“I didn’t think it would happen here. The divisiveness, the resentment, the suspicion, the anger that pervades so many countries seemed foreign to the people I met during my campaigns only a decade or so ago,” he wrote in an article for Deseret Magazine.
He referenced efforts made by the founders to take “every step they could devise to protect the republic from so-called demagogues; their efforts worked for over 200 years. Several developments have combined to threaten that success.”
Romney warned, “Institutions that enhance mutual understanding are declining.”
He mentioned the decline in church attendance, groups like the Boy and Girl Scouts, and face-to-face interaction.
Romney criticized politicians who ignited division among Americans.
“Demagogues on the left scapegoat the rich; demagogues on the right scapegoat the immigrant. They each scapegoat the other,” he said.
Romney used examples from history to answer the question of what can heal “social sickness,” including “a great leader who ‘calls upon our better angels.'”
“My reading of history suggests what can heal social sickness.”
He referenced Winston Churchill’s rally against Nazism and Abraham Lincoln’s healing of a nation “torn apart by war.”
Romney explained when he votes he takes into account character as much as he does policy.
He explained how other leaders such as those of churches, congregations, classrooms, businesses, charities and homes can positively influence the nation.
Romney challenged Americans to read other news outlets they are not necessarily familiar or comfortable with.
He commended The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times for making an effort to report stories accurately and admitting when they fail to do so.
“I pray for the healing of the nation. Literally. I wish there were more faith in God, more reverence for all of his children. A brilliant leader of a respected think tank in Washington has concluded that love is the only sure answer to what ails us. I think he’s right,” Romney concluded.