In 1843, Joseph Smith Jr. founded a town in Hancock County, Illinois named Nauvoo (Hebrew for "Beautiful Place"). Over the preceding decade he had tried to find a hospitable place to practice his Christian offshoot religion known as the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints" or unofficially "Mormonism". From its founding the Mormons had built communities in three other cities and been subsequently expelled, due to having practices that didnt conform to contemporary culture. Nauvoo was a failed attempt at starting yet another town that would live by purely Mormon doctrine. This final attempt would lead to Joseph being imprisoned and murdered by an angry mob.
Before the town's folk had a chance to kill him, Joseph was noted to have made a prophecy that is controversial to this day even among the faithful. The White Horse prophecy was first reported by an ardent follower named Edwin Rushton.
Joseph said to me, "I want to tell you something of the future. I will speak in a parable like unto John the Revelator. You will go to the Rocky Mountains and you will be a great and mighty people established there, which I will call the White Horse of peace and safety."When the Prophet said, "You will see it,"" I said, "Where will you be at that time?"" He said, "I shall never go there. Your enemies will continue to follow you with persecutions and they will make obnoxious laws against you in Congress to destroy the White Horse, but you will have a friend or two to defend you and throw out the worst parts of the law so they will not hurt you so much. You must continue to petition Congress all the time, but they will treat you like strangers and aliens and they will not give you your rights, but will govern you with strangers and commissioners. You will see the Constitution of the United States almost destroyed. It will hang like a thread as fine as a silk fiber." At that time the Prophet's countenance became sad, because as he said, "I love the Constitution; it was made by the inspiration of God; and it will be preserved and saved by the efforts of the White Horse, and by the Red Horse who will combine in its defense. The White Horse will find the mountains full of minerals and they will become rich (it must be remembered that at this time precious metals were not known to exist in either the Rocky Mountains or California). You will see silver piled up in the streets. You will see the gold shoveled up like sand. Gold will be of little value then, even in a mercantile capacity; for the people of the world will have something else to do in seeking for salvation. The time will come when the banks of every nation will fall and only two places will be safe where people can deposit their gold and treasure. This place will be the White Horse and Englands vaults. A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be left without a Supreme Government, and every species of wickedness will be practiced rampantly in the land. Father will be against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother. The most terrible scenes of bloodshed, murder and rape that have ever been imagined or looked upon will take place. People will be taken from the earth and there will be peace and love only in the Rocky Mountains. This will cause many hundreds of thousands of the honest in heart of the world to gather there, not because they would be Saints, but for safety and because they will be so numerous that you will be in danger of famine, but not for want of seed, time and harvest, but because of so many to be fed. Many will come with bundles under their arms to escape the calamities for there will be no escape except only by escaping and fleeing to Zion."
The symbolism in this prophecy stretches back to the book of revelations. A book in the Old Testament that is strangely the basis for a lot of American Evangelical preaching despite almost being removed from the bible by the Catholic Church during the Reformation. The writing is vague and seemingly crazy, depicting dragons, three-headed lions and a bleeding moon. Within the book's many allusions the white horse often represents the rule of kings and lords on earth, such as the Roman Caesars. The rider is often depicted wearing a crown and holding a bow. The bow in this metaphorical framework is a symbol of conquering and the crown typically symbolizes dominion. So the white horse and its rider represent earthly rule, authority and dominion. The red rider is often depicted holding a sword which represents slaughter, and people killing people. Taking Revelation symbolism into consideration, Edwin Rushton's account of Joseph Smith's prophecy seems to predict that at some point a prosperous and large Mormon society would produce a "white horse" that would be wealthy, chaste, wise and wealthy- enough to join forces with the "Red horse" and save The Constitution and thus The United States as a whole. It is ironic to note that despite Josephs supposed love for The Constitution, his followers would wage a guerrilla war (known as The Utah War) against the U.S. government three years after his death. What Brigham Young (Joseph's successor) didn't seem to understand was that The Constitution was the only thing that made Mormonism tolerated by the U.S. Government. To this day educated Mormons believe that the constitution is holy writ, for without it their testament from God would have never been permitted to spread. The church's contemporary response to the so-called "White Horse Prophecy" is that "Rushton's account has not been substantiated by historical research and is not embraced as Church doctrine." The church's stance doesn't change the fact that a large percentage of Mormons still believe the prophecy and its messianic prediction.
