Open Forum: Romney’s chicanery
Posted: October 10, 2012
Will the real Mitt Romney please stand? The Romney you saw at the first presidential debate surely was not the Mitt Romney who has been the GOP candidate since the Republican convention — and, in reality, for at least the past two years.
Beyond all logical, rational, legitimate explanation, the Romney at the debate emphatically denied, repudiated, and rejected major features of the budget, tax reform, and health-care plans he has vociferously supported throughout his campaign. What an audition!
Romney has often been described by others as well as himself as a man of deep faith, which most commonly is intended to convey a religious epistemology, as was in evidence at the recent Republican convention where almost every platform speaker included references to religion. Finding myself struggling to reconcile a completely contradictory political ethos — i.e., the Romney enigma, Googling of “faith” leads to a wide spectrum of opinion as to its meaning and definition, but commonly included such correlates as trust, truth, fidelity, accuracy, adherence to fact, code of ethics, principles, etc., all of which seem diametrically incongruent with Romney’s penchant for dishonesty, deceitfulness, denial, and damnation.
On the other hand, there is another school of thought on the concept of faith, including Bertrand Russell’s, which characterizes faith as “a strong belief in something with no evidence and sometimes a strong belief in something even with strong evidence against it.”
Now this comes much closer to giving us more germane and accurate insight for understanding the impetus of Romney’s long, ever-present, and persistent divergence in his positions, views, beliefs, proposals, etc., and especially his inclination for opportunism.
I must admit Romney’s performance at the recent debate was spectacular in terms of his preparedness, aggressiveness, and strategy in presenting his case. Unfortunately, it was an accomplishment gravely tainted and compromised by his duplicity, which has become his favored tactical weapon and a boding testament of his character and integrity.
What audacity it takes for him to deny that he has proposed reducing taxes for the rich when this has been the most widely criticized feature of his tax proposals (and Paul Ryan’s budget) by reputable nonpartisan think tanks and leading economists across the nation. To assert that he knows how to create jobs when Massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation when he was governor. To attack ObamaCare and promise to repeal it, when it is a prototype of his state’s Romneycare plan. To argue that he will be president for all Americans when he has demeaned 47 percent of Americans as people “who don’t pay taxes, are dependent on the government, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, and who will never be convinced that they should take personal responsibility for their lives.”
Then to boast that he has the experience and know-how to fix America’s problems when as governor his state’s unemployment rate was above the national average, the state’s long-term debt increased by 16 percent or more than $2.6 billion, and in 2007 Massachusetts had the highest level of bond debt per capital in the nation. Household income in Massachusetts stagnated while Romney was governor, funding for education was cut $277 million, deeper than anywhere else in America, while student fees increased 63 percent along with tuition increases, and business taxes went up. And while Romney often says he balanced the state budget without raising taxes, he does not mention that he raised about $750 million in revenue each year by closing tax loopholes and raising fees, according to the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
Now listen to current Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick: “Mitt Romney talks a lot about all the things he’s fixed. I can tell you that Massachusetts wasn’t one of them. He’s a fine fellow and great salesman, but as governor he was more interested in having the job than doing it.”
In the words of Montaigne: “It is not without good reason said, that he who has not a good memory should never take upon him the trade of lying.” But given that Romney is widely acknowledged to be of high intellect and obviously has a great memory as demonstrated during the debate, a more fitting reason driving Romney’s indiscretions may best rest in the words of Winston Churchill: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.”
President Obama is the best choice for a vibrant future for all Americans, with just a little GOP cooperation.
Guss Morrison is a resident of Frederick County.