I don’t like Mitt Romney.
I never have and I probably never will.
You see, politicians like Mitt Romney have a history of screwing over movement conservatives.
You know the type.
Lincoln Chafee. Arlen Specter. Charlie Crist.
You might say, “No way! Romney’s more conservative than those guys!”
Is he really? What gives you that impression? Is it because he’s telling you what you want to hear right now, when he needs your vote?
Well, if Romney gets elected, which Romney will be President?
Romney 1.0: The left-of-center Republican who was adamantly pro-choice and wasn’t a fan of Reagan or the Contract with America during his run at Ted Kennedy’s seat?
Romney 2.0: The moderate, center-right governor of Massachusetts who left after one term because he would have lost if he ran again in 2006?
Romney 3.0: The fire breathing “conservative alternative” to John McCain who pretended like he was the reincarnation of Reagan?
Romney 4.0: The guy who’s running now, who believes whatever you believe, no matter what you believe?
Well, I don’t much care for him either and for about the same reasons.
The thing that I am afraid of is that the 2012 election will be a repeat of the 1996 election. Going into that election, we had an unpopular Democratic President. The Democrats had received a shellacking in the mid-term elections and lost control of Congress for the first time in over 40 years. It seemed likely that Bill Clinton would be a one-term President. And then the Republicans nominated Bob Dole.
As soon as Bob Dole gained the nomination, I knew that Clinton would win. Dole simply didn’t inspire the Republican base. He had made too many compromises with the Democrats and didn’t really seem to believe in anything.
I know that the Republicans have some advantages they didn’t enjoy back in 1996. Back then, the Internet was still in its infancy and new media hardly existed at all. There was no equivalent to the Tea Party movement. Obama isn’t nearly as good a politician as Clinton was and unlike Clinton, he seems to have no interest in triangulating or trying to portray himself as a moderate. In fact, if his recent actions are any indication, it seems that Obama will try to win re-election by energizing his base rather than reach out to independents. Still, I think that if Mitt Romney is the nominee a lot of Republicans will vote for him, just to defeat Obama, but they won’t like it. They won’t like spending the next 4-8 years defending Romney as he tries to govern in the center and betrays Conservative principles.
And also, in these tough times, the last thing America needs is a president without any firm guiding principles, someone who wants to be all things to all people. We need someone who is willing to make the tough decisions and stick by them. I don’t think that is Romney.
I think we can do better than Mitt Romney. I don’t just want to vote against Obama. I want to vote for someone.