All opposed, by the same sign

November 4, 2008 | 132 comments
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On the issues I care about (and therefore not including the topic addressed from various perspectives so eloquently by my esteemed colleagues), I prefer the positions of the Democratic Party platform and candidate. I directly benefited from Barack Obama’s work as a state senator while I lived in Illinois, he seems to know what he’s talking about on important issues, and it looks like he ran a pretty competent campaign. For my taste, McCain and Palin didn’t offer much more than the politics of fear and resentment, and they seemed more likely to stay trapped in the conflicts of the twentieth century than their opponents. I know it’s fashionable to affect hand-wringing uncertainty about choosing between two candidates, but I cast my vote for Obama with unmitigated enthusiasm.

Who did you vote for?

132 Responses to All opposed, by the same sign

  1. abortion survivor on November 4, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    I did not directly benefit from Barack Obama’s work as a state senator.

  2. Wilfried on November 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    I could not vote, since I am not a US citizen. But let me repeat what I wrote in a comment on a different thread (and which did not seem to draw any attention).

    It concerns the international perspective for the Church. In many foreign countries missionary work is closely tied to the image of the U.S. The past 8 years have been detrimental to that image and to missionary work. Many countries now make it difficult for American missionaries to obtain visa or for local Mormon churches to obtain building permits. We had to withdraw missionaries from Russia. Other countries restrict American missionary work.

    Former democratic U.S. presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, have spread goodwill and reached international agreements that also benefited the Church. Bill Clinton is said to have personally and successfully interceded in Moscow to enable Mormon missionaries to do their work. We lost that goodwill under Bush. See the results. How would McCain fare abroad if elected? What impact would it have on missionary work?

    There is worldwide hope that Obama can fundamentally change the way people look at America, restore relations with allies, reach out to others, and build goodwill. Hundreds of millions around the world are watching this closely. There is a feeling that we live historical times that will be remembered as a major shift for good. A page on harsh past issues – cultural, ideological, racial – can be turned.

    Whether it will be so under Obama is hypothetical. But from the grand international perspective, there are indeed other issues than just one.

  3. Julie M. Smith on November 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    I’ve always voted Libertarian, but didn’t this year because:

    (1) Barr scares me–I think he’s an evangelical in Lib clothing.
    (2) I’ve decided that socialized medicine is better than the alternative.

    Normally, neither major candidate stirs me. This year, that was true for Obama. (But I’d like to know what you saw in IL that made you like him.) But McCain/Palin made me sputter with rage this time around, which made me feel better about voting for Obama.

    Not that it matters when you’re deep in the heart of Texas.

  4. Adam Greenwood on November 4, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    On issues I care about, I also prefer the Democratic Party. Spread Eagle nationalism, conquering Cuba and making it a state, 54′ 40″ and fight, free silver–all good stuff. Its unfashionably fashionable of me, but I was a little concerned about the Democracy’s extreme anti-Negro stance. That did mitigate my enthusiasm a little. But since me and my sister wives are apparently just as wicked in the eyes of the abolitionists, I got over it. Go Polk!

    I’m sure you have been extremely interested in hearing who I voted for, justified with a few short bland generalities and recycled campaign slogans. Rest assured that I shall be just as interested in hearing from you.

  5. Aluwid on November 4, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    I voted for McCain/Palin.

    Also of note, I voted for Proposition 102. (Arizona’s Marriage Amendment).

  6. Geoff J on November 4, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    My neighbor had a “Jesus for President” sign in the yard for a while. My 11 year old daughter quipped “He wasn’t born here so he wouldn’t be eligible”. Good call. Arnold and Jesus are out as candidates.

  7. jks on November 4, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    I voted for McCain/Palin.
    If Obama wins, I will be thrilled that an African American became President. I think that is a good thing. About his platform, though, I’m a little iffy. I’m sure some things will be great. I’ll be interested in the changes in education. I guess I’ll try to do something really good with the money he is supposedly giving us (save it for the later years of famine). And maybe when our healthcare tax is cheaper than my current insurance my children can take Karate lessons instead of getting timely, thorough healthcare.

  8. Ben on November 4, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Wilfried: In a day full of brash, polemical, and accusational comments, thanks for a great perspective that actually meant something to me as a voter.

  9. Kaimi Wenger on November 4, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    I voted in favor of socialist baby eaters and in favor of forcing kindergarteners to take home _King and King_.

    And can I just say — what a book. I laughed out loud; I cried like I haven’t done since Old Yeller died.

    I don’t know about you all, but I know what I’m giving all the little nieces and nephews this Christmas.

  10. gst on November 4, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    I know that when I went in to the booth today, the question weighing most heavily in my mind was, “What would Belgian Mormon academics prefer that I do?”

  11. John C. on November 4, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Abortion Survivor,
    I’m calling foul. If Obama was a factor in your abortion, you are way too young to vote!

  12. Roland on November 4, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Jonathon –

    You didn’t say which of Obama’s platforms issues that most impressed you – was it his position on SSM, Abortion, National Defense, Taxes, Spreading the Wealth or something else?

    All joking aside – what issues do you like?

  13. Adam Greenwood on November 4, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Roland,
    it was his position on inquisitorial comments.

  14. Jonathan Green on November 4, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    It was the socialized medicine that won me over. It really does make life better when you don’t have to worry about an appendectomy either bankrupting or killing you.

  15. Steve Evans on November 4, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    I could not vote, because I am not a US citizen. And a felon. But let me repeat what I have said elsewhere.

  16. Adam Greenwood on November 4, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Now that I’ve seen Steve’s campaign ad, I wish I’d voted for Stephen! Douglas! Evans!

    Who is not a US citizen. And a felon.

  17. Martin Willey on November 4, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    I voted for Obama, with the modest hope that McCain would get less than 60% of the vote in Utah.

  18. Frank McIntyre on November 4, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    It’s also nice when someone has already invented the appendectomy so that it is possible to get one.

  19. Ben on November 4, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    A pox on both your houses, Democratic AND Republican.

    I voted for a third party candidate, although, knowing that my state would go 95% Obama, only because I was certain said candidate would lose. (I didn’t want him in any more than the other two.)

    For one reason, my politics are split.

