Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Frontline's "The Choice 2012": it includes an interesting take on Romney's Mormon mission experience


On October 9, 2012 most PBS stations aired a two-hour  Frontline documentary about the 2012 presidential election, “The Choice 2012”.

Watch The Choice 2012 on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

The documentary went back and forth in relating the biographies of the two candidates.  Most of the material was familiar.

But one interesting particularly interesting point was made about Mitt Romney’s Mormon mission, even though it has been covered on other documentary broadcasts.  For Romney, the experience was a “rite of passage”, a test of whether he could deal with rejection, proselytizing his faith over the objections that other people would have being approached.  It seems odd to many of us that such activity is seen as morally virtuous: to try convert others to you faith, as a goal to be achieved, trumps over selling them things in a normal business context, and swallows the idea that most people would rather not have visitors knock on their doors.  Yet, in business, “overcoming objections” is often seen as an important skill.

The documentary also covered his auto accident in France in 1962 and narrow miss with death.

Later, it covered his unsuccessful bid for the 2008 presidential nomination.  It did not pay much heed to the 2012 primary race, where in the beginning he had trouble putting away Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. 

It also gave a history of the "individual mandate" for health insurance in Massachusetts, and Romney, as governor, had no problem with the idea of the mandate.  The argument that the mandate is necessary to take care of the pre-existing conditions problem is presented. 

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