Will Mormonism become Mitt’s Bradley effect?

Is there an anti-Mormon analogous to the Bradley effect?

Okay, so as I understand it, the Bradley effect is a polling phenomenon wherein white people said they were going to vote for a black candidate in greater numbers than they actually did. Its named for a particular black  mayoral candidate from the eighties. Admittedly this effect hasn’t been logged or documented during elections in the past decade or so. This has been attributed to increasing trust among white voters for black candidates running for elective office. It could also be as a result of white people polling more honestly and generally having the confidence to express their genuine opinions.

My task here today is to explore the concept of how personal opinion interacts with personal embarrassment. A recent poll showed that only 8% of Americans view Mitt Romney’s religion as a factor determining whether or not they would vote for him. Mitt Romneys religion is quite conspicuously the least relevant fact that those polled have considered in choosing who to vote for.

Upon analyzing this slim figure I’m astonished at the idea that only such a low number would admit to the pan-human trait of religious intolerance. I mean are these the same people who for years were fighting in Northern Ireland in defense of such concepts as Catholic v.s. Protestant?

Now here they are presented with the ideological rift between Christianity and Mormonism and only 8% consider it an issue? The founder of Mormonism was himself  assassinated simply for expounding his doctrine of the eventual transition of humans to the level of God. Jesus the Christ was killed, so the story goes, for proselytizing his belief that he was the son of God and the savior of mankind. The very founders of these religions were the first of their respective faiths to experience the very intolerance of which Im writing.

Mormons in America represent about 10 million people in the general population of 313+ millions of people. So its safe to say that the vast majority of Americans are in fact not Mormons. Of these, am I honestly to believe that only a mere 8% consider the alien nature of Mr. Romney’s religion an issue? The only words suitable that come to mind are those of the character Gregory House from the medical drama “House” ; “Everybody lies!”

I now try to imagine a random person on the phone answering these question about their sometimes politically incorrect views. I think about just how many random people out there, when given an opportunity to act like what they believe to be a typical voter, would have the mettle to answer that they do in fact have a problem with candidate Romney’s Mormon faith. The very heart of middle class sensibilities is rooted in denying  the less pleasant aspects of the world and of ourselves. True suburbanites have an editing faculty built in. The kind that says, ” Hating Jews is definitely wrong; Hating Blacks is probably wrong and Hating Mormons is…” Well that last part is what we’re examining here today.

Please note that I’m not decrying polls in general. The problem here is not in how these polls were conducted but in those who were polled. These polls assume a deep rooted and academic certainty will result from their carefully worded questions. Their side cannot possibly account for just how irrationally self-conscious some people can be when forced to instantly question their own morality. Denial is usually the first stage or this sudden awakening. Acceptance is inevitably the last. And in between is a variable cocktail of ingredients ranging from realism to self deluding bliss. But at that instant of facing one’s true and disappointing self, denial is the most common first defense. So when in fact a person is asked cold whether or not Mitt Romney’s Mormon beliefs or religion will be a determining factor on whether or not they’re gonna vote for him, I maintain that an automatic “No” would be a lie for most middle class individuals. They simply have too much to lose by telling the truth. Namely themselves.

Apology/Party over Principle

By many measures, the 2012 presidential race is a pit of falsehoods. Too many pronouncements are allowed to hang unsupported in the news-cycle. They are like orphans, instantly forgotten by their sires who insist they never knew them. Talk show pundits and anchormen fan each side’s flames in a self interested ratings bonanza. The truth takes a back seat on a very long bus of priorities. Voters who need information, when they need it the most are forced to settle for whatever bits of it creep out of the gigabytes worth of spam.

An atmosphere such as this demands an apology.

In the original Apology by Plato, Socrates makes enemies of those whose true nature he reveals. It is not merely Socrates who is condemned in “Apology”, but also the truth that he represents. The crowd buries it and its herald along with it.

Mr.Romney lies often and with no muzzle. He has lied about his own actions repeatedly. For instance his announcement that he left Bain years before official SEC documents show. He has lied about Barack’s supposed removal of work requirements from welfare.  Mr. Obama lies specifically by use of stretched truths. A case of this was his estimation of how long the economic recovery was going to take after the late 2000s recession. The original “Apology” serves as a skeleton of all publicly driven mendacious epidemics. Ideology is so strong in these individuals that it suppresses all individual scruples. Each side sees the end as justifying the means.

Just as there seems to be a Mitt Romney and a Mitt Romney on campaign mode, there is an “everyman” and also a mob of ideologically bonded “all man.” The latter of whom truth is a relative concept and victory the absolute goal.

The mentality of this mob is one of self justification, rationalization and a perpetual state of outrage that is reinforced by their pseudo-morality. Whereas any one in the political mob can be singled out and individually shamed, the whole is immune to reproach.

This same architecture is repeated in their arguments. Every individual statement made may be simply wrong, but the whole rhetoric comes with an aura of indisputability. The mob needs it’s lie. The mob protects what it needs. The lie is one with them all. It ties them to each other.

Our culture is one which defeats reason. Our political parties no longer represent our causes, they replace them. And these politicians would sooner keep it that way. After all, a party is everything to everyone. So who can really say whether or not it has achieved it’s goals. It exists. Sadly, that is thought sufficient.

The presidential incumbent is really the only player with the history and character capable of elevating this stat of affairs. Mr. Obama is the kind of leader that inspires people and earns their trust. His opponents cannot replicate that effect and so they destroy it’s value by muddying the waters with untruth. His opponents do more harm to their fists than his face when they attempt to attack his character. What they should do instead, is listen to what Plato writes in Apology, “the easiest and the noblest way to avoid censure is not to be disabling others, but be improving yourselves.”