Mitt Romney was raised in an atmosphere of wealth and privilege. He was pampered, he was sheltered, he was groomed to do accomplish elite things. As we sit on the edge of the abyss we call Campaign 2012, we Americans have been bombarded with examples and anecdotes and quotes that prove Romney’s background. I don’t think that Romney, in his most gilded moments of fantasy, actually believes he can understand the everyday Americans experience. Many liberals and most of the Americans in the middle have asked the question of Romney’s understanding, and whether it has a bearing on his ability to lead a nation of everyday Americans.
This notion is fundementally unfair, and politically unnecessary.
It is as unfair as the ridiculous connections, made by the political fringe, between Obama and Reverend Wright; between Obama and Bill Ayers; between Obama and (insert blood-thirsty tyrant and political system dirty word).
The Rational Middle expects such connections to come from the political fringe, but liberals ought to know better. And liberals ought to remember that the fringe-driven connections did not work four years ago. But liberals struggling in an economy where normal folks hurt and Wall Street folks get commissions from bailout funds are conditioned to attack wealth. Liberals who most recently championed the interracial kid from Hawaii, or the boy from Hope, or the peanut farmer’s son, have forgotten their own history in their rush to attack Mitt Romney.
Have we on the left forgotten the privileged upbringings of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy? Have we forgotten our cherished belief in America; a belief that has at its core the guiding principle that anyone, from any background, can achieve anything?
We need to remember our principles quickly, and we need to remember that a full electorate will have a chance to vote on facts, if only we focus on facts in our arguments. The political right has left that argument well in the past, and it is the one weakness that must be exploited, and the one weakness the exploitation of which will serve our honor and posterity.
Mitt Romney isn’t a bad choice for President because he is wealthy or out of touch. Mitt Romney isn’t a bad choice for President because he has a car elevator. Mitt Romney isn’t a bad choice for President because he was a bullying coward in high school. The problems with Romney are purely political, purely factual, and easy to see. Here are five off the top of my head:
- Mitt Romney is beholden to a political faction that preaches only two solutions for every problem or opportunity in the American economy; cut taxes or eliminate regulation. They insist then, and Mr. Romney is explicit in his agreement, that the American Democracy is impotent on economics.
- Mitt Romney is beholden to a political faction that is willing to mandate that the single greatest domestic policy problem in our nation, our non-functioning medical marketplace, is another item not amenable to solutions of any type by the American Democracy. Mr. Romney’s allegiance on this topic is beyond question, as he has participated in the repudiation of successful state legislation he signed as governor, legislation nearly identical to the actor now known as ObamaCare.
- Mitt Romney is beholden to a political faction ready to deconstruct the nation our Founders built as a beacon of religious freedom. Mr. Romney is so ready to submit to the conservochristians, that he gave a commencement speech at a university which has at its core the teaching that Romney’s own religion is a dangerous cult.
- Mitt Romney is beholden to a political faction that is willing to subvert American foreign policy to the cause of defeating the incumbent President. Mr. Romney and the political right have criticized, literally, every foreign policy move made by this President. The criticism has been unilateral, contradictory, and fundamentally disconnected from the context of any of the events. Mr. Romney criticized every step of the Libya operation, disconnected President Obama from any part of the destruction of Al Qaeda, and consistently demonstrated a detachment from foreign policy knowledge that borders on the Palinesque. (see point five)
- Mitt Romney publicly called the Commander-in-Chief weak on Iran, and stated categorically that if he were in charge, he would have one carrier in the Persian Gulf, and one in the Mediterranean Sea, just to make sure the Iranians knew who the boss was. Mitt Romney said this at a time when the United States had one carrier strike force in the Persian Gulf, another carrier strike force off the southern coast of Iran in the Gulf of Oman, and a third en route from the United States.
Mitt Romney is a Wall Street insider who has proven his willingness to sell out even his religion in the search for Presidential power. He is an unconscionable cad, as an adult, who lacks the spark of leadership, and has failed to define any of his policy prescriptions beyond the stage of sloganeering. Mitt Romney may only probably be someone I wouldn’t want to golf or have a beer with, but he is certainly the wrong person, on a pure policy basis, for the job of President. Liberals need to remember that the Americans in the middle, the folks who will decide this election, can make a good decision without any thought of Romney’s wealth.
The Rational Middle is listening…