Is This Progress?

Michael Barone looks at how the Mormon "issue" was treated in George Romney's campaign in 1968.

George Romney's Mormon faith was much less talked about when he ran for president 40 years ago. Remember that that was just seven years after the election of the first Catholic president, in an election in which 78 percent of Catholics voted for John Kennedy, descended from southern Irish Catholics, and 63 percent of white Protestants voted for Richard Nixon, descended from northern Irish Protestants. But after his election Kennedy proved to be both a highly popular and an utterly unsectarian president. His federal aid for education proposal conspicuously lacked aid to parochial schools, something the Catholic Church very much wanted at the time.It was defeated in the House Rules Committee by the opposition of Rep. James Delaney, from the same heavily Catholic Queens district that in 1978 would elect Geraldine Ferraro (it finally passed in the Great Society Congress of 1965). Americans in 1960 thought the difference between Catholics and Protestants was very important. Americans by 1961 or 1962 concluded that it wasn't, and so a few years later the Mormon faith of George Romney was no big deal.

Read the whole thing. There's a lot of interesting information about George Romney.

Today's liberals in the media like to call themselves progressives. But as they use the Mormon issue to beat up on Mitt Romney, I have to ask how progressive they really are. Not so much, I dare say.


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