Willard Mitt Romney (a seventh-generation direct descendant of the faiths founding 12 apostles) was born March 12, 1947 in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, to George and Lenore Romney, a prestigious Mormon family. Romney was christened Willard Mitt Romney in honor of close family friend and one of the richest Mormons in history, J. Willard Marriott. Mitts father George was chairman and president of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962. George eventually left the private sector for a higher calling, becoming the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969. In 1968 George Romney ran unsuccessfully for the Republican Presidential nomination against Nixon. He was surprisingly popular and some pundits at the time chalked his failure up to being too "honest and decent of a man". After Nixon's victory, George was appointed to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973. In actuality, Nixon distrusted Romney politically, and appointed him to a liberally oriented, low-profile federal agency partly to appease Republican moderates and partly to reduce Romney's potential to challenge him for the 1972 Republican presidential nomination. Young Mitt participated in both parents' political campaigns by collecting petition signatures, campaigning at his father's side, attending strategy sessions with his father's political advisors, and interning at his father's office. He also attended the 1964 Republican National Convention where his father led a challenge of moderates against the far right-wing Barry Goldwater. Mitt managed to dutifully fulfill his spiritual obligation as a Mormon missionary in France during the 1968 Convention while helping his father (the front-running GOP presidential candidate) by being apprised of the political developments back in the U.S. and sending his suggestions through regular correspondence. Upon completion of his foreign mission, he immersed himself in the 1970 senatorial campaign of his mother, Lenore Romney (a former actress and very popular Michigan first lady), who was running against Phillip Hart in the Michigan general election. That same year, Mitt became president of the "Cougar Club", an all-male, white social club at Brigham Young University (blacks were excluded from full membership in the Mormon Church until 1978). The fraternity was humming with talk that Mitt Romney would become the first Mormon president of the United States. "If not Mitt, then who?" was the ubiquitous slogan within the elite organization. Prophecy dictated that the pious world of BYU would eventually spawn the man who would lead the Mormons into the White House and fulfill the promises of the church's founder. A prophecy that Romney seemed not only bred for, but was avidly trying to realize. After having been in charge of over 200 missionaries in France. Mitt's lineage and accomplishments fell so far in line with the prophecy that fellow students started referring to him as "One Mighty and Strong." He was considered the alpha male in the rarefied Cougar pack, according to Michael D. Moody, a BYU classmate and fellow member of the group. Composed almost exclusively of returned Mormon missionaries, the club members were known for their preppy blue blazers and enthusiastic athletic bolstering. The Cougar Club was a fanatical fraternity that would raise funds for the school and its members. During this time they never defied adherence to the campus-wide dress code, passionately disavowing the Hippie long hair, bell-bottom jeans and antiwar slogans that were sweeping college campuses throughout America. Mitt sometimes participated in monthly "Fireside testimonies". Participants at these meetings would make a public testimony of their belief that they lived in Heaven before being born on Earth, becoming mortal in order to usher in the latter days, and that they recognized Joseph Smith as the prophet, the Book of Mormon as the word of God, and the Mormon church as the one true faith. Despite Brigham Young University maintaining that political success isn't an institutional value, it's hard to avoid the obvious grooming and open ascendancy that a young Mitt was subjected to. This might be why he eventually rejected it all. Despite being heir to the throne he turned his back on politics and dove into the world of private capitalism.
Mitt was hired out of college by "Bain and Company", a private capital investment firm in 1977 and became Vice President just a year later. Mitt helped run Bain and Company until 1984 when he splintered off and started an offshoot enterprise entitled "Bain Capital", a private investment firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. Bain Capital Specialized in private equity, venture capital, credit, public equity, impact investing, life sciences and real estate. Mitt was their CEO from 1984 until 1990, when his former employer Bain and Company (facing economic collapse) convinced Mitt to retake the reigns. His tenure at Bain & Company has been identified as an example of Romney's acumen for the business world. Turning the company around over the course of a single year, Romney stated that "There was no particular reason to do it other than a sense of obligation and duty to an organization that had done great things for me and which employed a thousand people". Mitt rescued Bain and Company and then returned to Bain Capital in 1992. It was then that Bain Capital started purchasing other companies at a rapid rate. The list includes Brookstone, Ampad, Experian, Seally Corporation, Dominos Pizza, and Artisan Entertainment, an acquisition Mitt refused to take part in as the company made R rated films.
Romney, successful on his own terms eventually decided to embrace the grooming of his family heritage and took a leave of absence from Bain Capital in November of 1993 to run for the U.S. Senate against Teddy Kennedy. During that time, Ampad workers went on strike, and asked Romney to intervene; Bain Capital lawyers asked him not to get involved. Romney met with some of the workers anyway, but refused to advocate for them stating that despite his influence "he had no position of active authority in the matter". Romney returned to Bain Capital after losing to Kennedy, the loss had a lasting effect; he told his brother, "I never want to run for something again unless I can win." This statement remained his attitude for the rest of his life. In 2002 the Incumbent Republican acting governor of Massachusetts Jane Swift chose not to seek a full term. Mitt saw his opportunity and entered the race defeating Democratic state treasurer Shannon O'Brien. Mitt was elected to a four-year term, which he served from January 2, 2003, until January 4, 2007.
