WILL UNWOUND #463: “Sunday Meditation: Prejudice in America – Does it Still Exist?”June 12, 2011
A most interesting thing happened in the Presidential election of 2008. The four top vote getters in the primary part of the campaign were Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side and John McCain and Mitt Romney on the Republican side. Each of those candidates was forced to battle through a wall of prejudice to get their votes:
Barack Obama…race prejudice
Hillary Clinton …gender prejudice
John McCain…age prejudice
Mitt Romney…religion prejudice.
If you had asked me back in 2007, which candidate would have the highest prejudice wall to climb without a doubt I would have answered Obama. When he scored a decisive victory over McCain, one of my first reactions was that truly anyone with the appropriate qualifications could become President. There should be no more artificial barriers standing in the way, right?
Wrong. The national experts keep bringing up Mitt Romney’s membership in the Mormon Church as a possible deal breaker on his Presidential ambitions. This surprises me because I really felt that President Kennedy had once and for all settled this issue. In 1960 there was still a considerable bias against the Roman Catholic Church in America. In fact I grew up in a little town in New Jersey that blocked attempts to build a Catholic Church for many years. Kennedy tackled this bias head on and allayed all the fears that the Pope would be dictating White House policy.
But here we are over 50 years later and Romney’s Mormonism seems to cast a shadow over his candidacy. I wasn’t sure why until I did a little internet surfing and found this ugly little web site about Romney and his religion.
Can you imagine the outrage if this web site were lampooning issues of race, gender, and age rather than religion? Shocking…really!
Question of the Day….Do you think that artificial barriers still exist in the race for the White House? Can a woman, a Morman/Jew/Moslem/Buddhist/Hindu/Atheist, or a 70 plus person get elected?