    For another reason, I see both parties as economically whitewashing. We need to raise taxes and cut spending, all of it. Impossibly assuming either president was able to push his whole economic plan through, 10 years down the road still sees us in the economic toilet. (Not my analysis, btw, but from Newsweek a few weeks back.) But neither candidate will say that.

    “The multitudes remained plunged in ignorance of the simplest economic facts, and their leaders, seeking their votes, did not dare to undeceive them.” Winston Churchill, on the economic implications of the Treaty of Versailles.

  20. Mark N. on November 4, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    in favor of forcing kindergarteners to take home _King and King_.

    There’s a book named “King and King”? Is it about the legacy of Martin Luther King? I’m unfamiliar with this book. Maybe you could give us a quick synopsis. :-)

  21. a random John on November 4, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Despite my sign being stolen three times I wrote in Mr. Greenwood.

  22. a random John on November 4, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Despite my sign being stolen three times I wrote in Mr. Greenwood.

    [AHG --Master Greenwood is concerned that your mistaken honorific will invalidate his votes.]

  23. a random John on November 4, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    It appears that I voted twice, without even living in Chicago.

  24. Aluwid on November 4, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    ARJ,

    It’s good to see you getting into the spirit of election day by voting twice!

  25. Jeremy on November 4, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    I voted for Obama for his positions and also for his judgement and his temperament.

    I also voted for Obama because I don’t hold his ability to inspire people against him. I think our country could use an inspirational leader. I’m not sure how being able to inspire people became a vice instead of a virtue. For that reason I was deeply touched by this story.

  26. Russell Arben Fox on November 4, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    I voted for Obama. I was happy (maybe even “enthusiastic”) to cast that vote, but I was also spiritually conflicted over the fact that the prospect of voting for Obama made me a happy man.

    With all due respect to those who feel otherwise, I think it is patently obviously that, at the very least, amongst those general authorities who have bothered to speak directly out on the issue which Jonathan is pointedly not bringing up in this thread (Elders Oaks and Nelson among them), not one of them would look with approval upon my vote. I don’t particularly like being in disagreement with apostles, but I’ve done it before, and no doubt I’ll do it again. Speaking just for myself, I have found myself somewhat less distraught, and my justifications less convoluted, when I got to the point that I could say “the hell with it,” and recognize that sometimes, in some ways, I’m not a particularly orthodox or obedient Mormon after all.

  27. Julie M. Smith on November 4, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    “It’s also nice when someone has already invented the appendectomy so that it is possible to get one.”

    Maybe this isn’t the place for a serious conversation about health care policy, but I think I’m willing to make the trade-off that we’ll have less innovation in exchange for more coverage for the poor.

    It’s rare that I change my mind on a policy issue, but I got one too many emails inviting me to fund-raisers so a friend of a friend’s little kid could get a bone-marrow transplant so he wouldn’t die. If covering him means that there won’t be a cure for the obesity-related disease that I’ll get at 65 because I can’t stop eating Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Chips this afternoon, I’m OK with that.

  28. Dan on November 4, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    I voted for McCain…

  29. Margaret Young on November 4, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    The Young Family Voting Story
    Bruce, Margaret and three voting children: Obama
    Bruce and Margaret’s son-in-law: McCain
    Margaret’s brother, his wife and their three voting children: McCain
    Margaret’s mother: Obama
    Margaret’s father: McCain
    Margaret’s other brother in Utah: Obama (I don’t know who his wife voted for)
    Margaret’s sister and her husband in Utah: Obama
    I don’t know about my other siblings. My husband has been involved in political e-mails with my sister for several days now. But it appears that as for me and my house, we who live in Utah have BARELY supported Obama.

    I told my dad that if he wanted to vote for McCain but not Palin, the method was to vote for neither Obama or McCain but to WRITE IN “McCain but not Palin.” I don’t think he believed me.

  30. Dan on November 4, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    that is, if I lived in Bizzaro world…

  31. Julie M. Smith on November 4, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Russell,

    Do you not think it telling that the Church is willing to go to war over Prop 8 but has never said boo about a single piece of abortion legislation? Which is just my way of saying that I don’t think you need to beat yourself up over this.

  32. Adam Greenwood on November 4, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    RAF,
    a little self-knowledge is a dangerous thing.

  33. gst on November 4, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Which of the two leading anti-gay marriage candidates opposed Prop 8? Tell us quickly; some of us haven’t voted yet.

  34. Russell Arben Fox on November 4, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    But I like beating myself up. It’s one of the few things I’m good at. I’ve had lots of practice at it and stuff.

  35. John C. on November 4, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Russell,
    I think that, if Obama is as pro-abortion as he is being made out to be, the stark difference between his views and the views of the vast majority of Americans will prevent him from passing measures that would radically expand abortion availability. Also, as Julie notes, this issue remains relatively open in LDS canonical thinking.

  36. Jacob F on November 4, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    I voted for McCain because I can’t have babies’ blood on my hands.

  37. DavidH on November 4, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    I have felt very comfortable supporting Obama for a relatively long time–probably three years or so. I am personally as excited about the prospect of Obama’s potentially winning and real, needed change as I was in 1980 about the prospect of Reagan’s winning and real needed change. The country is way off track and, in my view, the government has moved too far to the right, and it is time for a course correction.

    Margaret, I am sorry to say that my immediate family did not unanimously vote for Obama. My son is not telling us how he voted (my son might have been one of Steve Young’s PR advisors–some times silence is golden). But I voted for Obama. So that means Obama won in our family either 4-2 or 5-1.

    (I do not know of anyone else in our ward (in northcentral Phoenix) who is an overt Obama supporter and only know only one, possibly two, other families in our stake who are. I spoke with a friend today from Mesa who is a bishop there, and he says he does not know a single member of his ward who supports Obama.)

    Of my siblings, 2 or 3 voted for Obama, and 1 or 2 did not.

  38. John C. on November 4, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    That’s a good point, Jacob. I was wondering why they had me dip my hands in that bucket at the poll.

  39. Julie M. Smith on November 4, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Er, speaking of PR, I’m concerned that some of y’all’s family members might not be entirely comfortable with the entire world knowing how they voted.

