The Sad Thing About Romney

The sad thing about the upcoming presidential election is that Mitt Romney is losing — for the wrong reasons.

Basically, Romney is so far losing because Obama supporters have been successful at painting him as a “rich guy who’s out of touch with the average American.”

I don’t understand this reasoning at all. I don’t understand it because it implies that somebody like Barack Obama IS in touch with the “average person.”

The average person has to work for a living. Even more well off people generally have to work to maintain what they have. With wealth (which Obama defines as merely making $200,000 a year) usually comes more responsibility for your business, your employees, your overhead, and so forth.

How can Obama relate to any of this? He’s a professor of Constitutional law who landed a job in the White House because his party wanted someone of a different race from the usual one. He would never have been the nominee had this not been the case. And he won against the usual hapless campaign of the Republican at a time when the economy was literally collapsing and Republicans were given all the blame.

None of this sounds like the plight or the triumph of the average American. Nor even the typical rise of a President.

One could argue that Mitt Romney is not the average American, either. He’s quite wealthy. But he had to take risky and intelligent action to gain that wealth. It never could have happened without these two things. It was not given to him, and he did not gain it because of his race, hair color or eye color. He did it despite all the factors in a government-hampered economy (regulations, political pull of some but not others, high taxes) that make job and profit creation even harder than they should be.

You don’t have to consider Mitt Romney an ideal candidate. I certainly don’t. I would prefer a candidate who actually believes in individual rights and laissez-faire capitalism. These things cannot be achieved overnight, but I’d prefer a candidate with the credibility to say he wants these things. Or, at a minimum, I’d prefer a Ronald Reagan who would talk about getting government off the backs of the people, cutting taxes and regulations across the board — on principle — and who would have a specific plan for at least partially accomplishing this. Romney offers only a muddled and technocratic version of Reaganism, and this sort of thing almost never sells.

Still, I cannot understand how someone would fail as a presidential candidate precisely because of his success. Is this what America is coming to? Can we no longer elect someone who’s “too” rich, “too” successful? Note that nobody, not even the Obama supporters, have tried to make a claim that Romney gained his millions dishonestly. Their only criticism of him is that he makes “too much” money and he has not paid “enough” in taxes. How much is enough in taxes? No answer is given — because it’s never enough.

Romeny still has an opportunity to defend himself for the right reasons. He could center his campaign on the view that there’s nothing shameful or immoral about making a lot of money and succeeding in a capitalist (or more precisely, semi-capitalist) society. If he’s a “crony socialist” and got his millions through pull rather than market forces — like a “green” or other politically sponsored business — then there would be cause for shame. But we have no evidence of this with Romney, and in fact his business created thousands of jobs and tons of valuable products for people.

People who succeed in business deserve to be President. When contrasted with someone like Obama, who does nothing but trash economic success and accomplishment every chance he gets (in word and practice), there’s no contest.

It saddens me to live in a society where most apparently no longer agree.


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