A better—but still inadequate—side of Romney
This morning I said that Romney at the Ryan announcement looked blank and empty and like a loser.
This evening I saw on CSPAN another appearance of Romney from his tour today with Ryan in Virginia. He spoke with great energy (almost too much energy) and, at times, with what seemed like actual emotion; I thought I saw tears in his eyes when he spoke of the greatness of America. His theme was the reinvigoration of the American economy. He struck an especially good point when he said that in America we believe in achievement and seeking excellence and doing our best. I applauded that.
But here’s the problem. He’s 100 percent about the economy. It’s as though America were nothing but an economy. He mentions the vile Democratic attacks on him only to say that are a distraction from Obama’s economic failures or a tactic to “divide” us. What neither he nor Ryan nor any Republican understands is that the Democratic hate campaign against Republicans is not just some opportunistic tactic. It is what Democrats really believe. Democrats really believe that Republicans are bigots and haters who want to starve people. Democrats really believe that successful Americans got that way by oppressing and exploiting and being a parasite on others. Democrats really believe that anyone who does not support the Democratic party is an enemy of humanity who must be silenced and suppressed, who deserves to be silenced and suppressed. By not taking those core Democratic beliefs seriously and showing how false and monstrous they are (because they portray the good as evil), by not explaining how those beliefs are tyrannical and are leading to ever greater tyranny, Romney fails to take the battle to the other side. It’s as though he’s in an all-Republican room addressing Republicans with the standard Main Street Republican themes of economic progress and America’s wonderfulness which he can bring back if he’s elected, and with no awareness of the Democrats in their very different room and the beliefs that drive them. But Democrats plus liberal-leaning independents are over half the country.
Now it is possible that Romney could win the election by making the case that the Democrats have damaged the economy and that he will restore it. But a greater percentage of Americans than ever before are not concerned about the economy, no matter how bad it is. They are concerned about racist Republicans. Unless Romney points to the existence of that belief and explains its motivatations and warns of its tyrannical nature, it’s going to be very hard for him to win the election. And he and Ryan and all Republicans are, of course, totally unequipped to make that argument.
What does it tell us about the American people that the Democrats believe that their message will win them the election? In a healthy society, the Democratic party would be a fringe element, as you would expect any society to have a certain percentage of deviants, psychopaths, and criminals. I don’t know that anything Romney does will matter apart from presenting himself as a modern day Lester Maddox or George Wallace, who will stand up and speak without reservation and tell the American people they are despicable and pathetic. What defense can there be for the post-war generations that inherited the greatest society in history and knowingly chose to bring us where we are today—a total rejection of morality and civilized order. If the American people reject that kind of message, so be it. He would have done the best he could without compromise.James P. writes:
Of course Democrats have false and evil beliefs that need to be attacked. The question is whether a presidential campaign is the right time and place to do so. In a better world, mainstream conservative publications as well as think tanks and endowed professorships would have been making that case for years. Alas, we know very well that the flagship conservative publications are fundamentally unserious and that few people at think tanks or with professorships are willing or able to make that case.Peter F. writes:
You wrote:August 12
James N. writes:
Don’t you think that the reason this is such a struggle for Republicans is that they really agree with the Democrats on core principles? The Republican establishment has some esthetic objections to the Democrats, but no real fundamental ones.Doug H. writes:
When I went through air force basic training in 1980 men and women trained separately. We lived separate and excised each day as well as attended classes separately. Church was the only thing we did together. Only after basic did we train together.August 13
Kidist Paulos Asrat writes:
Just today I was telling someone that being called racist is the worst thing to happen to a white person, who will then do anything to remove that taint (sin) from his person. Actually, I understand this since the group I come from, the Amhara of Ethiopia, lost all their will as leaders when other Ethiopian ethnic groups started to call them racists around the 1970s. They also happened to be lightest of the ethnics. These other ethnics were big on the Black Power movements of that era. Not the Amhara. But it didn’t stop them from the crippling guilt they felt (made themselves feel) and still feel.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 11, 2012 11:02 PM | Send