  40. Mike Parker on November 4, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    I’m a registered Libertarian, and voted for Bob Barr, my party’s candidate.

    He’s not the ideal Libertarian candidate, but he’s clearly better than the two major party offerings.

    And, living in Utah, I can afford to cast my vote for anyone I want. If I lived in, say, Missouri, I would have to think a lot harder about which candidate I would vote for in order to stick it to the Republican Party.

  41. Russell Arben Fox on November 4, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Also, as Julie notes, this issue remains relatively open in LDS canonical thinking.

    I suppose that depends on what you think practically counts as “LDS canonical thinking.” In any case, as I said in my post, I hope your (and Julie’s, and others’) position on this turns out to be the correct one at the judgment bar.

  42. Jacob F on November 4, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    That’s a good point, Jacob. I was wondering why they had me dip my hands in that bucket at the poll.

    John C. – I just can’t help but think that by helping elect Obama, I’m also helping prevent the future appointment of more strict-constructionist justices to the Supreme Court who would help restrict abortions down the road. I know it’s a one-issue vote, but until this issue goes away I can’t begin considering things like rhetorical talent in my vote for president. Saving even one life makes it worth it. Shame on abortion supporters for putting me in this position.

  43. Frank McIntyre on November 4, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Julie, as long as you know there could be a tradeoff, my work is done :)

  44. Raymond Takashi Swenson on November 4, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    I voted for John McCain. I find it incredible that a major national political party is pushing a candidate who has almost no experience, but is just a good campaigner. It is the presidential election as the exact equivalent of American Idol.

    Joe Biden said recently that Obama’s lack of foreign policy and national security experience would tempt America’s enemies to do something provocative in order to test him, to find out whether he is a wimp like Jimmy Carter or places American defense above American popularity like George Bush. When America’s enemies think there is a good chance that Obama will wimp out when America is attacked, why in the world should Americans play Russian Roulette with our national defense? All of the domestic agenda of Obama is something he could pursue through the Senate. The one area where a president makes a real difference (positive or negative) is national defense. Obama’s opposition to the surge in Iraq has proven spectacularly wrong (and McCain’s advocacy of it spectacularly right). He was never a diplomat or a general or a governor or a law enforcement officer.

    Obama’s main strength seems to be that he is a blank, a cipher that anyone can label with his or her personal hopes. He is like the nondescript people that were nominated for the Supreme Court by GHW Bush because they had no “track record.” We frankly have no idea whether he even has the capacity to exercise good judgment in a crisis after a major terrorist attack.

    As much as some people love to criticize George Bush for what he did at the precise time of the first 9-11 attacks, the fact is that he demonstrated precisely the kind of leadership we needed in responding in force against the Al Qaeda sancturary in Afghanistan, an action that even Obama has now endorsed in retrospect. Frankly, all the Democrats in Congress who criticize Bush were themselves running for their lives to get out of the Capitol before it was hit. Apart from Joseph Lieberman, almost no Democrats have been proactive about fighting Islamic terrorism, and the Democrats ostracized him for that. It may be possible that in such a crisis, Obama would find it in himself to set aside the “can’t we all just get along” rhetoric of the Nancy Pelosi democrats and take a stand for defending America despite criticism from his fellow left wing Democrats. But we have no reason to bet on him doing that. We are rolling the dice here with our nation’s safety.

    As many have commented, what a president can do about abortion and many other issues is limited. What he does about national defense is crucial. And we have nothing in this candidate other than words and hypotheticals. So we can fully expect that Joe Biden’s prediction will come to pass. Iran or North Korea or Al Qaeda will decide to do something or threaten something and see how he reacts. The world is going to get more dangerous.

  45. queuno on November 4, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    The only Utah race in which I have a rooting interest is a certain judicial race.

  46. Patricia Karamesines on November 4, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    I’m not telling who I voted for, but after I did I got a cool sticker that says, “I Voted” in Navajo and English.

  47. John C. on November 4, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Jacob,

    Once again, certainly those strict-constructionists that we have right now on the court have never, ever had any controversial decisions and possibly bad decisions, leading me to believe that we should definitely weight the court to favor one approach over another.

  48. DavidH on November 4, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Wilfried,

    Armand Mauss made a similar point, but in a more oblique way, at one of the Mormon Social Science Association meetings at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion earlier this month. He simply observied that, because the Church is so identified with the United States in other countries, when the opinion of the US is low, it almost always has a negative effect on missionary work.

    I thought this was an important observation together with yours. If Obama wins, and as a result the image of the US improves overseas, this may well be a plus for missionary work. Therefore, if any of the Brethren are reading this blog, may I respectively suggest that, before the polls close, a positive statement of Obama support by the institutional Church may well be called for in the interest of the Church’s mission of preaching the gospel!

  49. queuno on November 4, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Can we start a pool on when we’ll have the obligatory Obama visit to CHQ and the sitdown meeting with the FP?

    June 2009?
    October 2010?
    Cold-Day-in-2038?

  50. Jack on November 4, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    I voted for Palin (via McCain).

  51. Ray on November 4, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    “I voted for McCain because I can’t have babies’ blood on my hands.”

    I am evil incarnate, I guess, since raising six kids has put blood on my hands hundreds of times.

    My family had four votes this year. We typified the swing states – splitting our votes right down the middle. Ohio will not be decided based on our votes.

  52. Bro. Jones on November 4, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Ooooooooooobama.

    #48: LOL. Option 3. Bonus points if they present Obama with his genealogy and it turns out one or more members of the Qof12/FP are related to him.

  53. Shelah on November 4, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    re #29– I can’t believe you have three children of voting age. In my mind, they’re all knee-high. I guess that means I’m getting old.

    I voted Obama. For reasons I don’t understand, my DH abstained.

  54. queuno on November 4, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    #48: LOL. Option 3. Bonus points if they present Obama with his genealogy and it turns out one or more members of the Qof12/FP are related to him.

    Through his mother’s side, correct?

  55. queuno on November 4, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    I voted Obama. For reasons I don’t understand, my DH abstained.

    I know a lot of Texas voters who abstained on the presidential issue and plowed straight into the statewide and local issues.

