Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mitt Romney, A Conservative By Name Only?

Harper's magazine this month has a provocative article named "Making Mitt Romney: How To Sell A Fake Conservative" by Ken Silverstein. Whatever you think about the magazine or the author, I think you'd find the article interesting. It focuses on Mitt Romney's reliance on consultants to trump up his reputation among social conservatives. It shows Mitt Romney for what he is, probably more of a opportunist than a real social conservative. And it makes some pretty astute points regarding how Romney is perceived by conservatives in South Carolina.

Phoniness is a real problem in modern politics, especially in the major parties. Why would one vote for a conservative who is really a liberal just trying to get votes, or a liberal who is really a conservative trying to get votes? At least vote for the genuine thing! This article further supports my conclusion that, were I American, I could not in good faith support any Republican candidate besides Ron Paul.

Here are a few excerpts from the article:

"In 2002, a Democratic opposition-research specialist named Jason Stanford was hired by a pro-choice group to research a number of Republican candidates nationwide. In the end the group decided Romney was too liberal to oppose. 'He wasn't pure on choice, but they thought he was saying the right thing from a liberal Democratic perspective'"

"A related problem is the sense that whatever his political convictions may be, he's not passionate about them. "

"Some voters, understandably, question what Romney truly stands for, if anything. Conservatives in particular seem unconvinced of his sincerity, and that could be fatal in a state like South Carolina."

"Its a question of trust...He says all the right things, his speeches run through the litmus test on conservative issues, but there's no conviction behind it." (a quote from the article by a conservative politician regarding Romney)

I sure hope the libertarian wing of the Republican party gains more prominence in the future, because the candidates being offered by the Republican mainstream seem to be getting worse and worse.

I personally think that the "religious right" in America often gets duped by smooth talking "conservatives" who know how to speak the right lingo and appeal to the right issues. But time and time again, they are disappointed by posers who were just wooing their votes. Unfortunately much of evangelical Christianity (and I include myself in that category, though politically I don't necessarily like the "right winger" label, I'm a libertarian) has abandoned the use of the mind, and a symptom of that is the inability to detect posers through the use of critical thinking.

I think the situation could be greatly improved if Christians constituents of various areas started using their minds in a more agile manner and realized that things aren't always as they appear on the surface, and that campaign promises and image doesn't make a good candidate, or even an honest candidate. Appeals to "family values", and believe me as a Christian I am all for "family values", have often been the basis of much political deception. A "friend" in need (of your vote), isn't necessarily a friend indeed.

At least look for a long term, consistent track record of a politician sticking to his principles. And that is something Mitt Romney certainly doesn't have.

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Blogger Luke said...

Ron Paul 2008!

11:13 AM  

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