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Voting for Romney, Happily, Not Holding my Nose.
It’s settled. Mitt Romney is the nominee of the GOP for the 2012 Presidential election. Mr. Romney is our last best chance to save the republic from a statist future of malaise and spiraling, gruesome debt. Those in the Tea Party (of which I consider myself a part) feel that Mr. Romney is no conservative, and is way too far to the left to be anything more than “Obama Lite.” I have used the bully pulpit of Conservativity to skewer Mr. Romney, including my Shakespearean jibe, “Thus Romney does make leftists of us all.” But did I give Mr. Romney a fair shake?
The GOP base will fall in line and vote Romney, so goes the conventional thinking. We will bring our clothespins, secure our nostrils from the unbearable stench, and vote Romney. This is precisely the attitude that the GOP base had during the 2008 elections. Today, I posit that we may not need the clothespins, and may vote Romney and realize that we are electing quite the Conservative after all.
Ann Coulter has been the leading conservative cheerleader for Mitt Romney, and boy, what a cheerleader! She aimed her massive brainpower squarely at the man’s opponents, and dissected them, pointing up that, if conservative bona fides are the benchmark, Mitt Romney clearly smokes the crowd. I disagreed with Ms. Coulter at times during this primary. Of course, this is because I went from Cain to Gingrich to Santorum (for whom I finally voted in the primary here in the People’s Republic of Illinois) – I was the classic “Anybody but Romney” guy. However, Ann’s defense of Mr. Romney, on second glance, is sound. Here’s why I feel that we can happily vote for Mitt Romney:
Mr. Romney is basically consistent on the issues. Yes, he has changed his position on amnesty for illegal aliens. Yes, he has wavered on provisions of the DREAM act. But, when I think of my journey through anti-Romney candidates, so did I. So do all of us who actually think about our positions. If you are thoughtful, you have to be willing to accept the premise that you are not 100% right about everything.
Mr. Romney’s positions, at their core, are solidly conservative. He’s pro-business. He is anti-excessive-taxation. He is pro-life. He is pro-gun-rights. He’s a faithful husband (and I admit that Mr. Obama is also a faithful husband, one of his few good traits) who is solidly conservative with an excellent wife and family. He was pro-family before pro-family was cool.
Mr. Romney’s no-nonsense businessman demeanor is a welcome change of pace from Mr. Obama’s circus sideshow hype. Remember 2008? “Hope” and “Change” from a massive football stadium. Hype raised to the power of 1,000. And what did the people receive? A warmed over plate of extreme statist policies. Cronies paid billions to keep union dues flowing into the unions (and right back out to the Democrat campaigns). The most ridiculous piece of legislation to come into law since prohibition, a healthcare boondoggle that at least can be held unconstitutional, which is the only reason it places second in the world’s history of ridiculous laws (the Supreme court could not overturn a constitutional amendment). Closing off new oil and gas drilling on federal lands. Kow-towing to environmental extremists with green-energy swindles and a blocked transnational pipeline, more than doubling gasoline prices. An economic “recovery” that feels like a relentless depression. Government intervention: repeatedly tried, repeatedly failing. An old saying is that insanity is retrying the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. The people want someone to stop the insanity!
Why on Earth would we have another jazzy huckster at the head of the party that is asking – and, in 2010, was begged by the people – to stop the madness? Enter Mitt Romney. Yes, he seems a little boring. Great! We want “a little boring.” Mr. Obama gave us Hollywood glitz, and he has badly damaged the country! It may be entertaining to watch Jackass! on television, but we have just had four years of the cast of Jackass! running the country. A sober minded man with a head for business and a sterling record of personal responsibility is precisely what the doctor ordered.
Mr. Romney has business success (as a founder of Bain Capital), quasi-business success (the 2002 winter Olympics), and actual governing success (Massachusetts). He is a man who has stared problems in the face (including as a turnaround CEO of Bain and Company – unrelated to Bain Capital) and fixed them. We need a fixer, and that fixer is named Romney. Think of these companies: Staples, Dominos Pizza, Clear Channel, Sports Authority, Brookstone, Sealy, Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger King. These companies are all still around, or became great from nothing, because of Mitt Romney.
This is the man who can stand up to Barack Obama and refrain from nastiness and tell the people why they should vote for Romney instead of just against Mr. Obama! Will he compromise with the Democrats to get some things done in part? Yes. So did Ronald Reagan. Did he help pass a healthcare law in Massachusetts (one state with an actual police power as opposed to the entire United States where the Constitution never envisioned a federal police power)? Yes; he knows something that can only be scaled so far may not be applicable to a diverse and huge nation such as the United States of America.
Many in the Tea Party want someone who will never budge one millimeter on the smallest of issues, treating the tiniest thing as a core dogma. In that way, we have assimilated one of the most useless and ridiculous traits of our opponents. This country was built and constituted on compromises. The structure of our three branches of government, especially the Congress, is the result of a compromise. Refusing to compromise on anything, insisting that your opponent merely capitulate to your every whim without as much as a whimper, is insane. Nothing will ever get done. It is true that some “compromises” of the past were capitulations of the Right to the Left. However, Mr. Romney displays far too much backbone for that.
We need someone who is workable and forceful. We need someone who is full of integrity and thoughtful. I think that the primary has served its purpose well. I for one will not be bringing a clothespin into the voting booth as I vote for the last best hope for America: Mitt Romney.