    Undervote 2008!*

    * only an option in a non-swing state.

  56. danithew on November 4, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    ARJ kept putting up cool signs in his yard, so I took three of them.

    Now you should know who I voted for.

  57. mlu on November 4, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    I’m a Whig and can’t forgive the Republicans. But Democrats? The fact that Obama is ahead in the polls led me to mark down today’s date as the day I became certain that the American Experiment has failed. Two forks on the path to serfdom? I didn’t vote.

  58. anita on November 4, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    re #20–King and King is a book about a prince who can’t find his princess because he only likes boys, and marries another prince and they rule together happily ever after. i checked it out without realizing the content and got about halfway through reading it aloud to my 4 year old before putting it down in a hurry! there’s a sequel out too, i noticed at the library the other day.

    i was talking about the election, and voting for president, and my 4 year old said, “I vote for President Monson.” :-)

  59. Nora on November 4, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    My family was split 3 McCains (in NY), 3 Obamas ( all in Utah) and one who doesn’t vote because he thinks the whole thing is a joke. At work, of the 7 people in our office today, 6 were McCain and one Obama (this is NY). I think I will register as a Libertarian next time.

  60. Phouchg on November 4, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    I voted for McCain but I figure Obama had it basically won. *shrug* As long as the Senate stays below 60 D seats, continuity in general will be maintained. As a wise man once said “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”…

    I also voted NO on 8. My combination of McCain and NO has caused a few heads to asplode, but that’s the way it is…

  61. CS Eric on November 4, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Here was part of my thinking: Obama outspends McCain nearly 3-1 and he still can’t seal the deal? He’s shown a remarkable ability for spending a lot of money to make himself look good. Is there something else there that keeps the vote so close?

    A swing-state voter for McCain. And against our incumbent Republican congressman, who refused to debate his Democratic challenger. What is he afraid of?

  62. Jeremy on November 4, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Michelle Obama already met with some of the Brethren. BHO won’t be that far behind.

  63. Kevin Barney on November 4, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    I wasn’t conflicted at all. Obama all the way, baby.

  64. Sara R on November 4, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Last minute decision to vote for Barr. Couldn’t vote for either candidate in good conscience, and I’m in Utah so I figured it wouldn’t matter in any case.

  65. Natalie on November 4, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Obama. It was a no brainer. I like his policies, I like his temperment, and I like his potential to restore our image in the world.

    I was very excited to see Mormons campaigning at our voting station for BOTH parties.

  66. Justin on November 4, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    I opted for real change and wrote in Gene Amondson of the Prohibition Party (Prohibition 1920-33: America’s Best Years). He represents my values.

  67. queuno on November 4, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    OK, now I’m watching school bonds in our district. The new school buildings are passing, the second stadium (we are building our 4th high school) is failing hard.

  68. Julie M. Smith on November 4, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    queno, people thought an Obama victory would indicate Armageddon, but a TX district voting down a new football stadium is all the proof I need that we’re in the age of eschatalogical reversals.

  69. Ben Pratt on November 4, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    I voted for Chuck Baldwin.

    *crickets*

    What’d I say?

  70. Julie M. Smith on November 4, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    “In any case, as I said in my post, I hope your (and Julie’s, and others’) position on this turns out to be the correct one at the judgment bar.”

    I just cannot believe that the Brethren would use this language: “Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties” if we were supposed to be single-issue voters. If the Dem platform were so incredibly incompatible with the gospel that voting for them was not OK, this statement would be completely misleading.

    And: “Therefore, in this election year, we urge you to register to vote, to study the issues and candidates carefully and prayerfully, and then to vote for and actively support those you believe will most nearly carry out your ideas of good government.”

    Again, if we were supposed to be one-issue voters with our salvation depending on it, this statement would be preposterous. You’ll notice, at the very least, that “issues” is plural . . .

  71. Sonny on November 4, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    In the voting booth I couldn’t get the Primary song “Follow the Prophet” out of my mind. So I voted Yes on Prop 8.

  72. Meredith C on November 4, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Steve – #15

    I think you meant to link to this

  73. mary on November 4, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    I voted for Obama. The Church recently issued a statement saying that gospel principles could be found in both parties.
    And when Michelle Obama was in SLC and visited Church Headquarters–some of the GA’s had their picture taken with her and they were smiling. Now, if they were as opposed to Obama as they are to SSM and Proposition 8, they wouldn’t have done that. Br. Jensen’s talk about how we need both parties to make our system of goverment work was very inspiring to me. My dad
    always had that view and I find it very wise. Sometimes we go too far in one direction and we need the other party to come in and bring us the other direction so we are more balanced.
    If the GA’s thought Democrats were nothing but a bunch of Gadiantons — they’d come out and take a stand like they did with SSM. Jensen had said that we all miss out when one party dominates for so long. He was saying that too many people are one issue voters (like Abortion). Political parties used to be less complicated. If you wanted more government you voted D. If you wanted less govt. you voted R. Things really went amuck when the Evangelicals brought morals, specifically Abortion, into the R party platform. You had good
    decent Democrats thinking they had to vote Republican from then on in order to be good LDS or good moral people. I think
    we good decent Democrats need to take our party back again
    and we can’t do that if we only vote Republican.

  74. Justin on November 4, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Obama, in PA.

  75. Russell Arben Fox on November 4, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    I just cannot believe that the Brethren would use this language: “Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties” if we were supposed to be single-issue voters. If the Dem platform were so incredibly incompatible with the gospel that voting for them was not OK, this statement would be completely misleading.

    I completely agree, Julie. But the simple fact remains that every single explicit statement on abortion that I am aware of issuing from any current general authority of the church points towards an increasingly black and white reading of the issue, in the sense of emphasizing that “meaningful” life begins at conception, and in the sense of treating the “pro-choice” position as equivalent as tolerating “choice” in matters of sexual abuse or child abuse. This is not the language of compatibility. Is it the official language of the Brethren? Absolutely not. Is it an official call for us to be single-issue voters? Absolutely not. But nonetheless, neither of those caveats allow me to escape the conclusion that our doctrine, for all intents and purposes, either already is or is on its way to becoming socially conservative and anti-abortion in a very specific sense.

