From: Gabe Marks [Email him]
Firstly, let me say that in many ways Virginia Paleoconservative, who wrote the letter above, is right: the Mormons condemning Donald Trump for inconsequential private comments are being incredibly short sighted. They and those who support them suffer from two things: 1) a desire to never be seen as offensive, "weird," or non-inclusive, all of which manifest in political correctness and virtue signaling. This cultural fear goes back to early days of the Church and its social ostracization. 2) Naivete.
I wasn't a fan of what Trump said, but I was hardly surprised and responded with a shrug and a bit of a chuckle. But has Mormons' response really been any different than how the media spun it? Pretending we've never heard such talk before?
"Trump was joking about sexual assault! What if that was your daughter?! We can't support a man like this in the White House in good conscience!"
There are Puritan responses like this all over the country. In Utah, there just happen to be more per capita. I tell my friends around Los Angeles, "Get over it. This election is about bigger things."
Secondly, many Mormons I have spoken to condemn the article in last month’s Deseret News as well as the Mormon politicians siding against Donald Trump [In our opinion: Donald Trump should resign his candidacy, Deseret News, October 8, 2016]. For years, Deseret News let pass without comment all the debauchery of Leftist politicians like Bill Clinton but decide to grandstand on Trump? Hypocrites.
Overall then, I don't think the backlash against Trump is as widespread as some are claiming. Many of us recognize the danger of Hillary Clinton in the White House.
The risk with Utah will not be a Third Party winning the Mormon vote. Much of that is millennial blather, especially from the women. Frankly, almost every hysterical response I've seen on social media and in real life has been from our women and the beta males who agree with them (so no different than the rest of the country).
The risk in Utah will be too many Mormons staying home, similar to how conservatives stayed home for Mitt Romney in 2012. With good turnout, I'm still confident in Trump winning the state. Virtue signaling has a less powerful effect when the voter is alone in the booth.
Whatever the case, arguing using that angle is a poor strategy if one wants to attack foolish Mormons who have withdrawn support from Trump. For a better method, please refer to my earlier points regarding political correctness, naivete, and faint-heartedness.
On an additional note, I was in Arizona recently and met quite a few Mormons who are adamantly pro-Trump, including a few very active Mormon women who laughed off Trump's "women comments" and who are very wise to what the MSM is doing.
It seems that in areas which are less religiously-insulated and have to come face to face with what "Diversity" actually entails, we have stronger Trump support—even among "Midwestern nice" Mormons.