Open Letter to Mitt Romney (Dear Cousin)

Hey Cuz!

You don’t know me, but I think we’re fifth cousins or something like that. We’re both descendants from Parley P. Pratt — 2 greats for you, 3 for me. We have lots in common: we’re both active Latter-day Saints, we’ve both graduated from BYU, and we’re both not afraid to change our minds about political matters.

Considering we don’t know really know each other, I was touched that you would take time out of your busy schedule and send me the postcard that I received today. How thoughtful of you!

You wrote to tell me to vote Republican this year. I wish your postcard would have arrived earlier — I’ve already voted! And I’m worried you’re not going to approve because I actually voted for some Democrats.

I voted for some Republicans also. So hopefully we can still kind of be friends.

But what I really wish, cuz, is that I would have sent you a postcard before you sent me mine!

Let me tell you why. You’ve told me to vote Republican because you’re concerned with “higher taxes, wasteful spending, and a weak national defense.” You said it would be important to vote Republican in order to “defend the institution of marriage, protect the sanctity of life, and strengthen the family at home.” You said we need to “rebuild our economy” and “defeat the violent radical jihadists who are bent on destroying our country.” You said “our common values are under attack.”

But, Mitt, do I have news for you! It’s good news, in fact. There are all sorts of Democrats here in Utah who share these common values you talk about! In fact, one of them is a fourth cousin of yours, Don Jarvis. Jarvis and others are Democrats, but they are concerned with all of these things you talk about. But they’re also concerned with some of the problems with the ultra-conservative Utah legislature and how they have been neglectful of our public schools and of passing ethics reform laws for legislators (you didn’t mention these things, though — because of print space, I’m sure).

This is all my fault, Mitt. I assumed you already knew this. Man, what are people going to think now? (After all, it looks like you sent the same letter to just about every registered voter in Utah. No offense Mitt, but I can tell a form letter when I see one.) Utah voters might think that you’re kind of out of touch with Utah politics. After all, you live in Massachusetts where you’re surrounded by those crazy liberals. Here in Utah, though, there are many good and wonderful Democrats who share the common values that you mentioned in your postcard.

Let’s hope that people think that you were naive (which again, I take the full blame for). This judgment will be much better than if people think you are being dishonest — that you actually know that there are Utah Democrats who stand for these same values (many of which are part of our Latter-day Saint family) but that you would pretend that this is not the case. Mitt, forgive me for even thinking this! You surely didn’t know that people might see your letter as saying that those who are not Republican — or voting Republican — in Utah are fighting against the common values that you and I share. Surely, had you known that the political situation was more complicated here, you would have encouraged Utah voters to study out the candidates and the issues and vote for the best person.

Or perhaps worse of all, voters might fully believe what you are saying and then vote straight-Republican even though that’s not what’s best. You do have a lot of influence here, you know. Surely, had you realized the situation here, you would have reached out to empower voters through knowledge rather than try to manipulate them through propaganda (again, my fault).

I’m sure, Mitt, that you didn’t mean to offend or to manipulate.

I’ll take the blame on this one.

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19 Responses

  1. You don’t know me, but I think we’re fifth cousins or something like that. We’re both descendants from Parley P. Pratt — 2 greats for you, 3 for me

    Third cousins once removed, if you want to get specific.

  2. Thanks JimD! (I always get confused about these things)

    Would it be correct to say that we are half third cousins once removed, considering we descend from different wives of Parley?

  3. {snicker} — this was great. What this campaign has lacked has been good ol’ sarcasm — the candidates all jumped straight to viciousness and left this step out.

  4. I’m disgusted that Romney and the Utah Republican party have attempted to sway voters this way– a plead from Romney to vote straight Republican on Tuesday.

    One of my questions is, would they have done this if Romney did not have the religious connections to Utah that he has (or in other words, if they were not attempting to appeal to Utahns’ sense of religious connection to Romney?) I doubt it. It is immoral that they would try to use the culture, or really the people of the Church to have their way (frankly, to gain power).

  5. Ardis,

    Me, sarcastic?

  6. “higher taxes, wasteful spending, and a weak national defense.”

    “defend the institution of marriage, protect the sanctity of life”

    “defeat the violent radical jihadists who are bent on destroying our country.”

    Dear Democrat Dennis,

    Please encourange your party to incorporate some kind of verbage or strategy into its platform to further the above goals.

    Thank you.

  7. Nazenail,

    I’m not a Democrat.

    But, in terms of Utah County Democrats, I don’t need to encourage them to have the “strategy” or “verbiage” you are talking about. They already do. I think you might be surprised.

