I’m So Old, I Can Remember America

By | August 23, 2012 | 0 Comments

I’m angry. I’m fed up with nasty remarks about Mitt Romney from the Obama campaign, and from the mainstream media – which amount to the same thing. The attacks on Romney’s business career with Bain Capital are expected – that’s politics. But now, Romney is accused of causing a woman to die of cancer, as well as being a felon and a tax cheat, and “torturing” a dog. What, no child molestation?

Romney is also accused of having a polygamist grandfather. This is untrue – his great grandfather was a polygamist. But so what? Lincoln observed, “I don’t know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.” Meanwhile, the critics ignore the fact that Obama’s father was a polygamist. What the critics really find offensive is not polygamists but Republicans.

There have been repeated references to Romney’s Mormon faith. “Romney magic underwear” gives 1,010,000 results on Google. Charges that running mate Paul Ryan is “anti-woman” may be thinly veiled references to Ryan’s Catholicism.

But this is 2012, not 1960. One would have thought that in 52 years, religious bigotry directed against a presidential candidate would have gone out of style with the rants against Jack Kennedy’s Catholicism. One would be wrong. Check out this 2011 Newsweek cover:


Romney was photoshopped (not cartooned) as a crazed fanatic, jumping up and down holding the Book of Mormon. What’s next – ridiculing a candidate for biblically based Christian beliefs? Oh wait, we already saw that with Michele Bachmann.

In my day, a candidate might be criticized for his political views, but – since the time of Kennedy – never belittled because of his religion. We remembered the Holocaust and racial segregation. We learned the dangers of seeing a group of human beings as less than human. Sadly, what was learned with difficulty can be forgotten with ease. They say times have changed. No, people have changed.

I must be getting old if I can remember when my country was so different. But my mind is still clear, as I will demonstrate on Election Day.

Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.

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