Romney: Jingoism Key To Right-Wing Support
I’m watching a replay of Mitt Romney’s June 3, 2011 speech in Manchester, New Hampshire. Romney is classic Republican plastic, but the party has moved more to the right than the party that nominated George H.W. Bush to be president in 1988. Due to his moderate reputation, governance of a liberal state, and Romneycare serving as the template for the PPACA, Romney has wrapped himself in the American flag to prove he is the nationalist’s choice for president. He likens Obama to Europeans, has said Obama has failed and made the economy worse, and used a Reagan quote to claim liberals simply do not know how to govern. In his opening remarks, Romney asserted, “I believe in America, I believe in free enterprise, I believe in capitalism, I believe in the constitution… and I believe in the greatness of America.” He continues, “this is the greatest nation in the history of the earth… there is no reason to apologize for America, we should be proud of America and hold true to the principles that made America America,” which instantly reminded me of Team America: World Police in the jingoistic redundancy that prevailed after 9/11. At least after a terrorist attack there was a collective nationalism for good reason, but Romney’s remarks are specifically directed towards the far-right hate mongers of this country.
Throughout this town hall meeting it is quite noticeable how thin a line he has to walk in order to win the favor of the energized base and maintain his general election strengths. He dismissed an abortion question regarding criminal sanctions for doctors as not being relevant to the discussion, when in fact he previously advanced that position and many on the far-right view abortion as murder (and an eye for eye is just, apparently). He slammed Obama for being European, but then claimed Americans use three times as much energy as Europeans, and that “we could do better.” It is all to clear that Romney is employing rhetoric that is incendiary, yet not true to his beliefs. The sad truth might be that if Romney governed the country like he did Massachusetts, he may be able to tame congressional Republicans and alleviate the prevailing gridlock, with some good bipartisan measures filtering through. But if he actually believes his new jargon, he has now succumbed to right-wing demagogue and a purveyor of what is broken in our political system.