Saturday, July 16, 2011

Desensitizing the US about the Mormons to prepare for Romney's Run

The Mormon drumbeats have started. In GQ on July 11, a gentleman named Tom Carson has given his spin on Mormons, namely that they are cool, cute, “too goofy to be menacing” and “the last true American innocents,” a kind of mid-century modern artifact  like an Eames Chair. He admits that it might look different if you are gay or black, but if you are not, the Mormons are supposed to be harmless. Really? Nobody else cares about gays and blacks but gays and blacks?  Or does Mr. Carson think nobody should care about gays and blacks? The Mormons spent millions opposing gay marriage in virtually every state where it had a chance to succeed.  They hid their contributions behind dummy companies and front groups, and broke nearly every election law in the land because winning is all that Mormons care about. Just before the election in 2008, "parties unknown" launched a massed cyber attack on gay groups in both California and Florida.  Meanwhile, the votes on gay marriage were close in both states and the results did not match exit polls. Is that really “goofy” and “harmless” and of interest only to gays, that there is a large wealthy group in America dedicated to winning at any cost and to deceiving the public about their actions and intentions?  Who are the Mormons?

They are a gang.  Salt Lake City has long been famous for having highest rate of business fraud in the nation. Even in official statistics,  Multi-level marketing is second only to tourism as the dominant industry.  LDS members discriminate against other faiths in credit, housing, employment, and even charity. The church's disdain for individuals and individualism is not only notorious, but violently different from the mainstream of American culture, as one can see by the attacks they launched on Sonia Johnson, a previous Mormon who ran for president.

Carson says his view of the Mormons as “cute” is not supposed to refer to Romney, but the epithet used for him, “Cyborg,” is actually one which has been carefully selected for its lack of sting.  Romney is a spoiled rich kid, like Bush, with no experience of risk, whose “genius” business adventure, Bain Capital, was set up to clean dirty Latin American money by putting it to work in American business, and whose political act in Massachusetts was one lengthy record of vetoes overrode by the legislature. This practice of referring to Romney as a cyborg seems to be summoning Romney's speaking style, not his ideas or his record. It has been repeated so many times by so many different people it has the smell of an officially sanctioned meme, one which deprives Romney of evil, the same way Ann Richards and Molly Ivins deprived Bush of the menace that he really represented through their thoughtless condescension. We all paid for their error.

Carson attributes the Mormon chic to the intervention of Parker and Stone and their “Book of Mormon” play, without any recognition that these are two right wingers who have not only a record of crass homophobia but have tried consistently to desensitize the public to Mormons. Their play, about very young Mormons, emphasizes the innocent. And Carson dismisses the joke LDS theology by saying “Anyone whose objection to Mormonism is that it's all made up is not only barking up the wrong crucifix but peeing on a flagpole. Made-up, really? What, ya think the NFL, Superman, Mickey Mouse, and the Declaration of Independence weren't?”

An odd collection, to be sure. Mickey Mouse was created by a man, Walt Disney, who had a Mormon wife, so it is not really a symptom of American society apart from Mormons. Superman never pretended to be non-fiction, as the Mormon story does. The NFL is a machine for converting the tax dollars of working people into the pockets of a few business owners and a few hardly more numerous players through a theatrical pretense of competition. If Romney had his way, the whole economy would be run like the NFL and we would all be victims.  In the sense that the NFL pretends to be about competition just as the Mormons pretend to be about religion, there may be some analogy, but hardly in creative imagination.    The Declaration of Independence is not, as far as I can tell, a fantasy novel, and Carson's trivialization of it as an American fiction is precisely why Mormonism should be resisted in politics.  It is just an insult to America to compare the Declaration of Independence to Mickey Mouse and the Mormons.

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