Newt Gingrich was mistaken when he referred to Mitt Romney as “a Massachusetts moderate.” The author of “Romneycare” is a Massachusetts liberal.
Regularly, I hear from my fellow Ron Paul supporters (as well as many others) that Romney and Obama, Republican and Democrat, are for all practical purposes indistinguishable. These same people inform me that under no conceivable circumstances will they ever again vote for “the lesser of two evils.”
While the impulse underwriting these sentiments is understandable enough, it nevertheless reflects a refusal to recognize that this isn’t the next “American idol” for which we are about vote in November.
To put it bluntly: anyone who is interested in arresting “the fundamental transformation” of America that President Obama set in motion four years ago has no other real option but to vote for the liberal from Massachusetts.
The objection, launched not just by Paul supporters, but some others on the right, that this election is a wash because the difference between Romney and Obama is one without a distinction is easily met.
First of all, it simply isn’t true to say that there is no difference between the two candidates: a liberal Republican is not a hard leftist like Obama.
Secondly, let’s just suppose for argument’s sake that this is true, that the policies of Obama are interchangeable with those of Romney.
From the perspective of those of us who share none of Obama’s enthusiasm to fundamentally transform our country, Romney would still be preferable to Obama.
There is one crucial reason for this that, to my knowledge, no one has touched upon:
No country lives by policy alone.
Invariably, those on the right who equate Romney with Obama do so by concentrating exclusively on the policy prescriptions of the two candidates. This approach, though, is as narrow in focus as it is politically immature.
Above all else, Americans at least claim to value liberty. But the liberty to which we have grown attached isn’t some abstract universal concept. It is a concrete, particular way of life that is determined at least as much by extra-political or cultural considerations as the legislation—the policies—for which politicians advocate.
What this means is that things being what they are, our liberty is threatened as much by the environment that allows Barack Obama to advance his leftist agenda as by his leftist agenda itself.
It is an axiom to the lover of liberty that the greater the concentration of power, the greater the threat to the object of his affections. Now, the President of the United States of America is among the most powerful people on the planet. As such, he must be vulnerable to every conceivable kind of criticism, whether fair or entirely baseless.
However, because Obama is widely heralded as our “first black” president, a “world-historical” figure of sorts, he has been inoculated to a significant extent from the same type of treatment to which past presidents have been subjected.
To put it starkly, because Obama is the first black president, legions of mostly white Americans are reluctant to express their true feelings about him for fear of being considered a “racist.” And those Americans, from Republican politicians to working class folk, who are openly critical of the President almost always take exceptional care to speak only to his policies, or to reassure us that, as a person, they find Obama to be just dandy.
Yet it isn’t just that Obama is black. A black conservative or Republican would have a much tougher go at the presidency than Obama could ever dream of having.
What is far more relevant is that Obama is a black leftist, a black Democrat.
This is more relevant because, sadly, the vast majority of those who have traditionally served the invaluable social function of checking abuses of power—the media, popular artists (like comedians and actors), and academics—share Obama’s ideology.
But this isn’t the only incentive that they have to aid and abet his program to fundamentally transform America. Obama’s readiness to play the race card has succeeded in rendering “the watchdogs” no less fearful than the majority of their compatriots of being charged with the “r” word.
If, though, Romney is elected, his standing as the Republican Party’s titular head alone will suffice to relieve the press and others of the fears that currently inhibit full throated objections to Obama.
Again, the President of the United States must be vulnerable to all sorts of criticisms, from the most intelligent in nature to the most satirical and unjust.
Furthermore, the conservative base of his party will be sure to forever keep the pressure upon Romney to at least think twice about indulging whatever liberal proclivities happen to possess him at any given moment. In contrast, Obama’s left-wing constituents, coupled with the fact that he will never again face another election, make it all too easy for him to plow full steam ahead with his robust socialist agenda.
So, even if Romney wanted to do exactly what Obama wants to do, it would still make better sense for right-leaning dissidents to vote for Romney.
In other words, the lover of liberty who wants to halt the fundamental transformation of his beloved homeland must see to it that the Massachusetts liberal wins.