CAN MITT ROMNEY SERVE TWO MASTERS? by Tricia  Erickson

CAN MITT ROMNEY SERVE TWO MASTERS?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A spirited critique of Mormonism as a religion and Mitt Romney as a political leader.

Debut author Erickson argues that Mitt Romney is a species of religiously directed Manchurian candidate, a brainwashed dupe slavishly beholden to the Mormon church’s elders. The author splits her analysis into a critique of Mormonism as a religion and an exposé of the church’s and Romney’s nefarious political commitments. The first part begins with a brief history of the Mormon church aimed at revealing both its sordid past and unpalatable doctrinal commitments, including the racist denigration of both blacks and Jews. The author’s principal criticism of the church is its inquisitional intolerance. It demands the utter subjugation of its members and brooks no dissent. And since Romney is utterly devoted to the Mormon faith, his election to president, she believes, is tantamount to an election of his church superiors: “Maybe not willingly my friend, but if you elect Mitt Romney as president of this nation, you will likely be following the prophet he follows because the decisions Mitt Romney will make for this country, in all likelihood, will be directly based upon the prophet and the teachings of his faith.” Erickson attacks Romney exhaustively, assessing his financial dealings, his political campaigns, his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, and the extent to which he remains faithful to professed conservative principles. She writes from the perspective of a conservative in favor of limited government and against both abortion and government-run health care. Erickson grew up within the Mormon faith, and her knowledge of its history and guiding beliefs is impressively comprehensive. Her prose, however, is breathlessly strident—she calls Romney a “hollow shell of a man”—and abounds with conspiratorial paranoia and immoderate hyperbole. Most importantly, though, her arguments are largely unconvincing. Many of the criticisms she makes of the Mormon church regarding its checkered past, theological inconsistency, doctrinal dogmatism, and institutional dysfunction could just as legitimately be made of the Catholic Church, which she seems to favor. And her argument that Romney is insufficiently pro-life seems incompatible with her fear that he’s blindly devoted to his faith. 

A febrile hit job, more polemical than analytical.

Pub Date: June 10th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4497-1200-6
Page count: 316pp
Publisher: Westbow Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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