Mormons who fear Mitt

by Troy Williams

My second Salon piece is up.  What do you think?  Is Mitt Romney going to have an adverse impact on how Mormons are perceived?   Have a read and let me know!

“I would not vote for him just because he is Mormon. I want to know what he is going to do for the people.  I want to see the compassion.”

Gladys Knight is not voting for Mitt Romney. In a recent interview with BET the famed singer, herself a Mormon, said she wants to see the GOP front-runner “talk about something else besides the money.” Knight’s ambivalence about Romney is shared by at least a handful of her fellow Latter-day Saints.

You see, last time a Republican was president, he became just about the least popular person in the world. So some Mormons are a little bit nervous that having one of their own in the White House could interfere with the church’s true mission of spreading the gospel — something with which it has already been having recent troubles.

“Mitt Romney is having a terrible impact on how we are perceived,” explained Brigham Young University law student Marshall Thompson, a former intern to Orrin Hatch, an Iraq vet and a faithful Mormon — the type of person, in other words, you’d expect to be part of Romney’s base.  “I’m told he’s a very nice person in real life,” Thompson continues, “but he comes across as out-of-touch, materialistic and disingenuous.”

Thompson is cluing into what pundits have identified as Romney’s greatest vulnerability – the so-called likability gap that separates him from Barack Obama. Romney’s candidacy comes at a time when Mormonism itself is facing a similar crisis of likability.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE ON SALON

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About Troy Williams

Troy is currently the public affairs director of KRCL 90.9 FM in Salt Lake City and the executive producer of RadioActive. His work has been featured in The Nation, Interview Magazine, Huffington Post, The Gay Times and OUT Magazine. He also co-wrote the one-woman show, The Passion of Sister Dottie S. Dixon. In 2011 Troy will appear in the new Errol Morris documentary, Tabloid.
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