Friday, December 30, 2011

Mona Charen: Mormons Are The Wrong Kind Of Minority in America

Mona Charen has written a thought provoking article for National Review Online about the lack of excitement Mitt Romney that will surely come when compared to other minorities when they have reached a milestone or overcome a barrier if he becomes the first LDS President of the United States: 
The Washington Post proclaimed in a recent headline another historic “first” for the United States — the first female usher-in-chief at the White House. Stop the presses! The accompanying story reveals that the nominee hails from Jamaica, so it’s probably a two-fer. Oh boy.
The Post and other liberal organs are obsessed with firsts. The first female letter carrier to handle the Capitol Hill route will get a mention in the press. The first African-American anything is guaranteed at least a nod. You don’t even have to be first to get “first” treatment. The last two Supreme Court nominees have been women, joining a court that had already seated two women (one retired). Nevertheless, the femininity of the candidates was cheerily chatted up. When Barack Obama became the first black nominee of a major party and then the elected president, dignified notice of an historical milestone would have been appropriate. But you know what happened — the media went on an inebriated, extravagant first binge.
Funny how the first effect only works for some. If Mitt Romney is nominated and elected, he will be the first member of a highly persecuted American minority group to be so honored. Yet no one is celebrating the possibility of the first Mormon president. Anti-Mormon bias, which has proved remarkably persistent over decades, is scarcely ever condemned.
Mona Charen goes on to give a brief history of the persecution that Mormons faced in America just as other minority groups in America have such as African Americans or Catholics have in the past until a member of that group occupied the White House as President. She concludes that if Romney were to become our next President, Romney would make history but some people may not be thrilled with this milestone in American history.
While Mormons might be the "wrong" minority in America, there would be nothing wrong with having a Mormon in the White House because that nothing would change if a LDS politician were ever to become President: 
“I think everyone will find it very boring or normal in the White House itself,” said Joanna Brooks, a Mormon and a columnist at
“There’d be a Book of Mormon, maybe, in the nightstand,” said Brooks, grasping at straws to come up with some things that would change. Of course, she pointed out, there’s already one in the nightstand in every Marriott hotel room in America.
Mormons obey the Word of Wisdom, a religious law that prohibits consumption of alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea and illegal drugs. But does that mean that under a President Romney or Huntsman, the White House would go dry and sleep-deprived aides wouldn’t be permitted to refuel with coffee?
“I would absolutely predict and bet a thousand bucks that you would not have a dry White House,” Chuck Warren, a Republican strategist and a practicing Mormon, told The Daily Caller.
While he may not personally drink coffee, Romney doesn’t seem have a problem with being around it. The New York Times reported that he discussed his 2008 loss at a holiday party with former aides “over coffee, sandwiches and doughnuts,” and that he has held at least one campaign function at the Buddy Brew coffee shop in Tampa, Fla.
The same attitude appears to apply to alcohol. A Boston Globe write-up of Romney’s inaugural ball as governor identified that there was a cash bar present for those with standard tickets, while those willing to shell out the big bucks were upstairs in the “exclusive Martini Lounge” where “[v]odka flowed down the trunk of an elephant-shaped ice sculpture.” Many guests reportedly took advantage of it.
“We’ve had teetotalers in the White House before, including recently George W. Bush,” pointed out conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt during an interview on his radio show, “so I don’t think a lack of alcohol makes much of a difference.”
“I actually don’t think that their LDS [Latter-Day Saints] faith would in any way change anything that any American would see or observe, even if they were working in the White House,” added Hewitt, who authored a book titled “A Mormon in the White House.”
Mormons who spoke to TheDC were similarly unable to come up with examples of changes likely to come to a Mormon-led White House.
“There’s a strict law of chastity, but I don’t think presidents are required to cheat on their wives; they just do sometimes,” joked McKay Coppins, a reporter for The Daily Beast and Newsweek who is also a Mormon.
“Mormons generally are taught that on Sundays you’re not supposed to work,” mused Coppins. “But we also are taught that there are exceptions for jobs that need to be done on Sundays; for example, doctors. I would imagine that the job of president probably falls under there.”
However, there might be one unique aspect of having a Mormon president and that is his attendance at a LDS temple:
One unique challenge that could face a Mormon president, Coppins pointed out, would be what to do about a security detail when worshiping at temple.
Temples are not places Mormons go for routine weekly services — for that Mormons go to church. Temples are sacred places that Mormons attend more infrequently.
According to the church’s website, “the primary purpose of the temple is to provide a dedicated place where sacred ordinances needed for eternal life can be preformed. Because of its sacred nature, attendance in the temple is limited to Mormons who obey God’s commandments and therefore are worthy to enter.”
That last part could present a security issue for a Mormon president: how to worship at temple with Secret Service agents who may not be worthy Mormons, and without disrupting other worshipers in what Brooks described as a “setting that is highly private and designed to be very peaceful.”
Other Mormons who spoke to TheDC offered several suggestions, though no one could say for sure. The president could, perhaps, enter with Secret Service agents who were worthy Mormons, or simply not attend temple for the duration of his term in office, as it is not required.
The Mormon Church declined to make official comment on the matter. The Washington, D.C. Temple, located in Kensington, Md., also did not respond to TheDC’s request for comment.
Having a Mormon for President might be the very thing America needs. A man who has been successful both in the public and private sector, has been completely faithful to his wife for many years and has raised a wonderful family, and has had a scandal free political career. 
Americans are tired of scandals, corruption, drama and politics that come from the White House. We need a President who will do his job confidently, competently, intelligently and without fanfare just like most hard working Americans do when they go to work. 
Having a Mormon in the White House is the right kind of minority America needs and Mitt Romney is the right man for the job in 2012! 

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