Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thoughts on the Day After Iowa

Mitt won Iowa! It still hasn't quite sunk in with me yet that it really happened. A Mormon won in the evangelical state! I work a few hours a week at a local bookstore. I had a customer today check out with several political books and felt comfortable asking if he had watched the caucus returns last night/this morning. In response I got an upsetting earful of commentary from a "conservative" professor of political science and history about how the Republican Party is going to hell in a hand basket for letting Mitt Romney win. "Don't they know what electing a Mormon will do to this country?" I really weighed my options between politely dropping into the conversation that I am LDS, versus blatantly, proudly and forthrightly shoving it in his face that I am LDS, or just letting it go. I asked where he is a professor, and when he gave me the town name, rather than the name of the school, I decided to let it go.
Lynchburg, VA. Home of Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell. Evangelical to the core and sometimes rather vicious about it.
He burst my bubble. I was very excited about the Romney win last night. I think he will win New Hampshire without breaking a sweat or irritating an ulcer. And hopefully that means riding some serious momentum into South Carolina and Florida. It is exciting to me that any candidate can garner that kind of support! But to hear a supposedly strong and active conservative Republican speak with such vile and hatred? It just worries me that in 8 months from now at the convention we're going to see a third party breakaway, rather than a rally around the candidate, which will mean a guaranteed win for Obama. I really hope people aren't so bigoted towards Mormons as to let that happen.
After this man went off on Romney and Mormons (and then on Gingrich and Reagan- how anyone can call themselves a conservative GOP and not like Reagan is beyond me), and he had checked out he spotted the new Glenn Beck book about George Washington as he walked out. He stopped and bought it (ahem, fell victim to our carefully calculated marketing techniques designed to encourage impulse purchases), and then said to me, "Should be good for a laugh."
As for me, I'm still excited about the Romney win. I think it is fantastic. I think Rick Santorum is a good man, and maybe just won some points for himself in the vice presidential sweeps. But really? He isn't presidential material, and he has no chance of winning elsewhere.
I won't miss Michele Bachmann in the race. I think Rick Perry needs to man up and drop out. Newt Gingrich seems hellbent on destroying Romney, no matter what it does to the party. I don't think anyone is looking at him anymore as the viable second choice. As for Ron Paul? Well, what can anyone think of Ron Paul? He is what he is. And he won't be much more than that.

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