of people around. Not to mention that Mitt Romney seems to have no scruples and I think he’d make a poor representative of the Church.

  7. Civicus: I don’t have a problem with people who don’t vote for Mitt Romney because he is Mormon. I don’t have a problem with people who vote for him because he is either. As for me, I am still undecided. The problem I have with your comment is that it is ignorant to make generalizations such as “I feel like everyone else in the church is going to vote for him for that very reason [being LDS]”. It implies that people in the LDS Church are not thinking through their voting decisions and I don’t think that is fair.

    I am sure there are members of the LDS Church who do not put a lot of thought into their votes. I’m sure there are a lot of members of the LDS Church who don’t listen to the counsel of the prophet and don’t cast a vote at all. But I also know a lot of very thoughtful members of the LDS Church who carefully consider the issues at hand and the candidates and cast what they believe to be the best vote they can cast.

    All I am asking is that you are more careful when you imply that others are closed minded because to do so by making uninformed generalizations and then to defend that with, “It’s just my opinion” seems to me to be the very definition of closed minded.

  8. Let me add that LDS Church members who do not cast votes, or who do not cast thoughtful votes, are not alone. Mormons are not the only victims of political apathy.

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