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Monday, April 16, 2012

Mitt's 'McCain Impression'

By Stephen Stone, President of Renew America

With Rick Santorum's recent departure from the 2012 presidential sweepstakes, the Republican establishment — aided and abetted by self-identified "conservative" voters — has just ensured the re-election of Barack Obama.

That's a view widely held by real conservatives, not just my own view.

The GOP now fields one of the most disliked, ruthlessly ambitious, untruthful, problematic candidates for president in recent memory. Never before in modern history has a Republican presidential candidate been so overtly manipulative of the political process, or of the public mind, than Mitt Romney. (You'd have to revisit Obama's media-driven, illusion-based 2008 Democratic candidacy to see something comparable). As a result, rarely has the Republican base been left with so unpopular a choice.

Of course all along, the Romney camp's presumption has been that in the end, conservatives will vote for Mitt in large numbers precisely because they have no other choice.

That's not likely to happen, though — given human nature, and given the principled nature of some voters — despite the country's intense disaffection for Dictator-in-Charge Obama.

Rick Santorum at least represented a distinct choice between a Washington establishment-favored politician and a God-fearing (if far from perfect) moral-based conservative. Mitt — as Santorum pointed out — is simply too much like the opposition.

Now the un-Romney is gone, and voters are left with the all-too-familiar "lesser of two evils" quandary in the fall.

Predictably, the GOP base will not fight for Romney's election. And without positive enthusiasm from the base, Romney will lose.

It will be McCain 2008 all over again — maybe worse, considering the loser will be our nation itself.

Mormons "in a tight spot"

The situation is especially dire for faithful, informed "Mormons," who are commanded by their own scriptural canon,

    Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil. And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God. (D&C 98:10-11, emphasis added)
This means that no truly devout, converted Mormon could support Mitt — no matter the temptation to do so for pragmatic, prideful reasons that center naively in "promoting the faith." He fails to qualify under God's own terms (if Mormons accept the LDS canon), and those who ignore Mitt's dishonesty, godless platform, ungodly record of deceit, and lack of a discernable moral core do so at their own peril. Any thought of choosing "the lesser of two evils" is plainly prohibited.

That's what the above words suggest. Of course, you don't have to be a Mormon to feel the same way.

Who is this man?

Mitt Romney would be the richest president in 200 years. Only Washington and Jefferson, because of their extensive land holdings, could be considered more affluent.

In 2008 alone, Mitt reportedly spent 42 million of his own dollars on his presidential campaign — nearly half of his campaign's total expenditures — helping to set up this year's run.

For comparison, consider that billionaire third-party hopeful Ross Perot spent $12 million on himself in 1992, in a vanity campaign that emphasized his "big businessman image" and ensured the election of unknown Democrat Bill Clinton.

Mitt's personal wealth is the only identifiable reason he's done so well this season — amassing a high-powered staff and national organization, and attracting countless big-money donations, particularly for his super PACs, on the foundation of his earlier run. Such flaunting of wealth — and the resulting savvy campaign he's put together — has enabled him to knock off all of the competition with a barrage of slick negative ads, in the absence of any real positive or coherent message, and is why supporters and nearsighted GOP leaders presume he can beat Obama in the fall.

"Follow the money," as they say. At least if you buy the notion that the richest candidate for president deserves to purchase his party's nomination.

Arguably, had Santorum's coffers been as deep as Mitt's, and his bought-and-paid-for organization as formidable, Rick likely would have taken the crucial states of Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin — all of which Mitt barely won after outspending the Santorum camp by huge margins. Money made the difference at key junctures, and it's fair to say Santorum would still be in contention heading into the Tampa convention if he'd been able to battle Mitt on a "level playing field."

But that's not the way things work. Money — along with the rich and powerful it attracts like a magnet — rules in politics, as in so many areas of life. In the final analysis, it was Santorum's lack of a large personal fortune that made the difference. He simply ran out of money down the stretch. It's that simple.

As a result, the more acceptable candidate found himself increasingly left in the dust of Romney's elbow-throwing entourage.

Mitt and McCain

Regarding the McCain 2008 comparison —

At least McCain was a known quantity when he was handed the nomination by the Bush machine. (That's exactly what happened, by the way, after Fred Thompson failed to live up to his Bush groomers' expectations.) Now elitists from the Bush machine have succeeded in giving the GOP nomination to a largely-unvetted former governor masquerading as a bona fide conservative.

By virtue of his record — not his contrived rhetoric — Mitt is clearly a liberal-moderate, not a principled conservative. Certainly not the kind of moral conservative some Republicans think they're getting (at least those na├»ve enough to believe the illusory rhetoric of the Romney campaign).

