Let’s face it. Although morality profoundly impacts American’s political views — making political and election issues an inevitable topic of attention for a Mormon blog — the idea of a Mormon being elected President of the United States has animated discussion on this site much more than would a contest between Barack Obama and a Protestant Republican.
As I write this a few hours before posting, Mitt Romney is leading Barack Obama in the Real Clear Politics (RCP) average of polls by 47.3+0.5 % to 46.3+0.5 %, with perhaps other polls still to report later today. On October 9, 2012, after Obama’s flop at the first debate, Romney took a lead in that poll over Obama for the first time ever, and the RCP assessment of state results has seen 68 electoral votes go from “likely Obama” to “toss-up” in the post-debate shift.
Although the time between now and the actual election is still long enough for anything up to a general Mideastern War to spread — as noted from these reports here and here — and an incumbent President always has the initiative when it comes to changing a story line, there is actually a realistic chance that the President of the United States will shortly be a Mormon Conservative.
Nearly a year ago (when Romney trailed Obama by 1.6 points in the RCP average), Jeff Spector asked how “members in the US would react if Romney were to be elected President”. Jeff suggested:
“Where we are apt to see a huge and somewhat controversial difference will be in Fast and Testimony Meetings, especially right after the election.
“Members in the United States will stand up and bear testimony of the ‘miracle’ of the election, that God caused the citizens of the US to elect a Mormon as President. That this is somehow some kind of “sign” to be marveled over.
“In some ways, it will be. Just like it did not seem possible that a Black American could become President, it might be considered unlikely that a Mormon would be elected. But a miracle, brought about by God?
“Given the state of the economy and the world at large, the miracle might be that President Obama gets re-elected.
“Certainly, it will also be viewed as a tremendous missionary opportunity as Americans might become more curious about our faith. Clearly, the Chevy Chase Ward, which according to the Church website is the congregation closest to the White House, will not be the same.”
People seemed to have a hard time getting their heads around the notion. Discussion quickly turned to how being President would impact the ability of the Romney’s to practice their religion, particularly in regard to attending the Temple. (I personally think that the country’s bipartisanship would be immediately improved if President Romney were given a calling as Senator Reid’s Home Teacher, or if the callings were the other way around. We’d at least have the likelihood that Reid would have more substantive discussions in the White House during the next four years than it seems he did during the last four. :D)
But I’d like now to revisit and broaden Jeff”s question in light of an additional year of history, and a greater chance (at least for the moment) of a Romney victory.
1) If the Mormon Moment lasts another four years, how will Mitt’s Mormonism impact US and global history (I’m a top-down kind of guy!)?
2) How do you think Mitt’s priesthood will impact US and global history?
3) How do you think Mitt’s conservatism will impact US and global history?
4) How will Ann Romney’s Mormonism impact US and global history?
5) How will Ann Romney”s callings and life experiences (you define them) impact US and global history?
6) How will Mitt’s election impact LDS liberals?
7) How will Mitt’s election impact LDS conservatives?
8 ) How will Mitt’s election impact the view of the LDS church abroad?
9) How will Mitt’s election impact the Missionary Program of the church?
10) How will Mitt’s election impact Zionic endeavors of the church?
Of course, maybe I should ask about the Mormon Moment lasting eight years. Whether it lasts four or eight years would, by itself, constrain a lot of the answers, wouldn’t it?