First appeared in print in The Rhinoceros Times, Greensboro, NC
Dear Senator McCain,
You have a lot of people pushing for you to choose Mitt Romney as your running mate.
Don't do it.
He brings nothing but negatives to a McCain ticket.
People are telling you that you need to reach out to the right wing of the Republican Party. Fine -- do it -- but not by taking on Mitt Romney.
What is he going to bring you? Utah? You have Utah already.
What Mitt Romney would do, as your vice presidential candidate, is weaken you in areas that you absolutely must carry: The South and the Bible Belt.
You cannot afford to underestimate the number of people who will never vote for a ticket that includes a Mormon.
Even if the number is as low as ten percent of the Evangelical Christian voting base -- an optimistic estimate -- that saps your strength where you need to rack up large majorities.
When you consider that in the South, the black vote will -- understandably! -- be energized and turn out in record numbers, the last thing you need is for the Evangelical Christian vote to be unenthusiastic, with large numbers of them sitting it out.
Can you afford to run the risk of losing a single southern state? Because that is the risk that Romney as your Vice President would expose you to.
It's going to take time -- years! -- for Romney, through his own efforts, to overcome the unjustified but genuine bias against Mormons. In four years or eight years he might be perfectly viable in these regions.
But right now, at this precise moment, he is not. No Mormon would be.
Why should you listen to me? I'm a Democrat who voted for Obama in the primaries.
But I'm also an American who believes that we must have a President who understands that we are at war with Islamic terrorists, and that there is great danger from Iran, Russia, China, North Korea, and others waiting on the horizon for us to show any weakness.
We also face a crucial showdown between judges who interpret the law and judges who think they get to make laws up. Obama would appoint more dictator-judges; you would not.
If it were not for those issues, I would be voting for Obama this year.
Instead, I must vote for you. And you must, for the sake of this country's future as a free land, win.
And that is why, even though I am every bit as much a Mormon as Mitt Romney, and I resent the slanders that have led Evangelical Christians to hate us, I must beg you not to make the mistake of appointing him as your running mate.
He will not bring you a single state that you would not carry anyway.
And he might very well cost you states that you must carry to have a hope of winning.
Orson Scott Card
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.