Try though I might to avoid it, I find myself thinking about Mitt Romney. As we approach the can't-come-soon-enough end of this interminable election season, I maintain fervent hope and cautious optimism that Barack Obama will prevail on November 6th. I can't help but wonder, though, what a dreaded Romney victory would mean.
My gut tells me this would be disastrous: Romney displays little sense of the desperate need of people who depend on government services for their basic survival, and little sympathy for those who comprise this group (See: 47%). One of the major knocks on Romney, though, from Democrats and Republicans alike, is that the man stands for nothing so much as his own ambition, that he will say anything to get elected, that he has no convictions whatsoever. But if that's the case, how sure can we be that he'd be terrible?
Well, I have to have faith in something, right?
Honestly, though, I don't see why people jump all over Mittens for ostensibly "saying anything" to get elected. Why would anyone expect anything else? Presumably, Mitt Romney wants to be president. Presumably, he thinks he'd be good at it. Presumably, he considers the American presidency important. So, if all this is true, wouldn't Romney--or any serious candidate--be remiss if he DIDN'T say anything to get elected? Wouldn't that constitute some sort of political malpractice?
I have no intention of ever running for President--or for any political office. But if I ever DO run for office, I swear to you all here and now that I will, in fact, say anything to get elected. Tax cuts for the wealthy? Why not! Privatize Medicare? About time those mooching grannies learned to live within their means! You want abortion outlawed? Me too, Brother!
If I think I can do some real good in office, and if saying horrific things will help me get into office, shouldn't I--morally? ethically?--do everything legal (and perhaps some things not so legal) to get there?
When people confront Romney with accusations of blatant pandering and a willingness to say whatever he thinks people want to hear in order to to secure their votes, I would advise the candidate to look the accuser right in the eye and say, "You're gosh-darn tootin' I'm pandering." It's true, of course, that this would still leave the electorate in the dark as to what Mittens would do if elected. But such refreshing candor might put a few more undecideds in his column.