    Perhaps I’m extrapolating a broader theological judgment than I ought from a few random quotes from apostles. I realize I tend to think about things more theoretically than perhaps they deserve. So be it. As I see things, I’m a member of, and a believer in, a church that in all except the most formal sense is pretty clearly (how much clearer can you get than articles in the Ensign?) directing its members to be suspicious of, and thus presumably vote against, pro-choice candidates. I didn’t; I voted for a pro-choice candidate. I can make all sorts of apologies for that, and I’m very hopeful that his actions as president will not be the end of the story in regards to abortion reduction. But in the end, I have to content myself, if only in my own mind, with the idea that I have voted against a core Mormon moral belief. Thankfully, I think I can handle it.

  76. Russell Arben Fox on November 4, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    The Church recently issued a statement saying that gospel principles could be found in both parties.

    Absolutely true! There are very, very good reasons–and very, very Mormon reasons–to vote for Barack Obama, or indeed for any number of candidates from any number of parties. I’m not denying that; I’m not a masochist here. I’m just explaining that, insofar as I can see, believing Mormons can’t vote for a pro-choice candidate without a good deal of anguish and inner conflict, a conflict driven by our own doctrines. Or, at least, I couldn’t.

  77. Sue on November 4, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    I voted for Obama. My husband planned to vote for McCain, but was held up in a meeting and couldn’t vote. (YES – for once we don’t cancel each other out.)

  78. Steve Evans on November 5, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Good call, Meredith.

    BTW — Obama just won. Congratulations, baby-killers.

  79. Ray on November 5, 2008 at 12:20 am

    #75 – “I’m just explaining that, insofar as I can see, believing Mormons can’t vote for a pro-choice candidate without a good deal of anguish and inner conflict, a conflict driven by our own doctrines.”

    Russell, I don’t see it that way at all. I have no anguish and inner conflict, and I am solidly and passionately pro-choice – even though I hate abortion as a form of birth control or generic convenience. If I value the **exceptions** the Church articulates as every bit as important as the general abhorrence of abortion in isolation (as the Church does) – and if I value the Church’s ultimate placing of the decision **in the hands of the parent(s) involved** as every bit as important as the general abhorrence of abortion in isolation – then I feel perfectly comfortable believing that a policy of no restrictions is every bit as close to the Church’s position as is a policy of more restrictions than the Church allows.

    Iow, if the underlying principles of **agency** and **personal accountability** based on individual circumstances is what I see as the foundation of the Church’s stance, I am able to believe that Obama’s position on abortion (which echoes and upholds that foundation) is actually closer to my Church’s position than Palin’s stance – which would eliminate abortion in the case of rape and incest and ONLY allow it to save a mother’s life. To me, that is directly opposed to the Church’s stance, while Obama’s position is fully inclusive of the Church’s stance.

  80. Rochelle on November 5, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Have you all gone mad……do you not understand the constitution……do you not see that the secret combination is alive an well and you who have voted for Obama have voted for socalism and the demise of America?

  81. Rochelle on November 5, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Have you all gone mad……do you not understand the constitution……do you not see that the secret combination is alive an well and you who have voted for Obama have voted for socalism and the demise of America?

  82. James on November 5, 2008 at 12:38 am

    My whole family (four votes) voted McCain because;

    1. Raising taxes suppresses the economy and penalizes entrepreneurship.
    2. Slashing our national defense is only going to result in tragedy soon. By June if Biden is to be believed.
    3. Socialized medicine is poor to bad medicine, and rationed to boot. Think the worst horror stories of the HMO’s of the 1990′s.
    4. The idea of the Freedom of Choice act, which eliminates all restrictions on abortion is an offense to our moral sensibilities.
    5. The ‘Card Check’ legislation to eliminate the secret ballot in union elections is an offense to american traditions.

    I could honestly care less about what other countries think about the U. S., and if some people will not listen to the gospel because they have a problem with the U.S., that is a problem for them and not the Church. I was in Thailand when Carter made a laughing stock of the U.S. by his impotent response to the invasion of the Tehran embassy. I lost count of how many people asked us when our president was going to be a man and teach Iran that overrunning embassies was not acceptable behavior.

  83. Kevin Barney on November 5, 2008 at 12:45 am

    Woo hoo!

  84. Matt Evans on November 5, 2008 at 1:12 am

    I voted straight-ticket Republican, as always. The decision that matters to me is in the Republican primary.

  85. Ray on November 5, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Rochelle, George Bush and Dick Cheney have done more to shred the Constitution than perhaps any other Pres & VP in our history. Obama might or might not further that destruction, but if the Constitution now is “hanging by a thread” it was the Republican administration that did it – and that is coming from someone who has voted Republican more often than Democrat in his lifetime. A big part of my vote this time was my inability to reward a party for what it has done to our Constitution and for the alliance it has forged with the fundamentalist wing of American evangelicalism – and that I really do see Palin, especially, as a less experienced but more fundamentalist Cheney. That is a truly frightening picture. The possibility of her as the President scares me more than I have been scared in the decades I have been part of the election process.

  86. It's Not Me on November 5, 2008 at 1:17 am

    “Do you not think it telling that the Church is willing to go to war over Prop 8 but has never said boo about a single piece of abortion legislation? Which is just my way of saying that I don’t think you need to beat yourself up over this.”

    That’s a little disingenuous. The Prop 8 issue comes at a critical juncture in that movement. There is no such “Prop” regarding abortion.

  87. Julie M. Smith on November 5, 2008 at 1:19 am

    It’s Not Me–that only works if there have never been critical junctures in the history of abortion in this country.

  88. Marianne on November 5, 2008 at 1:30 am

    Indeed, Ray. I’m with you. Although I read Rochelle’s statement as irony. I hope. Although I heard almost those exact words last week from my father. And he was not being ironic.

    The Republicans have sold their birthright. Now they can spend a little time in the wilderness figuring themselves out. Can’t we go back to the party of Lincoln? The party of civil rights? Of smaller government?

    I voted for Obama because I refused to choose a candidate based on fear-mongering. I chose to vote for at least the possibility of hope.