Romney formally announced his candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination for president on February 13, 2007, in Dearborn, Michigan. Again casting himself as a political outsider, his speech frequently invoked his father and his family, and stressed experiences in the private, public, and voluntary sectors that had brought him to this point. The campaign emphasized Romney's highly profitable career in the business world, his involvement in the Utah Olympics, and political experience as governor. He was little-known nationally, and stayed around the 10 percent support range in Republican preference polls for the first half of 2007.Altogether, Romney had won 11 primaries and caucuses, receiving about 4.7 million votes and garnering about 280 delegates. He spent $110 million during the campaign, including $45 million of his own money. Romney endorsed McCain for president a week later, and McCain had Romney on a short list for vice presidential running mate, where his business experience would have balanced one of McCain's weaknesses. McCain, behind in the polls, opted instead for a high-risk, high-reward "game changer", selecting Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. McCain lost the election to Democratic Senator Barack Obama.
On June 2, 2011, Romney announced the start of his second campaign for the RNC nomination. Speaking on a farm in Stratham, New Hampshire, he focused on the economy and criticized President Obama's handling of it. He said, "In the campaign to come, the American ideals of economic freedom and opportunity need a clear and unapologetic defense, and I intend to make it - because I have lived it." Mitt got around his deficits by playing to his strengths becoming the most effective fundraiser of any of the Republican candidates while again partially financing his campaign with his personal fortune. To many of the Mormon faithful and a large percentage of the diehard republican base Romney seemed like a sure bet. Mitt looked presidential and was well spoken. Unfortunately he was up against Barak Obama an iconoclast, popular Democrat President who was up for reelection after reversing an economic crisis handed down by his predecessor George Bush JR. Mitt, like his father before him lost his bid for president.
Donald J Trump was born and raised in the New York City borough of Queens. Having inherited his father's real estate business Donald went on to build, or renovate skyscrapers, hotels, casinos, and golf courses. Despite being famous in the early eighties for his wealth he was mostly forgotten until the early 2000s when he became a successful game show host. Reportedly he squandered most of his inheritance through poor business decisions. By the late 90's his finances and business practices were considered so toxic that no American bank would loan him money. Instead he was forced to fund his struggling investments through foreign banks. Most notable among them are, "Deutsche Bank" (Germany) and, Alfa Bank (Russia). Despite stories of shady business practices and several bombshell scandals (a recording of him describing sexual assault toward minors) he managed to become a populist candidate making voter in-roads enough to defeat Hillary Clinton, who was a political juggernaut and to many, the obvious winner of the 2016 election (Clinton did manage to win the popular vote but failed to reach the "Rust Belt" voters resulting in a surprise electoral victory for Trump). Trumps victory from the start was mired in controversy
Once elected Mitt immediately turned on Trump. In an op-ed for the Washington Post (Jan. 1, 2019), Romney wrote that the Trump Presidency was in a "deep descent." He cited the departure of James Mattis as the Secretary of Defense and the "abandonment of allies who fight beside us" as among the evidence that Trump had "defined his presidency down." But Romney as a Mormon pointed out that Trump's "characters shortfall has been most glaring." Recently Mitt also declared in an op-ed that "A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect," Romney declared. "As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, the presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent's shortfall has been most glaring." Trump fired back tweeting "Mitt Romney never knew how to win. He is a pompous 'ass' who has been fighting me from the beginning, except when he begged me for my endorsement for his Senate run (I gave it to him), and when he begged me to be Secretary of State (I didn't give it to him). He is so bad for R's!" Romney's stance against Trump has been unique given the current towing of party line from other Republicans; it can also be viewed as a brave statement born from his religious and philosophical belief. Mitt has taken a lot of heat from going against Trump. His own niece Ronna Romney McDaniel, who is the current Chair of the Republican National Committee, and former Chair of the Michigan Republican Party, dropped Romney from her last name at the request of Trump. This move could be seen as a genius political move. Having a family member as the acting head of the RNC would make a presidential run much easier for Mitt. The losing of face from the name change would be a small price to pay for access to the throne. Despite Trumps personal attacks hitting close to home (Family being the corner stone of his faith) Romney still rallied against Trump, stating that "A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect," Romney added that Trump had not "risen to the mantle of the office,". During Trumps reign as President Romney has been the only consistent Republican voice of descent. Despite his very public condemnations of Trump while the rest of his party cowardly follows Donald's every public whim. None of the party rank and file have spoken out against Mitt. There is a good chance that many in the party have evaluated Trump to be a "useful idiot" and Mitt knows it. Trump has been a very effective tool to get a lot of legislation