Friday, October 26, 2012

More Mormons for Obama than you might think

Romney asks, which side yoday?
A June 2012 Gallup poll found that 84% of Mormons are for Mitt Romney, 13% for Barack Obama.  Based on a total figure of approximately 5.4 million Mormons living in the U.S., the President has a solid constituency of around 702,000.  A Seattle group, Mormons for Obama, says that Romney does not represent them.  They are progressive-minded Mormons, not officially affiliated with the LTD Church, who question Romney’s stand on gay marriage, health care and religion.

And then there are Mormon feminists who feel they can exercise their women’s rights and still be devout members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Aimee Hickman, co-editor of Mormon feminist magazine Exponent II felt Romney’s remark about the “binders full of women” indicated his approval of powerful women around him.  But disagrees because the candidate still thinks women were meant primarily for domestic issues.

Feminist Mormon Housewives blogger Lisa Butterworth says of all the Mormon feminists she knows, none are going to vote for Romney.  An Exponent II unscientific poll recently found that Obama leads Romney in the upcoming election 72 to 30 votes.  Yet Andrea Alexander from Windham, NH said that she is socially liberal but fiscally conservative.  I could not determine just how big this group of feminists is but right now Romney can’t afford to lose any female votes.

Joanna Brooks, senior correspondent for and author of "The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith," said in Belief Blog that she wanted some “hard truths” and Obama did marginally address the following:

“This recession is fundamentally different than other recessions, and there are no short-term fixes.”

“Our old strategies for managing Middle Eastern conflict through military intervention or propped-up dictators don’t work. And there is no easy way forward.”

“The only thing the $3 trillion Iraq war produced for the United States was a mountain of debt and a legion of disabled Americans.”

“We need to have a serious discussion about Social Security.”

“Debts don’t get paid down without adjustments in revenues.”

Senate Majority leader and Democrat Harry Reid, a Mormon from Nevada, met with Mormon Democrats after the Charlotte convention and acknowledged there was pressure from the Mormon community to vote Republican.  He says his son was confronted at a new school by a classmate, when learning who he was, exclaimed that he didn’t know Mormons could be Democrats.  It’s not a joke the Senator said, and he’s been trying to change that for 30 years.

Mormon Democrats:

Jordan Morales, a Mormon Boise state student, learned his progressive page on Facebook was causing a real problem with LDS friends.  The whole thing even got “messy” when these friends started arguing with his mom.  All this comes at a time when Mormon Democrats are “trying to convince the rest of their church that Mormon teachings are more closely aligned with Democratic principles of social welfare and care for the needy, than conservatism's individualist ideal.”

It almost sounds like a revolution within the Mormon Church, much as I view the revived progressive movement that is going on in this country in a cycle that has determined that the conservative crusades of the last several years are not working.  Nothing from the financial to the social programs the GOP has tried has worked.  The U.S. economy almost tanked, millions are out of work, foreclose has become common and the middle class is listed among the homeless.

Unfortunately Mitt Romney wants to return the country to the policies of George W. Bush and others like him, and because of the big money Republicans favor he has been able to convince enough people that he is right to run a tight election race.  But there are factions who see through this like blacks, Hispanics and women.  In all likelihood, many Mormons will do the same on election day.
See my earlier blog on the major Utah newspaper that endorsed President Obama here.

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