  8. Bravo.

    Perhaps if the schools slip enough or there are enough ethics scandals from the Republican Party, the people of Utah will realize that most of the Democrats running in Utah are actually quite conservative (esp. by national standards). Until there are checks and balances on the Republicans in Utah, we will continue to see the same garbage year in and year out (actually, you’ll see it, I’ve since moved out of Utah).

  9. Unless things have changed in Utah in the year I have been gone; San Francisco dems call Utah dems nuts. :)

  10. What I amuses right now is the radio waves in Scranton are awash with commercials encouraging Pennsylvanians to vote and providing information on what documents to provide and where to go. All paid for by “Obama for America.” There’s some basic info with the usual slogans for “change,” but I don’t recall that any actually said, “Hey! PA democrats! Go vote democrat!”

  11. Yeah, when I saw that postcard and realized I already voted for Obama (and had a pretty clean split the rest of my vote) I felt like I let Mitt down.

    Then I realized I didn’t really like Mitt, and didn’t feel bad about it.

  12. Then I realized I didn’t really like Mitt, and didn’t feel bad about it.

    How dare you speak this way about my cousin! :)

  13. I, too, am a Pratt descendant, so I might as well put in my two cents worth. Mitt should be thankful he didn’t win the GOP nomination this year. This is not a good year for Republicans.

    I take it as a given that the McCain-Palin ticket will carry Utah, but not the general election. That will mean Mitt will be one of a handful of people in line to be de facto leader of the Republican Party. The trouble for Mitt is that the Party will be not only in the minority, but in a shambles. Getting the nomination in 2012 will still be a difficult challenge for him (the GOP Evangelical base will still have a difficult time voting for a Mormon), and who knows at this juncture if the GOP nomination will be worth anything four years hence. Four years ago, few would have predicted the collapse of Republican fortunes and Senator Obama’s triumph over Senator Clinton.

    If the Republican Party is going to make a comeback nationally, I think it is going to have to update its economic and foreign policy messages and move away from the Bush era. On the social issues such as marriage and family values, I think the Republican position can still have a lot of appeal. It least it can with me. But when the economy is tanking, social issues will inevitably take a back seat with most voters.

    I don’t think one-party rule is a great idea, so I hope the GOP can redefine itself into a more worthy and competitive force at some future date. I hope Mitt can help with that task in a constructive way.

  14. All the Utah voters I know personally all voted for Obama (and voted early). It’ll be nice to see a slimer one-party victory in Utah come Tuesday.

    (Recall in the Primaries, 85% of democrats and independents in Utah voted for Obama, 95% of Republicians voted for Romney (i.e. NOT McCain) It should be interesting)

    I got that same postcard too, the day after I voted… weird…

    I was pretty close to voting Romney as a write-in, but I liked him better when he was less partisan. :( Still good-looking though, A Romney-Palin ticket in 2012 might just have the looks to be competitive with President Obama…

  15. P.S. Mitt,

    Check out this article about Elder Marlin K. Jensen’s speaking of the Brethren’s concerns with Utah and the Church being overwhelmingly Republican.

  16. Go easy on old Mitt. I might have been persuaded to vote for a McCain/Romney ticket. Can’t say the same about the (probably-will-die-in-office) McCain/(the-only-person-who-could-actually-be-dumber-than-Bush-and-scares-me-to-think-she-will-be-in-charge-when-McCain-keels-over) Palin ticket. If only the economy had been the hot button issue back during the primaries when Romney lost the nomination, this would have been a much more interesting (and probably closer) election.

  17. Fear not! We’ve been misled by those little flyers. Obviously some malicious organization wants to smear Dennis’s cousin by trumping up some kind of crazy “flip-floping” charge. To wit:

    This morning in my “Deseret Morning News” (a Church owned publication!) There was a half page add with Mitt Romney’s picture and a quote from him (with a citation – Commonwealth Magazine, Summer 2002) The quote read:

    “I’m not saying that entirely out of self-interest and bias. I just came back from living in a state (Utah) that was overwhelmingly Republican. And a signle-party system generates problems, in my view. In that state, the more extreme wing of the dominant party begins to have more and more political sway. And that de-energizes the great mainstream of citizens. They get turned off by politicians and offended by the politicians and become less engaged in the political process.”

    “The prescription? Create an active two-party system.”

    Alternat interpretation: Obviously those flyers urging us to vote republican were based on Mitt’s realization of the growing dissedent voices in Utah’s political base (he must read this website…;) and therefore wants us to remember to occasionally vote republican as well so that we’ll have an active two party system and won’t go from one extreme to the other…

  18. Here’s a link to the Romney anti-one-party ad Brent M was talking about.

  19. It is my hope that President-Elect Obama will offer Governor Romney a position in the new administration, and that he would accept.

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