  89. DavidH on November 5, 2008 at 1:34 am

    Threadjack: For what it is worth, I have stronger feelings against elective abortion than I do against same sex marriage. In some respects, I suppose my political beliefs are more like a Roman Catholic priests–anti-abortion, anti-war, generally anti-capital punishment. I do not support same sex marriage, but to me, same sex marriage does not seem to cause the same direct harm (if it does cause harm) to others as does an abortion, which ends the life of a fetus. It does puzzle me why the Church has been more active and vocal in the political movement with respect to same sex marriage than it has in political movements with respect to abortion. Perhaps it is because there is more unity among the Brethren on the issue of same sex marriage than there is on the issue of abortion. End of threadjack.

  90. It's Not Me on November 5, 2008 at 1:35 am

    #86 :It’s Not Me–that only works if there have never been critical junctures in the history of abortion in this country.”

    I’m talking about this juncture. Moreover, show me when there has been any national proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to restrict abortion. Your comment also assumes that the Church has always approached moral issues the exact same way they do now. This is how it is approaching moral issues now, and right now there is no “critical juncture” with abortion.

  91. S.P. Bailey on November 5, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Don’t screw it up, Barack!

    Yours truly,
    Skeptical Independent

  92. It's Not Me on November 5, 2008 at 1:37 am

    #88 “Perhaps it is because there is more unity among the Brethren on the issue of same sex marriage than there is on the issue of abortion.”

    Not likely.

  93. Julie M. Smith on November 5, 2008 at 1:39 am

    “I’m talking about this juncture. ”

    But the church has never acted on any legislation or candidate re abortion in the years since Roe.

    “Moreover, show me when there has been any national proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to restrict abortion. ”

    Why? Certainly a different pres. pick here or there (even in the years before Roe) could have made a difference. And if this is the single issue upon which we must all vote, then why hasn’t the church pushed for an amendment? And as Adam has pointed out on other threads, pres. do make a difference around the margins (i.e., funding abortions, etc.)

    “This is how it is approaching moral issues now, and right now there is no “critical juncture” with abortion.”

    Then no one should have had any qualms about voting for Obama if that’s the case . . .

  94. James on November 5, 2008 at 1:43 am

    The Church recently issued a statement saying that gospel principles could be found in both parties.
    While I can accept that statement intellectually and take it as a reminder to not discuss politics at church, it just doesn’t wash in my gut. The democrat party has drifted far from the likes of Harry Truman, Everett Dirksen, Henry Jackson, and John Kennedy. The current leadership of that party can’t even correctly interpret the tenets of their own religion as was seen by Pelosi and Biden’s misrepresentations on Catholic doctrine. Harry Reid at least runs for the hills when anything remotely resembling a moral question comes up. He limits himself to speaking about his political opponents in a most unchristian manner.

  95. Peter LLC on November 5, 2008 at 1:44 am

    I voted absentee ’cause I wanted to vote my conscience but not have it counted (against me in the book of life).

  96. Bill on November 5, 2008 at 1:54 am

    I voted for John McCain because of his support for free markets, the war in Iraq, and conservative supreme court justices.

  97. queuno on November 5, 2008 at 2:22 am

    While I can accept that statement intellectually and take it as a reminder to not discuss politics at church, it just doesn’t wash in my gut.

    The problem with going by your gut is that it’s dependent on what you had for dinner.

    Plus, there are Democratic GAs, so watch yourself.

  98. queuno on November 5, 2008 at 2:22 am

    Free markets only want to free until they run into trouble, and then they run home to momma…

  99. James on November 5, 2008 at 2:25 am

    Queno – there are Democratic GAs.

    That’s why I don’t discuss politics at church.

  100. queuno on November 5, 2008 at 2:26 am

    queuno, people thought an Obama victory would indicate Armageddon, but a TX district voting down a new football stadium is all the proof I need that we’re in the age of eschatalogical reversals.

    I live in an oddball district. We’ve voted down virtually every athletic-related bond for over a decade, with the EXCEPTION to upgrade the current stadium to put in a nicer pressbox and bring it up to ADA standards. Trouble is, when they did that, they made the stadium capable of hosting four high schools. Now they want another stadium and split them 2 and 2? I don’t think so, and the voters agreed (again, we don’t seem to pass stadium bonds). Some of the pro-stadium people were warning about how they would have to play varsity football games on WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY nights (oh, imagine the horrors).

  101. queuno on November 5, 2008 at 2:28 am

    James (98) … I think you just agreed with me. Thanks.

  102. Sean on November 5, 2008 at 2:28 am

    I voted for Chuck Baldwin.

    Julie, I’m curious how you got from libertarian to voting in favor of socialized medicine. That seems like a 180 degree switch to me.

  103. James on November 5, 2008 at 3:19 am

    #100; Sorry, Queno, I don’t think that I do. This is one of those things where I follow what the prophet said without being able to understand it.

  104. mary on November 5, 2008 at 3:22 am

    Regarding the “voting for socialism” comment–I don’t think so.
    People said that about FDR’s programs like Social Security, Medicare, etc. I’m not aware that there are hosts of Republicans
    who find these programs so anti-American and against our Constitution that they refuse their SS benefits when the time comes!
    No, we’ve just gone too far to the right and now it’s time to lean left a bit and come back to center. And you can’t do that when you keep one party in all the time.

  105. queuno on November 5, 2008 at 3:28 am

    James, I’m sure the Democratic General Authorities and Stake Presidents and Bishops in the Church are also following the prophet.

  106. Sue on November 5, 2008 at 4:30 am

    Barack Obama is NOT A SOCIALIST. ARG.

  107. Jeremy on November 5, 2008 at 5:07 am

    Mary:

    Nope. Sorry. Everyone knows that socialism is defined as the rich being asked to pay precisely 39% taxes. 36% under Bush II? Not socialism. 52% under Eisenhower? Not socialism. As Karl Marx put it, “From the rich according to 39%, to each according to his abilities.”

    Also, socialism is sometimes defined as whatever the economic policy is of the guy that is beating you in an election.

    Please brush up on these sorts of facts before posting and embarrassing yourself.

    Thank you.