forced through very quickly but he offers seemingly no long term use. It is possible that the GOP knows their parties brand in the long term is being weakened with every tweet Trump haphazardly spouts. It is important to note that historically the Republican national committee is surprisingly forward thinking in their management of power. For every Democrat president in the modern era there has been a Republican controlled Senate allowing the Conservatives to stone wall legislation. They also had the foresight to purchase AM radio stations starting in the 80s and build a twenty four hour news machine that tows the party line. The party faithful would later expand this model to cable news. Tying this propaganda machine with gerrymandering of county voting districts has kept the party prominent long after some of their ideas should have been buried to history. So why did Romney reach out to Trump? The antithesis of everything he publicly believes after declaring in 2008 after losing to Obama that he "wouldn't do anything again unless his victory was certain"? Mitts momentary and calculated acceptance of Trumps help was certainly an intentional move to get elected. It is also likely that the RNC encouraged Mitt to use Trumps endorsement (despite Romney's known dislike of Trump) to win a seat in an already red state. The truth is that Utah would certainly have gone to almost any Republican who ran for the seat with the backing of the RNC. So why would the RNC gift Romney a senate seat they would already win? The fact of the matter is that Trump, an ex-Democrat; Philanderer was a dark horse in the 2016 Republican Presidential race. From the outset it was considered a given that JEB! Would win the RNC seat and Clinton would be the DNC candidate setting up a classic establishment election. Trump winning the RNC ticket broke the status quo and momentarily threw the party already splintered by the Tea Party into chaos. One of the long standing attributes of the post Reagan GOP is that they are able to achieve cohesion around a polarizing figure to become tight knit and unified. Ronni's stand tall; deny everything attitude has carried on since the eighties. The party rallied behind Donald in the hope that they could steer the ship away from disaster. Even totally human presidential candidate and Trump rival Ted Cruz, whose wife Trump insulted on twitter towed the line and worked on his campFelecaign. All of the active republicans got behind Trump while Mitt quietly sat it out. Until two years after Trump won the election when Mitt strategically used Trump to take the Senate seat of a state he was seemingly born to lead. Trump being an unstable popular force works well in the short term but even the rank and file republicans know that he is a disposable battering ram. His social indiscretions and shady mindset are a liability in the long term. History dictates that unless he manages to become dictator (which is possible) eventually, he is headed for failure. It would make sense that the establishment would have a seemingly reasonable Republican on the back burner incase Trump goes south. Having such a candidate would mitigate damage and save face for the party that allowed him power in the first place. This is where the White Horse Prophecy comes into play. It would be poor planning and short sighted if the party didn't keep an established, electable, traditionally conservative, politician in the wings when a wild card figure is in charge that could very rapidly deflate and become a burden. Should Trump get called out and/or impeached the Republicans through Romney have a backup candidate they can rally behind and declare "we aren't all like that, stay with the party, cooler heads will prevail". This is the position that Romney has moved himself into. Romney has been running a soft campaign against Trump for the last two years without utilizing or naming his religious manifest destiny in the public eye. Many argue that Trump has already created a constitutional crisis through many of his actions. Among them; 1. Not diversifying his investments per the emoluments act. 2. Continuing Executive Orders on immigration that run counter to the Equal Protection Clause laid out in the 14th Amendment. 3. His racially based attack on U.S. District Judge Curiel, who was presiding against one of Trumps many failed business schemes. A clear violation of the Constitutions third article establishing judicial independence, 4. Adding a Citizenship question to the Census survey counter to Article one, section two of the constitution which places all parameters of the census under Congressional control. 5. Currently he is also under investigation for bribing the Ukrainian President for information against a political rival. Having gotten away with actions that would have destroyed every President before him has established a precedent that can easily be considered by many as the sort of "constitutional crisis" Joseph Smith predicted in the White Horse prophecy. The Republican establishment knows that Trumps continued defiance of the constitution and erratic behavior has created more than a constitutional emergency. It has also created an environment where his impeachment could lead to a new splintering of not just his party, but the country. When the facts of Trumps presidency are laid bare Senator Romney will seem a reasonable enough candidate to win back not only the Mormon vote but the bulk of traditional rightwing voters. Evangelicals despite not being of the Mormon faith will likely respond to the religious undertones of the white horse prophecy adding enough votes to keep statues que. Even if Romney's run for president should fail the normalizing Influence created by his campaign could reassure enough voters to reelect other Republican candidates to keep the Senate safely in GOP hands. Win or lose Romney's vow that he "wouldn't do anything again unless his victory was certain." Is likely a vow he aims to keep.
-- Arthur B. Alexi