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Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, February 3, 2012.
The fight between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich has gotten nasty and many Republicans are worried about it. Not me.
I’m glad to get the things the Democrats are going to hurl at the nominee out in the open as early as possible. Gingrich has been hammered about his marriages. Romney has been taken to task about his taxes and about his tenure at Bain Capital. Gingrich — and Rick Perry before he dropped out — often sounded like Democrats as they attacked Romney.
Good for them. Let’s just get it all out on the table now and frame the debate. Let’s be prepared for the demagoguery of the Democrats.
If it’s to be Romney as the nominee, let’s use the balance of the primary season to allow Gingrich, Santorum and Paul to serve the role that the practice squad serves on a football team. Let’s watch the opponents game films, defend against their offense. Let’s mix it up in the primary and get prepared for the Big Game — the general election. Mixing our sports metaphors, let’s think of this primary season as spring training.
The fact is, the country’s current circumstances render things like marital indiscretion and populist envy of wealth less relevant than in more sanguine times. I believe that a higher percentage of the electorate than the pundits give credit believe this to be the case.
Which for me means that so long as Romney didn’t steal the money, I don’t care how he got rich. I don’t care what Newt Gingrich said to his wife about their relationship or how their sex life played out.
I, like millions of voters, care about the fact that the country is in deep trouble and that President Obama, if left in place, will likely make it so much worse and to render the situation hopeless.
I care about the fact that the treasury cannot issue a check for $100 without first borrowing $40.
I care about the fact that so many people now rely on the government to get by that soon there will be too few self-reliant and economically productive citizens to maintain even the illusion of economic freedom and opportunity.
Related to the dependency problem is the unsustainability of the entitlement state. So many politicians of all stripes have footballed this issue that entitlements now threaten to bankrupt the country. I care about the fact that if the next president doesn’t deal with this problem he very likely will have squandered the very last chance to do so.
I care about the fact that because entitlements suck up all available resources the administration is now proposing huge cuts to the defense budget in what will prove to be a vain effort to use the money saved on defense to prop the entitlement state up just a bit longer. The world didn’t suddenly become less dangerous and less chaotic. History has shown time and again that the best way to get in a war is to be unprepared for one.
In this election, I care about nothing except getting back to Jeffersonian principles before it’s too late. In my perfect world, Romney would stand up and quote John W. Davis, a lifelong Democrat and former Solicitor General of the United States. He said,
” I believe in the Constitution of the United States; I believe in the division of powers that it makes. I believe in the right of private property, the sanctity and binding power of contracts; the duty of self-help. I am opposed to confiscatory taxation, wasteful expenditure, socialized industry, and a planned economy controlled and directed by government functionaries. I believe these things to be inimical to human liberty and destructive of American ideals.”
Except for the fact that a shocking number of college graduates don’t know what the word “inimical” means, given the actual experience of three years under Obama, John Davis’s way of thinking is exactly what people want to hear in this campaign.
Let’s get good at saying it.