  108. Jonovitch on November 5, 2008 at 8:43 am

    For the record, I voted for the first major multi-racial presidential candidate ever, a Republican who used to be a Democrat, a Democrat who used to be a Republican, a Green party candidate (really), and against state-constitution-amendment tax increases and local property tax levies. I feel very good about my split-every-which-way ticket.

    Jon

  109. queuno on November 5, 2008 at 9:03 am

    So Obama wins, but so does Prop 8. Whoddathunk it?

    (Especially when exit polling suggests that in CA, the first might have engendered the second?)

  110. jjohnsen on November 5, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    “Here was part of my thinking: Obama outspends McCain nearly 3-1 and he still can’t seal the deal? He’s shown a remarkable ability for spending a lot of money to make himself look good. Is there something else there that keeps the vote so close?”
    Wow, you must have made this comment early in the evening, close is Gore/Bush, this is not close.

    “Have you all gone mad……do you not understand the constitution……do you not see that the secret combination is alive an well and you who have voted for Obama have voted for socalism and the demise of America? ”
    Hilarious, this can’t be a real post. Can it?

    I hope all of you “Obama is the downfall of our society” will do what I did in 2000. Give the new leader a chance even if you disagree with some of his positions, and pray that he and the rest of our government will do the absolute best they can.

  111. Rameumptom on November 5, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    I had a tough time deciding who to vote for for president/vice president. I’m not really impressed with McCain or Obama, except that they both seem to be nice guys.

    I’m not gnashing my teeth at the selection of Barak Obama. I’m going to pray for him, and hope that he leads us in wisdom and pragmatism. I don’t want him to cap and trade our coal industry out of business, nor jump us into more big spending (universal healthcare) until we get our current money problems under hand. I hope he is good to the free markets and to moral freedoms.

    Hopefully he will be a decent president, or at least 50% better than GWBush has been in the last 4 years….. My hopes of better times for our nation are measured, at best, given the huge problems we are in.

    I personally am a conservative. Both parties are cashing checks our grandchildren haven’t paid for. Since there are no conservatives in Washington DC anymore, in either party (with the exception of Ron Paul, perhaps), I hope they will turn off the lights when the sun sets on our nation.

  112. teancum on November 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    queno: African Americans supported Prop 8 by a wide margin. Did Obama’s coattails pass Prop 8 (along with Mormon $$$ and volunteers, course)?

  113. fifthgen on November 5, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Jeremy: Thank you. All the people equating a minor adjustment to the progressive income tax as a move toward socialism have been making my head spin. Obama’s tax plan is such a minor change, it is laughable to me that it has conservative panties in a wad.

  114. Julie M. Smith on November 5, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    “Julie, I’m curious how you got from libertarian to voting in favor of socialized medicine. That seems like a 180 degree switch to me.”

    Yep. I think I said this on another thread, but I got one too many emails from a friend of a friend to attend a fundraiser because someone’s kid would die without a bone marrow transplant. What it came down to for me was that the negatives of socialized medicine (and I believe that they are very real) were finally outweighed by what I perceived to be the negatives of the current system.

  115. Martin Willey on November 5, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Seriously . . . , Bob Barr?!?!

  116. sscenter on November 5, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Someone will have to explain to me how one can belong to the democratic party with the stance on abortion or vote for any prochoice candidate and hold a temple recommend. One of the questions is specifically about supporting groups opposed to the church. Whatever. Issues like this are why I joyful work as a wark clerk and avoid any decision making as the plague. Clearly this is an issue the church has just decided to let slide so as not to push people away. Obama actually advocate FOURTH trimester abortions for failed abortions. I must admit that makes first trimester abortions seem less abhorent.

  117. Julie M. Smith on November 5, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    sscenter, this one’s for you:

    http://ldslivingonline.com/article.php?articleId=79643

    Please read it.

  118. queuno on November 6, 2008 at 1:30 am

    I’m no Democrat, but the sooner we push ideas like sscenter’s out of the Church, the better. By whatever means necessary.

  119. Jeremy on November 6, 2008 at 2:16 am

    Julie,

    Thanks for linking to the article about Elder Jensen’s remarks. I hadn’t read them for a while.

    I couldn’t help but notice this little bit of prophecy on Elder Jensen’s part:

    “There is a feeling that even nationally as a church, it’s not in our best interest to be known as a one-party church,” Jensen said. “The national fortunes of the parties ebb and flow. Whereas the Republicans may clearly have the upper hand today, in another 10 years they may not.”

    He said that in 1998.

  120. Jim Cobabe on November 6, 2008 at 10:47 am

    What if we say,”I did not vote for him”? It does not matter any more, it’s all done. Over. Finished.

    I did not vote for either of the major parties. They did not deserve my consideration or support.
    Now that the fight is over, when the dust is cleared, I will draw a big breath, and try to fall into line behind the new president. He will face hard times ahead. I pray to God he will lead us through them.

  121. John Buffington on November 6, 2008 at 11:45 am

    As a despicable furreigner, I did not vote.

    I tell people I left Canada because I am a “health-care and tax refugee”.

    hmmmm

    If they can make gov’t health care down here work (and I have some hazy recollection of reading a paper showing how a combination of state-mandated minimum coverage with private coverage on top is societally welfare maximizing), then I would welcome it.

    Heavens help the USA if they opt for a Canadian-style system. You don’t go bankrupt there; you merely die waiting…

    Can provide a few family horror stories if prompted…

  122. James on November 6, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    #117 – Throw the social conservatives out of the church just because they can’t understand how people can support a party that advocates unlimited abortion and that all kinds of sexual immorality are not sinful at all? How is that apostacy? While I’m at it, did the democrat in Florida that had two mistresses get reelected?

  123. sscenter on November 6, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Julie what does that have to do with my comment? Was there a statement by Jensen that I missed that endorsed abortion? I wouldn’t mind voting for a democrat at all, if he or she was pro-life. Democrats, not me, have made pro choice a primary requirement. Take for example Evan Bayh, former govenor of Indiana. When he was our govenor, he was pro life. I voted for him twice. Then he went to the senate and became pro choice. Since then I have not been able to vote for him at all. Al Gore did the same thing. This is their issue. I would not have voted for Rudy Guiliani or Tom Ridge if he had run because they were prochoice. I have made a covenant to obey the law of gospel. Supporting abortion would violate the covenant that i have made. I was not rejecting the democratic party, i was rejecting abortion.

