Last updated on 2014.12.13
The redoutable Professor Newquist composes a weighty essay on the history of violence associated with Mormons and their erstwhile city-state of Nauvoo. His discussion of the "Banditti" and the Mormon Danite militia reveals one source of deep-seated cultural suspicion of Mormons (as if using fables of golden tablets dug up in New York to justify polygamy weren't enough).
Newquist also points to an undercurrent of racism in Mormonism and Mitt Romney's campaign strategy:
That undercurrent is heavily utilized in Romney's campaign strategy. There is a very audible undertone of racism in American politics since Obama became president. From the outset, his opposition has spent very little effort criticizing his policies and his agenda in specific terms, but has focused directly on the person in announcing that its major objective is to ride the White House of Obama, the black interloper. Romney has directed his invective primarily at Obama the person in a way to revive and excite anti-black racial attitudes as a motive force in his campaign.
Everything Romney says about Obama conforms to anti-black stereotypes [David Newquist, "What's Wrong with Mitt Romney?" Northern Valley Beacon, 2012.01.06].
As I've learned listening to a couple of the Republican debates, it's hard to pin Mitt Romney down on anything. He will say whatever he needs to push the right focus-group buttons and win votes. But Newquist identifies two hard uphill climbs that Mormon history and Romney's own rhetoric impose upon him.