While Mitt's presumptive nomination has GOP elites high-fiving each other, it has tragic consequences for our nation. If the goal is to prevent another four years of Obama's dictatorial designs, we need someone from an entirely different mold.

That's because, in practical terms, Mitt's singular strength — his enormous financial base — will be no match for Obama's projected billion-dollar war chest in the general election. Expect Mitt (and a host of other Republican candidates seeking national office) to be swept away by an avalanche of attack ads ironically reminiscent of Mitt's own.

"Payback time," the corrupt Obamaites will boast.

In the face of such an insurmountable money advantage, it would seem obvious that the only way to beat the Obama incumbency would be to offer a genuine alternative who can unite the majority of the electorate known to detest Obamacare, abortion on demand, and the demise of traditional marriage by the gay agenda — things Mitt is not only unpersuasive in opposing, but has had a deliberate hand in.

The only big-name Republican who even came close this election to fulfilling the party's need for such an inspirational nominee was Rick Santorum, who emerged as a well-liked, if unlikely, challenger to Romney by virtue of his refreshing honesty, sincerity, and fighting commitment to the most crucial moral issues of our time. Whereas Mitt flipped and flopped, you knew where Rick stood unequivocally in the "culture war."

He inspired the base in ways Mitt could only stand back and envy.

He won 11 state primaries before dropping out due to the incessant brainwashing voters were subjected to by Mitt's people and the media — after being robbed at the outset of momentum from his win in Iowa by inept or Romney-leaning GOP leaders, and after losing a chance to regain momentum when Texas' planned April 3 primary was rescheduled for the end of May. Throughout critical stages of the campaign, Rick couldn't get a fair shake from the press (including conservative outlets like Drudge, as he noted), and he folded after enduring months of Romney's untruthful attack ads, unearned media promotion, and outright distortions.

Santorum was straight-shooting and candid to a fault — and the cynics batted him down. Unfortunately for conservatives, he really didn't have a chance, in a political arena increasingly dominated and defined by partisan elites — and where media-favored, moneyed, big-government candidates can stumble and misspeak without incident, but a God-fearing, decent man like Santorum is castigated or ridiculed without mercy for an occasional faux pas.

God help us now that Mitt's establishment allies have shown just how powerful they really are.

20 more years of Obama?

Shortly after a similar unvetted usurper, Barack Hussein Obama, "won" the presidency in November 2008, our extended family gathered together for dinner, and I asked a brother a favorite question of mine: "Who's going to be president of the United States in 20 years?"

Without a moment's hesitation, he said, "Barack Obama." My politically-active brother was the first person to answer correctly, to my way of thinking.

A known ideological communist with close ties to numerous Marxist mentors throughout his life — including the notorious terrorist William Ayers and Ayers' parents — Barack Obama has now proven himself, 3½ years later, to be unflinchingly committed to an agenda of destruction of the known world: of the United States of America, of Western culture, of international stability, of Christian-based liberty, of all things Karl Marx would abhor in his fostering of class warfare and world conflagration.

That's of course what Obama meant by "hope and change," and the "transformation" of the exceptionally God-centered, freedom-based U.S.

Just about everything the Obama administration has done is consistent with Marx's Communist Manifesto, and with the infamous Rules for Radicals by Marxist subversive Saul Alinsky.

But all of this was predictable to knowledgeable observers of Obama at the time of his election, based on what he and his associates in mayhem had already been engaged in going back many years. I personally had a hand in overseeing the day-to-day website of Alan Keyes when he challenged Obama for the U.S. Senate in 2004, and I saw a side of Obama, and his Alinsky-based tactics, that would only become public knowledge years later when he ran for president, and afterward in his record as the illegitimate "leader" of the free world.

My brother — like a lot of aware conservatives — knew our country was in deep trouble the day Obama emerged victorious in the fall of 2008 (after a virtual non-campaign by John McCain, who lacked the courage to expose the aspiring dictator, being himself compromised by funding from George Soros, according to sources).

The point of all this is that everyone knows that communists don't respect the rule of law, and they rarely leave without being ousted in a coup. With the exception of Mikhail Gorbachev, no world-class modern communist dictator has ever walked away from power — and Gorbachev's deflation happened only because the Soviet Union collapsed around him, leaving him little popular support.

