Agreeing with Democratic Substance, but Not Talking Points

I thought that ABC This Week was especially good this morning.  See here for the transcript.

Ann Coulter, in my opinion, made a good point when she said that Mitt Romney in his remarks to that fundraiser was not saying that he would not care about the 47 percent who pay no federal income taxes were he to become President, but rather that he is not concerned about whether they vote for him in the election.  They’re for Obama.  In the same way that President Obama is not trying to get the tea-party vote, so Mitt Romney is not obsessing over winning those who will most likely vote for Obama.  His message of cutting income taxes will not appeal to those who pay no income taxes.

That makes sense to me.  In fact, I was thinking the same thing earlier this week.  Of course, Mitt Romney believes that his policies will help all of the United States.  But, as an election strategy, he is not worrying about the 47 percent that he believes will vote for Barack Obama.

Still, that doesn’t let Mitt Romney off the hook, in my eyes.  I found his remarks about the 47 percent to be deeply insulting and lacking in insight.  He said that the 47 percent think that they’re entitled to government handouts and that he’ll never convince them to take responsibility for their own lives.  As Romney’s critics have pointed out, this 47 percent includes a vast number of people who work, along with senior citizens.  In many cases, they pay a higher tax burden in terms of the percentage of taxes that they pay than Mitt Romney.  I cannot vote for someone who actually believes in the right-wing canard that people are economically struggling because they don’t take responsibility for their own lives.  They take a lot of responsibility for their lives, each and every day.

I had a similarly mixed reaction to what Reince Priebus of the Republican National Committee said this morning.  Priebus said that people should stop attacking Romney’s lately-released tax return, for Romney has donated a lot of money to charity.  Fair enough.  But I hated it when Priebus said the following:

“What type of America do we want for this country? Do we want the cradle-to-grave, life of Julia, Obamacare, we’ll take care of you from preschool to death America? Or do we want sort of a return to, you know, opportunity, liberty, freedom, you know, the type of America where, when I grew up here in Racine and Kenosha, Wisconsin, that, you know, my dad would point to a house as a union electrician, a nice house, and say, ‘You know what, guy? If you go to school and you work hard, you’re going to live in that house.'”

But why does it have to be either/or?  Why can’t the government helping people with healthcare coexist with people being free and having opportunities to create businesses and pursue their dreams?  People worrying about medical bills and costs doesn’t make them overly free, it seems to me.  

I don’t buy into every single Democratic talking-point.  But the Republican vision for America scares me, and that’s why I’ll be voting Democratic.  The question is, am I willing to allow Democratic characterizations of Mitt Romney to slide, even if they’re not completely fair or accurate, just because they’ll help the side I support to score votes?  I doubt that Mitt Romney is an evil man, for he has helped people, and Bain Capital did some good things—-such as saving businesses when they were struggling.  I don’t think it’s accurate to characterize Romney as cold or as evil.  And yet, I fear that he has attitudes about government and personal responsibility that would be deleterious to myself and to others were he to occupy the White House.    

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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