Carlyle Fielding Stewart III

Writings on Democracy, Social Justice, and Religion

What Mitt Romney Should Do Now

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I have learned through many years of dealing with people to avoid the overgeneralizations and broad brushing tendencies that lump all persons of a particular group into one negative type. There are always exceptions to the rule that defy categorically the labels that we place on persons and groups. This can be said of today’s Republican Party.

The Tea Party members who now have political currency do not represent all Republicans. When we speak of  Republicans we talk as though they all share the same ideological views . We paste them all together because we have not seen or heard many dissenting voices from the predominant views of the Tea partiers. The more moderate voices of the Republican Party appear all but muted and seem to defer to those more strident voices; those who shout the loudest and fight the hardest even if it means driving our nation off a moral and financial cliff into the deep abyss . This “I got mine and you ain’t never, ever, going to get yours,” philosophy in the Kabooke Theater of American power politics has us all scratching our heads about why other Repubican voices of reason are not rising to the fore.

Mitt Romney is a case in point. In a party whose recent political tactics have included swiftboating the opposition, attacking opponents on their strengths and making those strengths  weaknesses, and a wide variety of other political gambits, Mitt Romney’s seemingly mild mannered, tepid approach seems to convey a voice of moderation. It also appears that as we approach the Iowa caucuses that some of the same devices used against democrat opponents are being leveled at him by members of his own party.

For example, Romney has been said to be a flip flopper; a political chameleon whose true shades and stripes are not genuinely known; that he is really more moderate than conservative; that nobody really knows where he stands on issues nor does he really know where he really stands on his own issues. Much of this criticism is directed at Romney because the extreme right wing elements of the party view him as a threat to their power. Their political mantra of gridlock and stalemate has created a leglislative inertia that makes us the laughing stock of the world. While Mitt is less noisy and does not shout at the top of his voice like the Tea partiers, he knows exactly where he stands on the issues. The problem is that he is not pandering to those extremist factions that have taken over the Republican party which have caused our current political descent into maelstrom or will he?

Accordingly, Romney Care in Massachussetts is roundly criticized as the precursor to Obama Care. Romney, like his democrat opponents in the past, is being attacked on his “strengths” and it would seem to me that such a voice of moderation or “openness” to other points of view and other forms of logic or illogic, is precisely what the Republicans now need to tone things down and get the party back to being more sane and plain, more mainstream than “engulfed stream.”

We must also understand that his quiet political demeanor masks a ferocity that understands the dyamics of the golden rule: he who has the gold makes the rules. Mitt is a shrewd politician, a one percenter whose economic interests predisposes him to protecting the rule of  the oligarchs and the financial elite on Wall Street if he ever gets into the White House. But Mitt should use those “strengths” and capitalize on them to bring the Republican party out of its current identity crisis and back into a serious dialogue with the Democrats so that both parties can covenant to seriously restore America. This is precisely what the Republican party needs and this is exactly what makes Mitt a more palatable candidate appealing to a wider swath of the American political electorate which will make him a more competitive opponent to Obama in the 2012 elections. The Democrats know this. The Republicans know this but cannot denounce  the Tea Party radicals that are running their party into the ground and turning Congress into a Bleak House.

The American people have been worn out and disillusioned by the extremism and partisan “looney quack” of American political discourse. They are tired of the cry baby politics and the “I am going to take my bongos and go home if you don’t play by my music” mindset that characterizes so much of much of the Tea Party Republicans.

What we need are voices of moderation in both parties that will help this nation get back on track with business enterprise, jobs, justice and prosperity for all and leaders who believe that “there is no crime in compromise and that you can have your ideological fences but still reach political consensus.”  What we need is a more middle of the road approach to the American political process but one that also understands in the words of Will Rogers that you can get run over in the middle of the road if you just sit there.

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