Friday, August 12, 2011

Soloman’s “Squishy Nondescript American" Series: Mitt Romney

This is not an endorsement. I do not believe I will be endorsing any specific candidate for the Republican nomination until the day I walk in the polling booth for the Republican Primary in Arizona. Of course, I reserve the right to change that position. This is my blog, and I’ll do what I want to.

Wow, I need this thing to start making me an income… but I digress.

I see things I like about each candidate, and I see things that I don’t care for quite so much. I believe I need to voice these insights and concerns to my friends and family; those who follow politics as I do and care about the future of this great nation. You may agree. You may disagree. All I ask is the same I’ve always asked of anyone who ever read anything I have ever written; open your mind to a perspective you may not have otherwise held, and offer your feedback if you so choose.

As I write this “Squishy Nondescript American" Series I will be, to the best of my ability, an independent mind looking at the field of Republican candidates who wish to be nominated for the 2012 General Election and have the opportunity to defeat President Barack Obama (notice I didn’t put the “Hussein” in there? That’s me being independent *insert laugh track*).

Here, as I feel the desire and have the time, I will put on my best “independent” suit and try to simply break down the good and the bad I see in each candidate. I do not know if I will be able to offer insight into all the candidates in the field. After all, there are now nine Republicans in the field including Rick Perry who apparently will make it official Saturday.

America has a National League baseball team (no DH, better baseball) running against one guy who loves to play basketball.

The first installment in this series is a perspective about the seemingly undesired frontrunner, Mitt Romney.

Right now Romney falls into that “Next-in-line Republican” category as far as the media is concerned. The Republican Party has a documented tradition of nominating the guy who was the “runner-up” last time. Mike Huckabee was said by many to be the early favorite this time around, but once he opted out it became clear Romney was the man to beat.

If you follow conservative media, you know it is obvious that many in “conservative” circles do not want Romney to win the nomination. My ideological side wants to agree in some cases, but my practical side keeps telling me to stop being such the ideologue and look at this thing like the average “independent.” That’s literally what prompted the decision to create the “Squishy Non-Descript American Series,” so kudos to Mitt Romney for that one. If he can inspire people to create jobs like he inspired me here, then I’ll vote for him. Again, no endorsement here.

Part of the issue that some on the political right have with Romney is that he chooses a faith they do not understand. Yet do they make the effort to learn more about him and his Faith? People living in glass houses will always throw stones, I suppose.

All I know of the Mormon Faith is good. Mormons seem to have deep family values, and their neighborhoods seem to be tightly knit communities. It seems that they practice solid conservative principles in their daily lives. They look after each other through Church and community as well as (or better than) any other denomination. Every Mormon I have ever met has been polite, well-spoken, and decent. Mormons are typically pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and obviously pro-First Amendment.

Sure, you may have had (especially if you live in the Southwest) Mormon teenagers knock at your door and ask you about your relationship with God. But if you politely (or impolitely if you’re a jerk) say “No, thank you” that person will be on their way and think nothing less of you. In some nations you’ll be executed for not following a certain “Faith” and there are groups of people dedicated to killing Americans and Israelis simply because we do not follow their “Faith.” So what’s so bad about a kid knocking at your door?

Mormons’ love of America seems abundantly clear; I know in the areas around here, every Memorial Day and 4th of July there appears on every lawn an American Flag. Go see if that kind of thing happens on the South Side of Chicago, or in Hyde Park from where our current President hails. I’m just sayin’.

I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, where we had a community parade in our subdivision on these holidays. What I see in Mormon communities reminds me tremendously of the feeling I had as a kid. Good people, love of country. The flags on the lawn may appear to be a superficial statement, but it shows me dedication to America like no other.

If you as a Christian believe that a man was conceived without a human father’s participation, then parted seas, healed the sick, turned water into wine, and ultimately died on a Cross and was reborn in order to save your soul, can’t you just open your mind a little bit to someone else having their own belief system, as long as they are not blowing us up for believing differently? I mean really. Freedom from religious persecution, and the right to practice your own beliefs; I think our founders kind of had something about it somewhere. Correct me if I am wrong, please.

What America does not need right now is this litmus test for the presidency. After all, we didn’t even have a reasonable background check done on the last guy we elected, and he was known to have hung out with (and have the political support of) people who tried to blow up police stations and Federal Buildings.

I do not follow a specific Faith, but I believe in God. My understanding of God’s wishes for us is that we do unto others as we would ask that they do unto us. So if Christians of any denomination want to be allowed to practice their belief in God freely as is protected by our First Amendment, why do they not treat Mitt Romney the same? Is there some honest issue within that particular Faith that is truly harmful to America? If so, I wish someone would bring it to the table so we can discuss it.

Unfortunately Mitt Romney also has this record of changing positions that’s kind of lingering, and it's all happened during his public life. Some say it appears he has changed his positions for political expediency.