  124. Sarah on November 6, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    I voted, yet again, for candidates who wouldn’t win. Much like my support for a massive reduction of politics on LDS blogs, this is a function of my dreams for this planet after the Second Coming.

    Has anyone here actually been thrilled by an election result? Really? Maybe I’m just a downer, but I was depressed after every election I can remember (1992 forward; the only thing I remember about 1988 was “I hate broccoli” and “no new taxes,” and that’s only because my liberal Canadian 5th/6th grade teacher taught us how to say both of them in Latin.)

    Though I am pleased that Ohioans decided not to amend our Constitution to permit a single company to have a monopoly on casino gaming in the state (and to specifically put said casino in the middle of nowhere.)

  125. DavidH on November 6, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    I was thrilled in 1980 when Reagan won; I was thrilled in 2006 when the democrats took back the House and Senate and this year when Obama won.

  126. Jeremy Jensen on November 10, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    “I voted for McCain because I can’t have babies’ blood on my hands.”

    Both parties have babies’ blood on their hands. The Democrats, it could be argued, have blood on their hands because of support of legal abortion. The Republicans, it could be argued, have blood on their hands because of the war and because their domestic policies result in a higher number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions.

  127. Jeremy Jensen on November 10, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    “Supporting abortion would violate the covenant that i have made. I was not rejecting the democratic party, i was rejecting abortion.”

    Unless you’ve made a different covenant than the rest of us have made, then, no, voting pro-choice does not constitute violating your covenants. If so, the church would make it clear that this was the case. It only takes a position that abortion is immoral, with some exceptions, not that it should be illegal.

  128. Mika Call on November 10, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Calling all American Members of the Church—especially all you Utah Republicans—who voted for John McCain: open your eyes and ears; not to mention your hearts and minds! Get over it, already. I did.

    I was raised in a Republican-voting household and even voted for W. Bush in 2000, but after what he brought us through, after what he did to the world as a whole (and to missionary work worldwide), who had the gall and gullibility to vote for him again in 2004? Not I.

    Oh ye Latter-day Republicans, ye of too much faith in the GOP, Why are you still stuck within your conservative ideology? I will tell you why . . . because of a historical accident in Mormon history. The Latter-day Saints—again, especially in Utah—vote Republican because of a backlash against the government’s reaction to polygamy. (Read: Reed Smoot.) And now I ask: which side is actually radical enough reenact your plural marriages?

    That’s right, the Left!

    So I stand and say to all who didn’t vote for the Blessed Obama: next time you cast a ballot, please, do NOT choose the Right.

  129. Mika Call on November 10, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Calling all American Members of the Church—especially all you Utah Republicans—who voted for John McCain: open your eyes and ears; not to mention your hearts and minds! Get over it, already. I did.

    I was raised in a Republican-voting household and even voted for W. Bush in 2000, but after what he brought us through, after what he did to the world as a whole (and to missionary work worldwide), who had the gall and gullibility to vote for him again in 2004? Not I.

    Oh ye Latter-day Republicans, ye of too much faith in the GOP, Why are you still stuck within your conservative ideology? I will tell you why . . . because of a historical accident in Mormon history. The Latter-day Saints—again, especially in Utah—vote Republican because of a backlash against the government’s reaction to polygamy. (Read: Reed Smoot.) And now I ask: which side is actually radical enough to reenact your plural marriages?

    That’s right, the Left!

    So I stand and say to all who didn’t vote for the Blessed Obama: next time you cast a ballot, please, do NOT choose the Right.

  130. Mika Call on November 10, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Calling all American Members of the Church—especially all you Utah Republicans—who voted for John McCain: open your eyes and ears; not to mention your hearts and minds! Get over it, already. I did.

    I was raised in a Republican-voting household and even voted for W. Bush in 2000, but after what he brought us through, after what he did to the world as a whole (and to missionary work worldwide), who had the gall and gullibility to vote for him again in 2004? Not I.

    Oh ye Latter-day Republicans, ye of too much faith in the GOP, Why are you still stuck within your conservative ideology? I will tell you why . . . because of a historical accident in Mormon history. The Latter-day Saints—again, especially in Utah—vote Republican because of a backlash against the government’s reaction to polygamy. (Read: Reed Smoot.) And now I ask: which side is actually radical enough to reenact your plural marriages?

    That’s right, the Left!

    So I stand and say to all who didn’t vote for the Blessed Obama: next time you cast your ballot, please, do NOT choose the Right.

  131. DavidH on November 11, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Mika,

    I do not see the republicanism as a backlash against the government’s reaction to polygamy. It was the republican party who led the “raid”–that sought to destroy the Church in the name of stopping polygamy. Indeed, the republican party was started to eliminate the twin relics of barbarism–slavery and polygamy. Perhaps the love affair with the republican party is a form of the “Stockholm syndrome” where the kidnapped/abused become enamored of their captor.

  132. Mika Call on November 11, 2008 at 1:07 am

    David,

    Well stated.

    Of course Mormon assimilation into the conservative mainstream of America was a long-drawn-out process, beginning with the congressional interrogations of Senator Smoot and compounded by such factors as the red scare and, but only much later, moral issues (abortion, the ERA, etc.). The point is that Latter-day Republicanism—this Utah-based groupthink—is based far less on principle than anything more historical or contingent. So yes, it was an “accident,” to call it that, for the Saints under Brigham Young—the People’s Party—would have been horrified and confused by Businessman Romney’s ironic worries about “spreading the wealth around.” Whence? Whither? Unregulated capitalism is now embraced by the American Saints as though it were the United Order itself! As for the moral issues: Roe v. Wade will never be overturned and it was dead wrong of the only true and living church to involve itself politically in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment. And as the “reddest” State of the Union, Utah would do well to rethink its pseudo-alliance with a political party that will not elect one of its own for president (after all, Evangelicals hate Mormons).

    All one has to do is go outside of Utah, better yet, outside the United States to see that the politically conservative ideology of the American Saints is, in this case at least, a “socially constructed” reality—a mere matter of choosing the Right.