By all appearances — with the almost-certain anointing of Mitt Romney by the GOP establishment — it may well be too late at this point to prevent such an outrageous national crisis as a communist president who won't leave, win or lose. To get rid of Obama, our nation needs not just a virtual clone of our current president to lead the charge — complete with similar pretense, manipulation, money, vicious political machine, ambivalence to what's right and true, hand in the authorship of "Obamneycare," and active support for the gay agenda — but an inspiring voice of reason and courageous spirit capable of galvanizing patriotic Americans, including the still-influential "moral majority," into a nonviolent national political force for saving our republic.

That force cannot be almost exclusively focused on economic concerns (as Mitt is) at the exclusion of the other two "legs of conservatism" that Reagan preached: national defense (which would require a return to "don't ask, don't tell," contrary to Mitt's view), and traditional moral values. Nor can it be easily distracted or diverted by grave questions about the "moral authenticity" of its leader.

In the absence of such strong leadership, our most urgent need is to pray earnestly and humbly that God will intervene and spare our country from the disaster that surely awaits us. The "Power that hath made and preserved us a nation" (National Anthem) is our best — and arguably only — hope in these perilous times.

For God to hear and answer our prayers, of course, we also need to be worthy of his intervention, by virtue of our submission to His will. Prayer must be coupled with seeking righteousness (see Matt. 6:33); otherwise, it — like other superficial acts — is much like "sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal" (1 Cor. 13:1-3).

Consider the familiar words of 2 Chronicles 7:14:
    If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (emphasis added)
This verse hints where we're at as a nation, and says plainly what we most need — and it's not "political."

And what do we do politically?

As "progressives" — including both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama — continue to push our nation increasingly toward the brink of unprecedented calamity and resultant servitude, doing so either unwittingly or deliberately, conservatives are left with a profound dilemma this election.

It's clear to informed voters that neither presidential candidate is acceptable from a moral standpoint — and a vote for Mitt can be justified only pragmatically as an expedient, in an effort to "stop" the Obama legacy.

Such expediency still means the voter gave assent to the platform, policies, record, rhetoric, and character of Mr. Romney.

So, what to do?

The first thing to do is what many social conservatives have already conceded: with the race for president all but lost, the most urgent course is to focus on retaining the House and retaking the Senate — and not by choosing more "RINOs," mind you, but by helping genuine conservatives get elected to both houses.

This means donating what we can to honest, principled, constitutionally-sound candidates, and then giving whatever time we have to helping them.

Should conservatives, as a result, expand their strength in both houses of Congress, they will be in a better position to deal with either a flip-flopping Republican or a diehard communist Democrat.

In the case of an unlikely Romney administration, this legislative strategy would considerably slow down our demise. In the case of a "lame-duck" — but potentially tenured — Obama, expect the president to ignore the will of Congress altogether (as well as the courts) and rule by unchecked edict as the dictator he envisions himself. But we should try nonetheless. It's our best political hope.

As for the wisdom, and moral propriety, of voting for Mitt, we'll leave that to your own judgment. Just bear in mind that if you're LDS, you're enjoined in plain language to support only "honest," "wise," and "good" candidates for political office, and to "forsake all evil" (D&C 98:10-11).

Mitt and Mormonism

You might be wondering at this point how the "inevitability" of Mitt's nomination for president on the GOP ticket will affect my ongoing series on Mitt and Mormonism.

We'll have to see. I've been writing the series because I've long had three overlapping interests: (1) religion, (2) education, and (3) politics. All three are inseparable in my mind, but foremost is my deep interest in religious truth, with the clear teachings of the Bible as my main source and yardstick.

This means my chief motivation for writing about Mitt and his church has been, from the outset, to share what I know from firsthand experience to be the essential facts about the LDS church, in the interest of establishing the truth.

I recently came across the following paraphrase of Catholic theologian Vincent Miceli by one of our writers at RenewAmerica, Linda Kimball. Linda said,
    Truth is an objective social good meant to be freely shared by all mankind, even when truth is unpleasant, wrote Vincent P. Miceli, S.J., author of "The Roots of Violence." Miceli points out that the lie is the father of violence, of treachery, distrust, betrayal and confusion, and those who tell lies to get what they want are guilty of all of these sins.
I happen to agree. Just telling the truth — as fairly and accurately as I am capable, with ample verification — is enough reason to continue writing about the LDS church, and its connection with Mitt Romney.


In doing so, I'm educating others — my second deep interest. And by doing so in the context of my abiding interest in politics, I'm fulfilling my third priority.

Expect the articles to continue. I have much to say that I believe will be helpful to readers this election season.
I will say this:

Mitt's candidacy thrusts upon America an opportunity — and a responsibility — to figure out the long-inscrutable entity and culture known as "Mormonism." There may never be a better time to come to grips with this "American gospel" than now.

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