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The story of how the Mormons came was this: Headed home from a job-hunting trip to Blackfoot, Idaho, while changing planes in Salt Lake City, my father suffered a breakdown in the terminal.
His haunted mind attacked itself, nearly paralyzing him at the gate.
” I half hoped that Romney would lose his banker’s cool and tell the bigoted anti-Mormon twits to stick something else somewhere else, until it hurt.
I further hoped he’d sit his critics down and thoughtfully explain that Mormonism is more than a ceremonial endeavor; it constitutes our country’s longest experiment with communitarian idealism, promoting an ethic of frontier-era burden-sharing that has been lost in contemporary America, with increasingly dire social consequences.
When a writer for The New York Times, Charles Blow, urged Romney to “stick that in your magic underwear!
He’d fly-fish in the mountains, he’d shoot quail, he’d buy a Chevy Blazer with four-wheel drive, and he’d take us deep into the red-rock canyons to hike and camp and hunt for rocks and fossils. The tone of his ramblings was punitive, exasperated, like that of an angry coach.
Addressing himself as “Walt,” in the third-person, he charged himself with foolishness and weakness. “Walt, you ridiculous stupid little ass.” Sometimes strangers heard him and turned to stare.
The boys—because that’s how they looked to me that evening, when I was thirteen and my brother was eleven and my parents were in their mid-thirties—shook hands with us and sat down in the living room, where my mother had set out lemonade and cookies and my father had turned off the television so we could talk. It was 1976, the Bicentennial, and not a good time for my family.
We were sinking, mired in gloom, isolation, and uncertainty.