I can not know what is in another man’s heart unless he tells me, and everything Romney has said indicates these changes were due to personal growth rather than politics. Everything I have to work with tells me that Romney's current beliefs are true and he will stand by them, and so I must believe him unless someone can prove otherwise.

What I do know is that in every instance Romney has grown more conservative. The political "right" in America should accept this graciously, yet they don't. My question is simple: why not? They say, "If you're not Liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not Conservative when you're 35, you have no brain," so in that regard at least Mitt’s headed in the right direction.

Ten years ago I had more liberal views regarding abortion than I have today, believing that it truly was about a “woman’s right to choose.” Now I recognize that to choose life first is the most important choice, and that there are other viable “choices” available. Ten years ago I didn't understand the 2nd Amendment and its importance as a foundation of our freedoms as well as I understand it today. Ten years ago I might have believed that everyone “deserved” “free health care,”’ but today I recognize that there truly is not such thing as “free” health care. What there is in politics at the national level is an effort to use the guise of “free health care” to gain votes from those who have not lifted themselves, eventually to put more tax burden on the earning class, to build government largesse.

I am personally against the idea of governmental intervention in our health care system at any level, but I must agree with Romney regarding his “States’ Rights” position. The right of State budgeting is not left to the Federal government, and therefore it is indeed the Right of each state to determine the best solution to their individual concern. This is a perfect example of where Romney’s system in Massachusetts may be undesirable but is definitely legal, and Obama’s national legislation is clearly unconstitutional.

Mitt Romney is definitely wise to the business world. He has a strong record regarding the 2002 Winter Olympics, for which he is credited for working through politically corrupt goings-on between the IOC and local Salt Lake City officials, revamping an extremely disorganized budget and chaotic situation, hiring knowledgeable people,and using that team to bring success to what looked like a disastrous situation.

Romney’s personal fortune was made through investment strategies, under the name Bain Capital. Believed to be worth between $190-390 million, his investments in Sealy (mattresses), Domino’s Pizza, Staples, and Sports Authority have proven that he is capable of putting together a team that can take a questionable economic situation and bring it to fruitful results.

Mitt Romney has a stellar education; liberal elites can not question his intelligence even by their own standards, unlike the mean-spirited attacks they throw upon George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, and others. He graduated with honors from BYU, received a Masters Degree in business from Harvard, and has a Law Degree from Harvard, where he graduated cum laude.

As I mentioned earlier this is not an endorsement. I am absolutely endorsing whatever candidate (or ham sandwich) runs against President Obama in 2012 because we can not take another four years of misguided handling of our great nation. I welcome your feedback and hope I have offered some perspective you may not have otherwise found before today.

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Pedaling said...

great start to your "squish nondescript american" series!
glad you stepped out and voiced your bold observations and practical sense, even though it went against the flow of some of those in the the "conservative" circles.
i appreciate your observations on mormons and the mormon faith.
i expect the ugly in people to come out during the campaign of romney against obama, they said they were going to kill romeny and i expect it to be bad in their game.
maybe it won't be romeny---but i'm pretty sure it will.
yes, he's the smartest guy in the room, every time and i can't wait for the debates against teleprompter-dude.
Another great post, Solomon. Keep 'em coming.

tammy said...

I agree with Pedaling, great post. I'm glad you're back to blogging.

I like what you said about Romney's changing of positions being due to personal growth rather than politics. We were just discussing that last night. I think a lot of us conservatives were more liberal when we were younger. Just the way life goes. Unless you're my 15 yr old who is an old soul and born Republican!

Thanks also for your comments about the Mormon faith.

Soloman said...

Pedaling and Tammy.. thank you both.

We already saw the Politico headline about the "ugly" that will be coming toward Romney, Perry, Bachmann... makes no difference who. Obama has a negative record and will be forced into a smear campaign.

I see what I see, and I am tired of people who hold back for ideology's sake. The tone of my writing is changing and will continue to.

I have had some insightful discussions with family & coworkers. Some of my family told me I am.. was anyway.. partisan. Haven't talked to them in the past few weeks or a month to hear if they read a different tone from me or not.

I have a coworker who is a hyper-partisan lib - every word out of his mouth is "teabagger" and Palin is "Caribou Barbie". Literally, one of those types.

It has taught me a lot about myself, and about the left, and what works in between.

Perhaps I was a bit partisan - I locked myself in a bubble for some time and heard only the "right" side of the issue, even as I listened to the "left" side on MSNBC and such.

I strongly believe conservatism is correct, but there's nothing wrong with listening to others. What I don't want to be is the "right" version of the guy I work with, and I suppose I fell into that trap for a period.

It's also good to learn from one's own growth, which is surely my situation and may be the case with Romney as well.

We shall see. I like Romney and its tough to see anyone defeating him this time.

The Vineyard said...

Great post. I believe Romney is sincere as well and I've been following him closely since 2008. When asked a question, he is the ONLY politician who gives a detailed direct answer. He has plans. He has abilities others just cannot match.

I hope you get to endorse him come next year.