Tuesday, September 27, 2011

...be a LDS Dem, a Politician and a Good Parent?

The following is an extract from the final pages of the final chapter of my book How Can You Possibly be a Mormon and a Democrat? (Bear in mind that this book is written from the active believing LDS point of view.)

In the course of writing my book, I have learned that all of Harry Reid’s children are still active in Church and, still more extraordinary, they have suffered no divorces. Not bad.

Now, that could all change tomorrow. Life offers no recess from… life. But even up to this point, they have certainly had a good streak going and have definitely beaten the odds. So, how did they do it?

As stated, I don’t know Harry Reid’s family. So, I can’t make any real judgments about ways and means. I have no firsthand knowledge. But, in doing my research, I have gained just enough  confidence to make a few suppositions (and that’s all they are at this point) about why this family is the way it is.

I’m not about to give Harry Reid much credit for this phenomenon. Nope. I must give credit where credit is due, in this case, to Landra, the wife and mother. You see, in reading news about the Reids, I’ve detected a silent yet strong undercurrent, a foundation to the family, which is Landra Reid. For example, Reid is often assailed by opinionated people who chew him out. And yet, many of these ranters manage to include the side comment, “As much as I love your wife, I think you are…” and the rant continues. This top of the hat to Landra happens with curious and amusing frequency. I could be wrong about her. But, as I said, these are the musings of a complete outsider. I don’t even know what Landra looks like.

However, I thought that the following interview excerpt was particularly enlightening, on many levels. This is Harry Reid being interviewed by Tom Daschle, a former Democratic Party leader and longtime friend:

Daschle:   You've raised them particularly well despite incredible pressures of public life.

Reid:        One of my pet peeves is when people leave public office and say, "Now I can spend time with my family." I don't say that. I've spent enough time with my family. I feel that I could have been practicing law... a businessman...

I think that people should understand that the mere fact that you've been in politics doesn't mean you can't be a good parent. Now, I hope I've been a good parent. But I wouldn't have been a better one if I had been doing something else.

Now, there's no question, Tom, that my children are as good as they are mainly because of my wife. She is a wonderful mother. Wonderful wife. But she would have been doing that if I had been doing something else. So I think that people should not hesitate going into politics because they're afraid it will hurt their family.

Daschle:   Well, I can say–with some authority because I know them–that I think the test of a good parent is how good a parent your children become. And you've got children that are fantastic parents.[1]

Once again, I’ll have to take Daschle’s word for it. But, why not? It rings true to me. As I said, I may be wrong. I could emulate a few conservative friends by choosing to constantly think the worst of Reid.

But, with limited time to spend on earth, I have no interest in spending it in the search for negativity. I have already been given guidance on how to spend my time: “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy,” I’ll seek after those things.

So, at the end of the day, all I can say is that Senator Reid sure has my vote–uh, actually, no. Not literally. He doesn’t literally have my vote. You know what I mean. Harry Reid seems like a great guy to me.

And, you know who else seems like a great guy? Glenn Beck. I await the day when a leftist Democrat writes a whole chapter praising Beck. I don’t think that day will come. I can only hope to be proven wrong.

Opening the Door to the Treasure

I quote from Reid’s recent biography The Good Fight, in which he describes his and his wife’s conversion to the LDS faith:

We opened the door to our heavenly father. Yes, we were married, but now we would reconcile our disparate backgrounds in a union of spirit and understanding, and in a recognition that there was more to life—more to existence-—than what we could see. More than just us. It was as much choice as revelation. A simple act. And our choice was made so much easier by the people we’d met… even the crazy man who lived next door to the Birds. He was expert in scripture, and referred to Satan as “Old Horns.” A nice man, with a wonderful spirit, who, we later learned, had struggled with mental illness and had been in and out of institutions. There were many others, who didn’t so much speak their religion as live it. We would start a family soon. For my children, I would do anything to avoid the path that my parents had taken. This was to be a very different path.[2]

Their story reminds me of a talk by President Boyd K. Packer, in which he relates a parable about Celestial marriage:

They made a covenant that together they would open the treasure and, as instructed, he would watch over the vault and protect it; she would watch over the treasure. …his full purpose was to see that she was safe as she watched over that which was most precious to them both.

With great joy they found that they could pass the treasure on to their children; each could receive a full measure, undiminished to the last generation.[3]

[1] Reid, “Book TV interview with Harry Reid.”
[2] Reid, The Good Fight, 128.
[3] Packer, “For Time and All Eternity,” 21.


  1. Very nice Joe! I think I'm in love with Harry Reid! However, Glenn Beck?? Really? Maybe I need some facts that aren't in evidence. To me he's the anti-Harry Reid.

  2. For a long time, I have had the opinion that people who are more to the center politically are individuals who seek answers to issues that benefits everyone. They tend to have their feet better grounded and less ideological. So it doesn't surprise me that Harry being a Democrat has a very cohesive family.