Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention illuminated the Republicans’ cynical, subversive strategy for recapturing the White House.
On the day President Obama was inaugurated, a group of key Republican leaders gathered in Washington to create a battle plan for his defeat. They would block every initiative he proposed, obstruct every effort to revive the nation’s economy, filibuster every piece of beneficial legislation. In other words, they would do everything in their power to slow the country’s recovery from the catastrophic economic collapse their policies had precipitated.
Then they would use the misery they caused to portray America’s first black president as an abject failure.
Romney’s speech did just that. After he had revealed his warm, fuzzy side (apparently he had loving parents and loves his wife and kids), the Republican presidential hopeful chided Barack Obama as inadequate and suggested that those of us who voted for the president in 2008 would surely want to give up on him now.
It was time. Romney said, to put a real American in charge. A real American wouldn’t have “apologized” to the world for his country’s historical bullying. A real American would pick fights with Iran and Russia and China, and build such a mighty army that no one would dare to challenge the authority of “the greatest nation in history.”
As Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio claimed in introducing Romney, only in this country could parents build a better future for their children. That was the way it was when his physically disabled grandfather taught him about freedom and baseball (what, no apple pie?). But with this not-real American in the White House, America had lost its “exceptionalism” and is in danger of becoming like other countries. According to Rubio, other countries should aspire to be like America – America shouldn’t aspire to be like other countries.
This deluded world view was enhanced by the convention’s story-book quality. In their America, fathers are universally hard working, self-sacrificing and strong, mothers are devoted and nurturing, and children are full of ambition, gratefully accepting their parents’ sacrifices as they climb the ladder of success. An Al Jolson song from my childhood came to mind, “What I couldn’t be, little pal, I want you to be little pal…”
But with that not-real American in the White House, grim reality had set in. Poverty stalked the land. The poor got poorer. The government had robbed the people of their future, borrowing huge sums of money for wasteful projects and a bloated bureaucracy. Health care was foisted upon these freedom-loving folks against their will. Entrepreneurship was under attack. And millions were unemployed.
Give a real American the reins, Romney promised, and – among other amazing feats – he would create 12 million jobs.
How? He didn’t say. But I imagine one way would be ending the Republican strategy of obstruction and subversion.
Furthermore, America’s former glory would be achieved through the will of God, presumably because He loves Republicans.
The hypocrisy was breathtaking, the implications insulting.
It would be a great irony for voters to reward Republicans for inflicting stagnation and misery on America.
And it would be a great injustice.
I lift up my eyes to the Heavens for if ever there was a time for Divine Intervention, this is it.