The Virtue of Flipping and Flopping
Over the past couple of weeks and months I have written and talked to people about how frustrated I have been with Governor/CEO/Entrepreneur/etc. Mitt Romney because of his rather incredible array of life experiences to bring to the table mixed with a campaign that has been full of half-truths and full on lies (if you haven’t been paying attention or don’t believe me go watch the video at the bottom). With that being said, I have also been very critical of the Republican nominating process for being so extreme – Romney and the nominating process existing at the same time has caused me to question the virtue of someone who has been so able and willing to change his positions to stay in a race. My initial reaction was to just say “he’s a liar, and lying is wrong, so he’s not my guy”. BUT, could it be possible that Mitt knows that the Republican party is self-destructing, and that the only way to keep some of their most important virtues alive (ie: hypothetical fiscal responsibility, government efficiency, limited federal powers) is to lie to them?… I’m not saying that I endorse the idea, but it seems to be what he is doing, and I can only come up with 2 reasons why he might do this: to be self-serving, or because he philosophically believe that it is best for the nation. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, so I’m hoping that he is in it for the people. To his credit if he really is lying to make the world a better place, the political landscape in the country right now really is such a game that there isn’t much of any other option for a moderate who leans right, because if they lean left they are simply a mainstream Democrat from my estimation.
*And incase you don’t think that Romney is a flip-flopper it really isn’t that hard to look into it. Click the following link, or scroll to the video at the bottom – Romney’s Flips and Flops, even conservatives seem to understand this point of attack as they have been making it for the past year and a half rather thoroughly.
Joe Scarborough made a great point on my favorite morning show Morning Joe, that there are 2 different federal election processes: the presidential election (which calls for moderates), and congressional elections for the house and senate (which seem to call for more and more fringe candidates). There are fringe issues, and candidates that set the agenda for the parties as of late, but considering that more of the country votes in Presidential elections it seems to be telling of a more moderate nation. This fall we really will have a campaign between 2 moderate candidates – one of them is labeled an extremist by a Republican fringe, and the other one is forced to pretend that he’s an extremist by the Republican fringe… It seems obvious to me that there is an identifiable source of rhetorical nonsense that is dividing this country, and I wish that we would have more people speak out about it, and it can’t be a real candidate for either party because they will disqualify themselves to be taken seriously any longer, much like George Romney (Mitt’s father).
George Romney is a great example of a nice moderate man who had opinions that leaned one way, which is entirely ok, but he was pushed out of the conversation for becoming president because he spoke out against the war in Vietnam, which was not only his opinion after having been there but it was also the majority opinion of the country. My guess is that Gov. Romney took note, and has decided that he won’t let the same extremism control him, whether it takes lying or not. I believe in a transparent government, and electoral process, but if Romney’s goal is actually to work around the crazies in the Republican party then part of me salutes the effort, in some odd way.
I’m not saying that there isn’t a fringe or radical left wing, but they don’t seem to have as much money/as many lobbyists/ or frankly as much organization. And I’m also not advocating that being a moderate is the right way necessarily, but I am saying that the mainstream of American voters seems to be rather moderate. I guess the conclusion here is that while I have been frustrated with Romney for being disingenuous I also know that he is having to simultaneously coalesce and combate the most powerful fringe in the nation, and I don’t envy him for that…