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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Larry Simoneaux
Bio: Larry Simoneaux
Date:  December 16, 2007
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Topic category:  Other/General

Been there. Done that. Remember the speech.

Mitt Romneyís a Mormon.

Got it.

Mitt Romneyís running for president and, if elected, heíll be the first Mormon to hold that office.

Yeah. Got that too.

Apparently, though, some people are nervous about this and Mr. Romney felt the need to speak about his religion, his beliefs, and how heíd govern should he be elected.

I could be wrong, but I think we covered this ground more than 40 years ago. That was when John F. Kennedy held our hands, amde a speech, and assured us that the Pope wouldnít take up residence in the Oval Office to tell him how to run the country.

Iím sorry, but the idea of Mitt Romney becoming president doesnít keep me awake at night nearly as much as some of the other names out there.

He has a B.A. from Brigham Young and an MBA plus a law degree from Harvard. That pretty much says he can read, write, and cipher with the best of them.

He was pretty successful in the private sector and ended up founding his own investment company. He took over as the President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee and helped iron out the problems that had been facing the 2002 Winter Games. He was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and, by most yardsticks, did a good job.

All in all, he seems to be a decent guy and, so far, no photos have emerged showing him coated in 30-weight oil, hanging upside down and naked from a ceiling fan, while harassing 3-legged yaks.

Note: The dirty tricks havenít started yet, so be prepared for anything. Three-legged yak photos can be doctored.

Are there bad actors in the Mormon faith? Sure are. The thing is, every religion has their fair share too.

Anyone out there proud of Fred Phelps and his gang of dipped-in-hate loons? Anyone happy about the escapades of more than a few Catholic priests or the shenanigans of certain television evangelists?

Weíre not voting for a religion here and, as long as a candidate isnít planning sacrifices on the steps of the Capitol Building or proposing conversion as a requirement of ongoing citizenship, the matter shouldnít worry us.

What we should be looking for is a leader - someone with qualities common to good people everywhere no matter the faith they profess.

Here are a few things Iím interested in.

Is a candidate honest? Can he or she directly answer a question thatís directly put? How does a candidate treat others? Does a candidate have a sense of humor?

Does a candidate have a set of beliefs from which he or she will not budge come hell, high water, or the results of the next focus group? Putting a finger into the air to gauge the political wind is one hell of a poor way to run a country.

As for the problems facing us as a nation:

How does a candidate plan to seal our borders and stop the flood of illegal immigrants ?

What would he or she do about uncontrolled spending, a tax code apparently written by a bunch of drugged zombies, and a citizenry thatís becoming all too comfortable with the idea of having government solve every problem we face.

How is he or she going to deal with a group of fundamentalist loons bound by some fruitcake version of a religion? What will he or she do to make this country less dependent on the oil that provides them with the funds needed to attack us? Will a candidate avoid wars we donít need but fight those we do with a clenched-jawed ferocity thatíll bring them to a swift and decisive end.

What would a candidate do to remind us that weíre Americans? Not White-Americans or African-Americans or Gay-Americans or Anything-Americans. Just Americans.

How would he or she go about explaining that putting people into groups eventually leads to and "us versus them" attitude and "Letís get ours" becoming the national motto.

With all of this and more to face, I believe we need someone who can get us looking for solutions rather than at necks we want to rip out. And, if such a person has a religion to fall back on, Iím fine with that.

Right now, I donít know whom Iíll be voting for.

But you say Mitt Romneyís a Mormon?

Right. Understood. What else you got?

Larry Simoneaux

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Biography - Larry Simoneaux

Larry Simoneaux is a regular columnist for The Everett Herald in Washington state. He is a retired ship driver for the US Navy and NOAA.

Read other commentaries by Larry Simoneaux.

Copyright © 2007 by Larry Simoneaux
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