I am about to start blogging much more frequently than I am used to doing. This election has got me hook, line, and sinker, and I am not wrong that this is the most important Presidential election of my lifetime. The reality is that the significance of the election is playing out in the very manner that the campaign is being prosecuted, and if I thought that no significant policy or legislation was on the line whatsoever in an Obama re-election, the mere rhetoric and tone of this man would be enough to force me into the fight. So into the fight I am, and this brings me to the subject of this post: Is Governor Romney properly engaged in the fight at hand?
My knee-jerk reaction in seeing Romney’s response to Obama’s utterly idiotic attack on Romney’s wealth and role at Bain Capital is that it is wholly inadequate, but I also believe that Romney has a team of advisors that thus far have not performed in a manner worthy of my questioning. They ran a first-class campaign in the primary (meaning, they ran to win and they won). They have positioned their candidate neck-and-neck with a well-funded incumbent President who has incomprehensible support from key voting blocs (African-Americans, Hispanics, working women, and youths, to name a few). I believe I am following what they are thinking, and it is something like this: The majority of Americans couldn’t care less if Romney has an overseas bank account, the majority of Americans are not following this nonsense story whatsoever, and the majority of Americans that have not yet made up their mind in this election are going to vote based on issues much more important than the ones in the present news cycle. They are correct about all of those assertions, if indeed I am right about what they are thinking. It is worth pointing out that, at least so far, there is no evidence that Obama’s vicious and dishonest tactic has been working. The Romney team believes that their candidate does best when he looks and acts most Presidential, and I think they are right about that as well. However, I believe a caveat is necessary before patting the Romney campaign team on the back.
The issue here is not the challenge that Obama’s team has put before the Romney campaign, but rather, the opportunity. If the Romney team does not capitalize on the opportunity, I truly fear it could cost us the election. The opportunity is not merely the chance to “fight back”; that would be a defensive strategy against a challenge. I am referring to the affirmative opportunity to define this race for what it is: A race between Barack Obama, who believes that success is a matter of chance fortune in a lottery wheel of circumstances, and Mitt Romney, who understands the power of persistence and who sees success as something to be pursued, not shunned.
You can argue that Mitt Romney’s reasonably subdued response to the Obama attacks so far is a big political risk, but so is the strategy that makes the attacks as well. After all, you have to believe that Americans are so stupid that they can not understand the difference between running the Winter Olympics from 1999-2002 while being the technical head of a company, and committing a felony. You have to think that trying to confuse people over the minutiae therein is more beneficial to your campaign than the risk of reminding people over and over and over that Mitt Romney saved the 2002 Winter Olympics, has huge executive management experience, and has been a wildly successful entrepreneur. It is not a safe strategy for the Obama campaign. Their thesis is rooted in the belief that the class struggle of our present society favors them – that so many people believe in wealth redistribution as a cure to what ails their lives that they will turn a blind eye to the indisputably obvious causes of wealth creation. Obama gets away with trying to draw a line between job creation and wealth creation because he is genuinely that ideologically poisoned. What Romney has a chance to demonstrate in a runaway election victory is that Americans are not as ideologically poisoned as this disaster of a President. Look, the number of whiney little whores who actually believe that the need of the hour is a government body to lower their student loan payment, save their house, find them a job, pay them a salary while they wait for a job, and provide health care for free is far higher than I wish it were. These are people that are going to do one of two things: They are not going to vote (remember, they are, by definition, utter losers), or they are going to vote for the man offering them handouts – Barack Obama (and I am not calling people who have tough times losers; I am calling people who believe that the fundamental role of government is to make their situations better). That number of people, though, is not enough to win an election. Not yet.
Mitt Romney has a chance to run on the other side of this ideological divide: He can share the message of a society that does not need governmental redistribution of wealth because the society is too darn busy creating new wealth. He can preach the message that the poor and disenfranchised actually need, which is that wealth creation is the cure to labor market problems. Romney can preach as a core campaign message (a positive one) that Obama’s view of society is a failed one, but the American ideal is a demonstrably successful one, when it is allowed to flourish.
There is absolutely nothing in Obama’s attack ads that derail the core message I am praying for. What the message of Obama’s attacks ads amounts to is this: “Can you believe how rich this guy is? He doesn’t get you.” It is patronizing, and if you are reading this blog and are thinking, “Hey, Romney is rich; no fair, I’m not”, then shame on you. And thank God you are a minority. The politicos know that Obama has 40-45% of the people who will vote in this election wrapped up. They are the people who take no responsibility for their own lives. The politicos also know that Romney has 40-45% of the people in this country wrapped up. They are the people who always vote Republican, and/or people who are aghast at the idea of four more years of this incompetent boob running our country. But Romney could take 80% of the remaining 10-20% of the voting public if he grabs this opportunity for what it is. His handlers will figure out how much to fight back in the weeds of Bain Capital and tax returns and Swiss bank accounts, but I am speaking to something much bigger: Smacking down Obama’s diversion by framing the campaign as a battle between free enterprise and collectivism. Obama is too arrogant to know that he will lose that battle. He believes America is on his side here. He is wrong. Obama’s vision for America robs people of their dignity and ultimately fails on its own merits (there is inadequate wealth to redistribute when there is inadequate wealth being created).
Romney needs to force THIS fight. He needs to get feisty, but not in response to some idiotic and factually disproven attack ad. He needs to get fesity about the heart and soul of our country. He can win this fight, and in so doing, save the country.