The question was asked in an interview with Richard L. Bushman about Mormons and politics:
. . . who would be some intellectual allies that Mormons and others who might be the butt of the same charge [of irrationality] might find outside their own faith tradition? In other words, where are their intellectual allies for responding to this conception of rationality?
It could be added both intellectual and moral allies. Richard Bushman responds:
Well, their natural allies, which are all conservative Christians, refuse to accept them as allies, and that makes it very difficult.
Indeed, and that is what is so infuriating. There is no secret that Creedal Christians have serious reservations about the Christianity of Mormons. Without any hesitation a large portion of them label Mormons more than non-Christian, but often "cult" as if that means anything beyond the emotional rhetoric of hatred. They dance around vague definitions as if that excuses them from putting a scary mark on a large group of mostly respectable citizens. Never mind that the LDS Church holds very similar ethical and moral positions that has kept the vast majority of members voting Republican and Conservative.
Some few have thrown out the possibility that Mormons should jump ship and cross over to the Democratic side. They could take up the more liberal ideas of fighting poverty, protecting the environment, and social justice. As a Mormon conservative, even I can see how such things can fit in with the historical and theological Mormon philosophy. Tempting as that sounds, it is fraught with an equal amount of hostility that doesn't bode well for tipping the scales.
Harry Reid is a perfect example. Mormons are, by nature of its teachings, a very religious group that is uncomfortable with compartmentalizing. We are to be witnesses of God and Jesus Christ everywhere and in everything; at least by personal behavior. When Harry Reid, that very visible Mormon in Washington, was picked as a leader things looked good. He was, apparently, pro-life and against gay marriage among other conservative positions. At last there was hope he would be a beacon of moderation in a very left Democratic Party.
Sadly, it turned out with Harry Reid very horrible. Moderation went out the door and in its place a shrill puppet of the extreme liberal Democrat movement. Every time he opens his mouth it is to attack Bush, the War, Republicans, and Conservatives. Not once has he said anything about how awful abortion is or anything positive about the institution of marriage between a man and woman. In fact, I don't believe he has said anything at all about God or Religion. Many use him to say that good Mormons can be Democrats. The best that can be said about that is, sure if they shut their mouths and don't talk about it except in the cloistered halls of home and chapel.
Another positive for Mormons joining the liberal Democrat Party, some would say, is they are more tolerant toward minorities. It has been proven by the Article VI Blog how wrong that presumption can be with religion. They have been arguing (and with evidence from Op-eds and news reports to the man on the street who won't even shake a Mormon's hand while making it clear why) that the liberals have been far more disdainful than conservatives. Of course the left has been attacking religion in general, unless you can treat it as a moral myth that is secondary to the liberal agenda. The argument of the blog is not completely persuasive, thus the reason for bringing the issue up.
That leaves Mormons with few options if they want to have some say in at least American life:
They could stick with the Republicans. There isn't anything indicating this will change any time soon. Most Mormons still feel strongly the conservative movement is their movement, and that is in the Republican side of the political system. Nothing has happened yet to push things over the edge. It is ironic that the Religious Right is worried about Mormon power, and yet many comments from them indicate they are the ones who want to create a theocratic "Christian" nation.
They could become Democrats in protest to the Religious Right's theological purity standards. The only way that could happen is if Mormons were given a sense of empowerment. The Democratic Party would have to tone down its heavily liberal stances and become open to religious views. As Harry Reid has shown, at least in the minds of the Republican voting Mormons, that isn't a possibility in the near future. Currently, even more than the Religious Right dominated Republican Party where Mormons can at least tap a shoulder, the Democrats would be telling Mormons to sit in the back of the bus.
Go it alone. It happened at the end of the 19th Century, but with no positive outcome. This could only be if most Mormons felt satisfied to hold on as a regional power. In the worst case, maybe influence Utah and Idaho. Of course, if this happened then accusation of "theocracy" would be intensified. On the other hand, playing the cards correctly could be tangentially influential. The Mormons could start a party that promises inclusion of ANY conservative religious organization that the present Religious Right of the Republican Party shuts out. Certainly this could include Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc. who might otherwise be on the political periphery. Of course, even that depends on how inclusive exclusive religions can become when sharing common goals.
All that can really be said is that, if trends hold, something has gotta' give in the Mormon political landscape.