Hey Mitt, do you have moment? I know it has been a hard couple of weeks, what with the Dems convention bounce, the video of you writing off half of America, Paul Ryan getting boo-ed at the AARP convention, everyone and their mother publishing a story about how your campaign is in a tailspin, you getting so desperate you release a little bit of your tax returns, it has been a tough couple of weeks.
So here, pull up a chair. Yeah, the president was here, so I’ve got an empty one available. I’ve got a cup of tea for you and a beer for me, and I’d like you to listen for a moment. You know why you are having so much trouble? No one believes you are authentic. That’s really at the core of it. Conservatives are suspicious of all your flip-flops, Democrats don’t take you seriously, and independents just see a rich guy telling them what they want to hear. Where is the real Mitt Romney? Is he the guy who said he would be more pro-gay rights than Ted Kennedy or is he the guy who told Santorum he believes life begins at conception and Roe v. Wade should be overturned?
People can tell when you truly believe what you are saying. That’s the problem. When Barack Obama used to talk about really wanting to forge bipartisan solutions, he really believed it. That friendly meeting of minds is part of who he is, but since the 2010 elections and the Tea Party’s insane debt limit negotiations beat that out of him, you can hear the sadness in his voice as he longs for a bipartisan spirit.
So where is the real Mitt? I have been watching tons of YouTube videos of the debates, of interviews, of rallies and interactions with citizens and found only two issues upon which you are truly yourself. The first is talking about high finance and investment. You can see the smile in your eyes when you talk about that because you enjoy the world of high-level business and that is where you truly excel. But there was second rare moment of honest Mittens that I found. Here it is:
You were asked about distancing yourself from your Mormon faith and you got quite understandably angry. Your faith is deeply important to you and has been part of your life for such a long time. You’ve risen to prominence within the church, given millions of dollars in donations and even gave up quite a bit of lucrative time in 2002 to swoop in and save the Olympics when Salt Lake City, home of your faith, was having trouble. Now you are having to hop through hoops with evangelicals who give you sideways glances and mutter about “not prayin’ to the real Jesus,” and you are more than a little indignant. This is something that is truly important to you.
I know it is late in the game, but please, feel free to talk about your faith. That is where you are the most authentic. There are some fantastic values within the Mormon faith about valuing family, and treating your body with respect. Some of my closest friends growing up were a delightful Mormon family who shared such a sense of community with each other that I can see why it is so important to you.
Mitt, you know I have some disagreements with your church over their attempts to block marriage equality and the way they treat women within their organization, but setting that aside, you should be a proud representative of your church. Imagine if you could do for the Mormon faith what JFK did for the Catholics, giving people a very positive representative of a minority religion and in essence, demystifying it for the public. Move the faith beyond suspiciously well-dressed young men on your doorstep and into the average range of public perception. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful consolation prize for not getting the presidency? All that is required is the political courage to speak up. And I know you have that in you. Somewhere.