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|Outrageous Speculation on Race and the Presidential Race|
Jan. 25th, 2008 at 1:47 am
The following is speculation on my part and not meant to offend.Â If you are offended, please state why in the comments.
There is a good likelihood that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee for President of the USA. He is leading the delegate count right now, has won three states, and polls show him leading in Florida, which would give him momentum going into Super Tuesday. In my mind he’s the best candidate on the Republican side despite his flaws. If there continues to be bad economic news, which seems likely, this will help him as his business background gives him an advantage on that topic.
On the Democratic side it seems like a toss-up between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Let’s assume, for the purposes of my speculation, that Obama wins the nomination as does Romney. That scenario seems as likely as any at this point.
I predict that such a combination of candidates would lead to intense scrutiny of past teachings of the LDS Church on the topic of race and specifically on the priesthood ban.
In a close election this issue might be enough to tilt things towards Obama.
Personally I don’t think the ban was inspired, but I have a caveat which I’ll get to in a moment.
I regret that the Church didn’t show moral leadership on the issue of civil rights and that leaders justified the ban with hurtful folklore. Besides the initiation of the ban there have been a few missed opportunities to mitigate things. For instance, if the ban had been ended 15 years earlier when the topic first came up that would help the situation. Perhaps if the 1998 apology had happened that would served to diffuse the issue.Â Any of those not only would have helped Mitt but much more importantly would have been in my opinion, the right thing to do.
I don’t think Mitt is racist and he won’t deserve the attacks that will come his way, but the ban, folklore, statements of past leaders, and even the Book of Mormon provide ample fodder.Â I also don’t think Senator Obama will play the race card himself, but this is a high stakes game and you can be sure that individuals and groups acting on their own will resort to dirty tricks.
There are things Mitt could do to try to shield himself. The most obvious idea would be to select a black running mate. I don’t know who this might be. The choices that first spring to mind, Colin Powell and Condi Rice, both seem to have baggage from the Bush administration.
Thus I think it is entirely likely that the first Mormon with a serious shot at the White House will be brought down by the priesthood ban.
Now for my caveat on the ban not being inspired. I allow for the possibility that the ban was of God as a curse on His church because of the racism of its members. An even more interesting situation would arise if Obama wins the presidency partly because of the ban. It would have served to help a black man obtain the highest office in the land.
If Brigham Young’s racism plays a part in elevating Barack Obama to the office of President of the USA then I’ll have to reconsider my opinion that the ban was not inspired, but I’ll probably still wish it had never happened.
Of course I’m less able to predict the future than DKL, so it is likely that none of this will happen.