I am used to reading about Values Voters, Security Moms, and the dozen or so other sub-groupings of Americans who may vote in the 2008 presidential race. Today I would like to add another group to the list: the Insult Voter. The Insult Voter is a Christian Conservative who bashes a candidate’s religion while supporting his or her politics. The best example of an Insult Voter is Bob Jones III of Bob Jones University.
Jones said that while he is “completely opposed to the doctrines of Mormonism,” he is endorsing the former Massachusetts Governor candidacy. His logic? “What’s the alternative, Hillary’s lack of religion or an erroneous religion?” In other words, better to back a conservative who believes in a lie then a liberal who does not.
Logic aside, some in the press are dumping on Mitt for not defending his faith and rejecting the endorsement. But this isn’t fair. Most people who support Governor Romney now, and most of those who will vote for him in the primaries agree with Bob Jones III that Mormonism is a false religion. They aren’t voting for Mitt because he’s a Mormon, they are voting for him because he is, at least at the moment, pro-God, pro-Guns, pro-Life, and anti-Gay. They’d vote for the Anti-Christ if his politics were red enough, and the Rapture didn’t take them first.
Yet some claim that Mitt’s failure to defend his faith is a sign that he stands for nothing but winning. True he did seem willing to lean “blue” to become the governor of Massablusetts, and now he is leaning red to become president, but every candidate is doing that to one degree or another. Candidates essentially buy votes by backing policies that serve constituencies rather than the nation as a whole. And they stay in power by selling influence to wealthy special interests. So Governor Romney isn’t doing anything unusual here. In fact being able to make a deal with Bob Jones might suggest that Mitt has the capacity to broker agreements with America’s enemies, something our current Crusader in Chief cannot do.
But I think Mitt Romney ignored Bob Jones’ insults for a different reason. Mitt knows that as a good Mormon man he may someday become a god ruling over his own planet. At that point he can take his revenge on anyone he damn well pleases. In the meantime there is the New Hampshire primary to worry about.