dust boatman view thought





pink light                     




The evaporating millisecond of time at a traffic signal when you might argue it was first pink before it was red, and the law says to stop on red ,  with no mention of stopping on pink,  is gone so fast as to be more perception than reality. 


And regardless of  any fine tuned eloquence in defense of running the red light, the law is based on reality and not on individual perception.   No driver has been observed hesitating to proceed when the traffic light turns green because of a perception the light is blue for the first millisecond, and law abiding citizens do not go on blue but patiently wait for green.


In our attempt to feel good being fair and politically correct honest we too often show bias against the truth when we want to placate a situation by saying that perception is more important than reality. 


Are we not capable of thinking any deeper than that?  Reality is what it is.  Individual perception or collective perception should not justify for a moment ignoring the reality. 


Staring at pink light too long is harmful.


It was astounding to hear a voter in one of the 2007 primaries say they could not vote for Mitt Romney because of his character.  Of course, of course, of course naturally the interviewer failed to ask what the concern was regarding character.  It would be of interest to many to know what character flaw this individual voter was associating with this candidate. 


When Mitt Romney does throw out the first pitch of the new baseball season, the snappy haired chief executive’s pitch may be somewhat wobbly, like his campaigns have been.  He may lean more to the left than anticipated.  Maybe not so much a flaw but more of an indication that he should play some other position on the staff baseball team. 


At least one commentator will capture the thrill of the moment in saying, what many of his excited fans are already so proudly thinking; it’s a good throw for a Mormon.


Romney is the son of a popular former governor of Michigan, who himself was a candidate for president in the 1960s. 

George Romney’s star was shining bright after his election to a third term as governor.  He won by over a half a million votes and the national Republican Party was aware of his glow and star power. 


It has been said and written excessively often that he withdrew from the presidential race because of the reaction to his comment of having been exposed to “brainwashing” by the military in favor of the war in Vietnam.  The political reality was he knew he lacked the national recognition and base to compete with fellow Republican candidates like Nelson Rockefeller and that son of a Quaker’s son, Richard Nixon.


Initially he actually was in support of the U.S. participation in Southeast Asia.  He later referred to our involvement as the most tragic foreign policy mistake in the nation’s history. It may have been so, up to that time.


President Romney’s dad was a lifelong Mormon.  Born in Mexico, he attended the University of Utah and George Washington University, and was an evangelical Mormon missionary in England and Scotland.  His religion was not a spotlight issue in his political campaigns for governor and really had no time to surface in his brief run for president. 


There certainly had been discussions during, before, and since the 1960s concerning the role of religion in public life.  Is it clothing, like the pajamas you sleep in, to be taken off before leaving the house?  The debate can and should be respectful and not hysterical.  We should think about to what degree personal judgment reflects faith.  We can talk about the possibility of a person’s faith influencing their decisions.  It should.  I hope we believe it should.


Religion, or more correctly said, somebody else’s religion, often seems to get us piously worked up.  Oh that we would be as passionate in living our own professed beliefs as we are passionate in voicing our opposition to what we think are your beliefs.  Let us ask ourselves if we even know what we believe.  Everyone deserves to be misunderstood, to appreciate understanding better.


Pioneer prophet Joseph Smith, who first published his Book of Mormon in 1830, was murdered in 1844 as he was running for president.  He did not die because of his revelations and self-created beliefs.  Some angry townspeople believed he had some earthly possessions that were more rightfully theirs.  That is what they believed.  


You may think I do not like you and ask yourself why I do not like you.  Probably has less to do with your beliefs and more to do with your conduct, which to some degree should reflect your beliefs.  It may or may not. 


The separation of church and state concerns, first with a possible Catholic president was that he would take orders from Rome, and then a Mormon in the White House will be ruled by powers in Salt Lake City, are worries without reason.  It was said early on, in a seemingly thawed nod to inclusiveness attributed to a Southern Baptist, of all people, that we need to understand we vote for a Commander in Chief, not a Theologian in Chief.


George Romney was often ahead of the curve and somewhat visionary in many respects.  He opposed the chrome shiny gas guzzling dinosaur cars produced by GM, Ford, and Chrysler, well before anyone else was even thinking about it.  He made a difficult and gutsy move when, as president of American Motors, he decided to drop his company’s big car legacy brands of Hudson and Nash. 


He rolled the dice and focused exclusively on producing a compact economy car, the Rambler.  His strategy worked, and quadrupled sales for the company.  His Rambler became the third biggest selling car in the country, bringing great wealth to him and others.


His son Mitt and many others had good reason to admire his personal traits and strengths.  He never drank alcohol or smoked.  He had a quick mind and a quick smile.  He was zealous for physical fitness and exercise.  He jogged in his hush puppies long before jogging became an industry. 


He played three balls on each hole to get in his early morning 18 holes of golf.  He often greeted students visiting the state capitol and set times on his schedule when any state resident could come by and talk with him. 


Mitt Romney learned from his father.  He has many of his same qualities.  Mitt, like his father, can deliver a good speech, with conviction.  It helps in election times and in leading the country.


We do ourselves well to consider how critical is it that we choose many of our views and beliefs based on the influence of our heritage, which we did not choose. 


Many may agree with Dwight Eisenhower, who himself was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness but as an adult was a converted Presbyterian.  Ike’s opinion was that government makes no sense unless it is based in some kind of religious faith. 


You wonder why some people, blessed to be living in our one nation under God, are so nervous about faith-based governance. 

I mean, my gosh, we even have had a Methodist in the oval office, but we do not blame them.






dust boatman view thought