Why we should support Romney

Alan Levine writes:

I have thought that you have gone a little over the top against McCain, and are a bit overenthusiastic about Romney. It seems to me that the latter has changed his coat a bit too often on too many subjects, to really deserve conservative enthusiasm. (Rest assured that I intend to vote for him this Tuesday!) I was impressed by the report that Bush reportedly dislikes Romney, which does say something for the man.

LA replies:

I do not think it is accurate to say that I am enthusiastic about Romney. From my first articles about him, last March (see this, this, and this), I said he had a liberal record on social issues and that he seemed to lack real conservative convictions, but that having pledged himself to certain positions, he could be reasonably relied on to carry them out. Describing him as a “serial monogamist in the realm of politics,” I wrote:

Thus he did, for the most part, keep his commitments to the homosexuals as governor of Massachusetts. But that dance is over. He’s no longer governor of Massachusetts, he’s a candidate for president of the United States, he’s appealing to a different constituency and making different commitments to them…

Second, I said that a person who had pledged himself to positions that are important to us, and who is presenting himself as a leader for conservatives, is far preferable to someone, such as Giuliani or McCain, who is actively against us. More recently, I’ve said that there is an amorphous or undefined quality about Romney that leaves me feeling uneasy, but that, once again, given the terrible realities of Giuliani and McCain, Romney remains the far better choice.

Third, I’ve indicated over and over that Romney is not good on the National Question, but that he is also not an open borders fanatic and seems accessible to reason.

Fourth, I’ve said that I’m not backing Romney for the presidency (I don’t know what I’ll do in November), but for the GOP nomination. I’ve said that the main reason to support him is to prevent the catastrophic defeat that McCain’s nomination, let alone election, would represent for the cause of immigration control, for conservatism, and for the country. We cannot handle all issues at once. We are faced with an immediate, hideous event, John McCain’s takeover of the Republican party, which will be immediately followed by the abject surrender of many conservatives to McCain and his policies, the GOP’s destruction as an organ for conservatism, and the perceived and actual rout of the immigration restriction movement, which just eight months ago had a historic come-from-behind victory that saved the country from disaster. For the same reason, if Romney—the perceived candidate of the anti-amnesty forces—manages to stop McCain, it will be, and will be perceived as, a great come-from-behind victory for our side, strengthening and fortifying our cause, regardless of what Romney’s “real” views on immigration may be.

If, as some people feel, Romney is a satan, he is certainly a lesser satan than McCain. Let us please emulate our Moslem adversaries and handle the Greater Satan first.

What I have laid out above is not enthusiasm but calculation based on the terrible situation in which we find ourselves and the bad choices we face.

It is true that I have been enthusiastic about Romney’s good personal qualities, especially his intelligence, which continually impresses me (though I’ve criticized him for lacking a fighting instinct). Also, I have come to his side more than I otherwise would have, because of the amazingly unfair treatment he has received, ranging from cold indifference to outright hatred. The bigotry against him has become an issue in itself. In criticizing it, I necessarily take his side and reiterate the imperative reasons for supporting him, reasons which so many people have missed, having decided, in their adolescent wisdom, that a clean-cut 1950s-style guy who lacks “cool” is somehow worse than an anti-American egomaniac who wants to silence his opponents.

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David G. writes:

For the past ten years the gurus of the anti-illegal immigration/no amnesty movement have been hoping for what is currently unfolding, namely, a national debate on the issue.

Well, that’s Tom Tancredo’s immigration plan Romney is charging forth with. St. Tom did what he had to do—he brought the issue to the forefront of the Republican Party then to the national stage. Okay, so we stopped the McCain Kennedy bill recently but in my estimation that was not so much a victory as it was a stalemate; all the defeat of the bill really did was maintain the status quo as illegals continue to pour into the country. With the marginalization of Tancredo himself (one percent of the vote! one percent!), combined with the meltdown of Hunter and Thompson, the torch that Romney now holds is beginning to flicker.

As in sports and sales, there is something called “finishing,” or closing the deal. If the Republican Party cannot finish this “national debate” by nominating a candidate who supports the Tancredo legacy then I think the situation becomes really grim thereafter. I fear historians may look back to the election of 2008 as the high-water mark for the anti-illegal immigration/no amnesty movement in American history.

Personally, its starting to settle in on me that the American people just don’t care about the issue of immigration to the extent that I thought they would once the national debate was held. Perhaps after a half century of intensive liberalism, shifting demographics and multicultural educational attrition the human capital of our forefathers that we have been living on is just running out. Peter Wood, author of Diversity, the Invention of a Concept, dates the invention of diversity from 1978 when Justice Powell referred to it in the Bakke case. That means anyone under the age of, say, 36 has never even lived in, or been educated in, pre-diversity America.

For whatever intangible Romney may lack, it pales in comparison to the abysmal McCain who has degraded and disparaged the desires of the American conservative time and time again. Yet the Republican power brokers are already lining up behind McCain (Giuliani, Huckabee, Schwarzenegger, Jeb Bush ) perhaps to get a share of the spoils. And you are right in pointing out that the conservative pundits seem more concerned with their own cleverness and thoughtfulness than they do their defense of a decent man who has the right ideas.

I hope that readers of this site try to impress upon their friends, acquaintances and family members the need to vote for Mitt Romney.

Here’s how Roy Beck at Numbers USA assesses each candidate.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 03, 2008 02:46 PM | Send

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