Friday, December 30, 2011

Mitt Romney Whole-Hearted Endorsement for President in 2012

--Richard E. Vatz

The Republican Favorite-of-the-Month Club (not to be confused with late heavyweight champion Joe Louis' "Bum-of-the-Month Club" at the end of the 1930s and the beginning of the 1940s) persists with the current spotlight on former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. He was preceded by major paroxysms of support for Rick Perry (is this the season for "Ricks"? I am ready to serve), Newt Gingrich, and some even say, per the Iowa caucuses, Ron Paul. When the hyperactive but uninformed Republican electorate becomes informed that these rising stars have policy and/or electoral feet of clay, it goes on to the newest unvetted rising star.

But it's time to get serious. The Republican Whack-a-Mole game must end.

There are but two main issues respecting which candidate should be the Republican nominee for president to replace the rhetorically gifted but policy judgment-challenged President Barack Obama: who is most competent and who has the best chance to win. This perspective is simply an iteration and application of the late William F. Buckley's perspicacious, pithy criterion of the need to choose the best electable conservative.

Mitt Romney is that individual and earns this writer's endorsement for the Republican nomination for president. (This is not a Red Maryland endorsement, only one of their blogger's.)

Romney is the most substantively prepared Republican candidate. As evidenced by the series of candidate debates, he understands that the Democratic "Entitlement Presidency" is the road to devastating economic Europeanism. He knows that pitting Americans against one another is the blueprint for creating insoluble national problems. His business background gives a shot-in-the-arm of economic expertise now missing in the presidency.

He abjures the passive acceptance of the Obama Administration toward Iran's nuclear weapon acquisition program. He knows that when you introduce troops into foreign territory for critical national interest and/or moral reasons that the announcing of a premature "exit strategy" is a guarantor of long-term failure.

Have I hesitations regarding supporting Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination? Yes, there are no perfect candidates. Romney's health care program in Massachusetts and changes of position cause some concern, but his changes appear to be either reasonable or concessions he found necessary to be elected as Massachusetts' governor. Even unquestionably conservative Ann Coulter supports Mitt Romney’s candidacy.

There will always be naïve single-issue voters or those allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good who will carp about any excellent candidate's imperfection. Tell me historically any consensually great president who had no significant weakness. President Abraham Lincoln suspended the right to writs of habeas corpus. FDR tried to pack the Supreme Court. The divorced Ronald Reagan brought problems for his first term candidacy, and his quitting Lebanon and poor presidential debate performance in 1984 brought head-shaking to that election cycle. There are no exceptions to the "Imperfect Presidential Candidate Rule."

Count this as one bottom-line, enthusiastic statement of support for Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential candidate. As another imperfect Republican principal used to say, "Experience Counts," and, adding his substantive superiority, Mitt Romney, per the Buckley admonition, is clearly the best electable conservative for president in 2012.

Professor Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University and is author of the new book The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012)


William Paca said...

Dr. Vatz, as a blue collar guy, who just fixes air conditioners for a living, there is no way I can match your rhetorical skills. We are simply not in the same ballpark.

But I am a conservative that will never vote for Mitt Romney. Mitt is someone who will support endless wars, reinforce the U.S. being the policeman of the world, support the endless printing of worthless money by the Federal Reserve, and endorse the continual taking away of our civil liberties by statutes such as the Patriot Act. In countless hours listening to Mitt he seldom mentions the Constitution and I am still waiting to hear what departments of this blotted government he will abolish. Maybe you can tell my world view has been influenced by Ron Smith.

I would suggest reading the Republican platform of 1936, 75 years ago, and see what true conservatism once meant. The platform answers many of the same challenges, in terms of economics, world view, attacks on civil liberties, etc., that we face today, as they battled a statist by the name of Roosevelt. The vast majority of that platform could have been written by Ron Paul.

The biggest lie in politics is that you “must vote for the lesser of two evils”. But there are millions this election who will no longer tow this party line. I will continue to work locally to rebuild the Republican Party to the ideals it once stood for in the tradition of Robert Taft and the Platform of 1936, when the Constitution was still relevant.

Vatz said...

Mr. Paca, you write a pretty compelling argument for one self-described as lacking in "rhetorical skills."

I believe that you severely exaggerate Romney's penchant for war and anti-Constitutionalism, but for those of the type of conservatism you represent, all I can say is that President Obama is so much more antithetical to your policy preferences, that electing the "best electable conservative" (which you call the "lesser of two evils") is far closer to your preferences and rejecting that will ensure Obama's re-election.

Cordially (in honor of Buckley's famous closure),

Richard E. Vatz

William Paca said...

Doctor Vatz, thank you for your reply. You stated “you write a pretty compelling argument for one self-described as lacking in "rhetorical skills." That was most kind on your part. While lacking the professional training you possess, combined with your lifetime in your field of teaching the skills of rhetoric, I am able with my occupation to be alone on the roofs of some mall or strip shopping center for many hours a day, thus able to collect my thoughts and form a world view.

Good Doctor, you stated in your response “I believe that you severely exaggerate Romney's penchant for war and anti-Constitutionalism”. Well I decided to go straight to the source and ascertain if my views are correct.

A visit to Mitt’s campaign website “ISSUES” page, could find not one mention of some of the premier constitutional and civil liberty issues of our day. These include the Patriot Act, the TSA, and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). One of the most controversial aspects of the NDAA is authorization for indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without any protection afforded by the Bill of Rights. Evidently Mr. Romney is perfectly fine with these agencies and acts, and their implementation in their current form, for Mitt does not see these issues as important enough to be addressed by his national campaign.

Yes “the type of conservatism” I represent has grave concerns about our disappearing rights and liberties. As stated by Benjamin Franklin in February 1775, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety”. It is truly alarming that one is hard pressed to find any mention of the Constitution in the many issues listed on the Romney website. I found only one instance of it under foreign policy and no mention anywhere of the Bill of Rights. My search did not curb my fears that Romney will not be a protector of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights which are so under attack.

A candidate who obtains the office of President of the United States does not take an oath to implement his own ideas, but he does “solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

It is sad that a candidate can run for the office of President and never even relate to the electorate what it means to him to protect and defend the “Constitution” of this country. In this regard, evidently Mr. Romney has much in common with Mr. Obama, and thus does not deserve my vote.