September 06, 2012

Does Romney think millions of Tea Party Republicans will forget this affront in two months? Or does he not think of others’ sensitivities?

During Romney’s own convention address he told the story of how struggling through poverty were the “best days” for his family. Quit doing this, Mitt. Such things only seem halcyon in retrospect. Millions of poor Americans, perhaps one-fourth out of work, are this minute worrying about overdue rent, unpaid bills, and precarious jobs. It is safe to assume that very few consider these the best days of their lives. At least they desperately hope not.

Is it any wonder a gaggle of carnies outdrew the convention in TV ratings? Love it or hate it, at least hicktown hucksterism makes folks feel something.

There are peripheral examples as well. Although ancient history is difficult to decipher (given that values change over time), the story of Mitt strapping his dog in a carrier atop his car roof fits this narrative of indifference.

Then is the time he forcibly chopped the hair of a maladjusted classmate. Hippies aren’t my favorite people either, yet to assume they need my forceful reeducation is pretentious in the extreme. Their experiences led them on their course no less than mine did along my own path. Such is empathy.

Romney’s religion may be an origin of this personal deficiency. His bride’s parents were not allowed into the Mormon temple to see their only daughter’s wedding, not being clean enough for the dowagers of Utah…or at least Mitt should have guessed that was how someone barred from their child’s ceremony might feel.

For now millions, myself included, are undecided on Romney. Obama has little relevance. Although the current president is detested from many quarters, those same people are wondering who Mitt Romney is. Does he care for us? Much as we would like to see Obama out of office, that is not enough. He must be replaced by a better candidate, a better man.

Traditional Americans face enormous challenges from such threats as unhindered immigration both legal and illegal, looming ethnic conflict aggravated by unearned privileges and preferences, and an overextended empire requiring gross overspending. Romney has yet to give any sign that he empathizes with any of these concerns.

My nights are not spent worrying over what a second Obama Administration will bring. They are preoccupied with the dangers posed by a nominee oblivious to those he attempts to influence, one who appears to believe those who disagree with him are not merely incorrect, but that we are incorrigibly stupid.

He is the sort who begins wars because he knows not of those who fight them. This is the kind who binds liberty because he feels above the laws. This is the little disdainful plutocrat who cannot satisfy our needs because he has never known want. Callous men often lead the greatest of human calamities.

Another Obama term is a likely disaster. But unless Romney finds heart”€”one of his own and that of his country”€”there is every reason to estimate his term would be much worse. We all want to feel heard, understood, and recognized. The contest this year is not between two politicians, but one of a solitary soul.

Image of Mitt Romney courtesy of Shutterstock


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