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Mitt's Army of God

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So there was Mitt, the supposedly "moderate" one of the GOTP candidates, last Fall addressing the cadets and faculty at The Citadel, in Charleston, SC. You know, that Charleston, the capitol of the first state to secede from the Union, on December 20, 1860. Why those South Carolinians were so concerned that the spread of slavery into the territories might be slowed or even stopped that they couldn't even give Lincoln the courtesy of waiting until he was inaugurated the following March before seceding. You know, that Charleston, which celebrated the 150th anniversary of that day just last year, as if it were a national holiday, not a mark of the start of a rebellion. You know, that Charleston, from whence in the 2000 Presidential GOP primaries Karl Rove spread the rumor that Sen. McCain had fathered a black (ohmygosh) baby. You know, that Charleston, where the debate as to whether to fly the rebel battle flag over the State capitol is still ongoing. That's where "the moderate" Mitt took the opportunity to tell the world, that "God created the United States," has in the past led the world, and that under his presidency, in the 21st century, the US was going to continue to lead it, whether "the world" liked it or not.

He would do this by, in his first hundred days, among other things "review" the timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan (and it would not appear that for him shortening it would be a considered option), restore cuts in missile defense, permanently deploy carrier groups off the coast of Iran, increase military spending over all, and increase the armed forces by 100,000 men. (He apparently didn't mention how he would go about financing these measures or how he would recruit the additional troops, but that's another story.) And he told the assembled throng that yes indeed, God created the United States, to be a world leader, not a follower. It is on these latter two points that one might in particular raise some questions.

First as to God creating the U.S., if that were the case he/she must have done so behind the backs the Founding Fathers. For almost to a man (no women involved back then) they were either deists or atheists. But if God did so nevertheless, he was really clever, making sure that he/she was not mentioned by name in the Constitution, and neither was either Christianity or any of its specific variants existing at the time. And then, one might say, he/she was fiendishly clever (if one can use that term about God) to determine that the references to religion in the document, say in article VI and amendment I, provide for keeping it out of the affairs of state, not including it. But, as they say, God does move in mysterious ways! Second, as to God creating the US to lead the world, that surely would have come as a surprise to Pres. George Washington, no less a Founding Father than first president of the United States, from whose Farewell Address the most referenced part is the one warning against "foreign entanglements."

Third, one must go on to ask just which God is Romney talking about. The founding account to which he adheres as a Mormon is rather different from the one that the non-Mormon Christians at The Citadel adhere to. In fact, one might fairly assume that at least some of them would agree with the Perry-supporter Pastor Jeffress that Mormonism is a "cult." (Gov./Rev. Perry [1] disassociated himself from that position. Were he to get the GOTP nomination in the end, guess who his most likely pick for VP would be.) So we've got a few problems here. But let's say all of the above could be sorted out. According to Romney, just what sort of a USA would God be in favor of, or at least, through Romney as president, be associating him/herself with?

Well, first of all, God, according to Romney, would be entirely against the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, which Romney has described as "class warfare." Then God would be entirely for "cutting the budget," which of course means cutting the budget for everything the GOTP does not like while, presumably, under Romney ramping up military spending significantly. God would likely support the recommendation of at least some Romney advisors to launch an article-51-of-the-UN-charter-violating and therefore Article-VI-of-the-US-Constitution-violating preemptive war on Iran (2). Romney's God would approve of the ever-widening gap in the US between the ultra-rich and the rest of us which spawned Occupy Wall Street. God would approve of the increasing dependence on fossil fuels which, through climate change, threatens the very existence of an increasing number of the species God, as Romney et al, cultists or not, tell us, created, including ours. Romney's God would presumably approve of letting the US infrastructure continue to crumble. Romney's God would approve of destroying Social Security and letting the US health care delivery system continue to go to hell in a hand-basket. Finally, Romney's God, according to Romney, has established a "unique destiny" for America, in that "the 21st century should be an American century, in which America has the strongest economy and the strongest military" (3).

Ah well, there you have it. It's all in perception. The US is strong, the US should lead the world whether the rest of the nations like it or not and will willingly follow or not, whether the US has the personnel, political, and financial resources to this or not, and God had somehow or other told Romney that this is the case. And this man could be the next president of the United States. God's honest truth.

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References:

1."Ask Governor Perry," Published on BuzzFlash@Truthout on Fri, 08/12/2011, URL: http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/12934

2. http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/10/07/338979/romney-advisers-war-iran/#.To9Vzl6sN84.email

3.   Cornwell, R., "Robust Romney says "unique US' should be ready to act alone," The Independent (UK), Oct. 8, 2011, p. 33.

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http://thepoliticaljunkies.org/
Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS, is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at the School of Medicine, Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 30 books on health policy, health and wellness, and sports and regular exercise. In (more...)
 

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