Reclaiming Fairness and Restoring the Promise of America

With President Barack Obama unable to run on a record of economic growth, he has staked his reelection on the issue of economic fairness. Since Obama’s speech in Osawatomie, Kansas late last year, the media has let the President define fairness based on equality of outcomes (or rather, incomes) instead of equality of opportunity.

Tonight, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney took the first step toward reclaiming the word “fairness.” Look at this excerpt from his remarks as prepared for delivery in New Hampshire:

I see an America with a growing middle class, with rising standards of living. I see children even more successful than their parents – some successful even beyond their wildest dreams – and others congratulating them for their achievement, not attacking them for it.

This America is fundamentally fair. We will stop the unfairness of urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice; we will stop the unfairness of politicians giving taxpayer money to their friends’ businesses; we will stop the unfairness of requiring union workers to contribute to politicians not of their choosing; we will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve; and we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next.

  1. Instugator
    Clare Day: Commenting afterwards on CNN Paul Begala said that it was a misstep for Romney to use the word “fair” so often in this speech because “fairness” is a theme that belongs to Democrats. Confirmation of a direct hit – Romney will cede no ground. · 6 hours ago

    Amen, and I am thankful for it.

    Mitt got game.

  2. Jonathan Horn
    C

    Clare Day, thanks for sharing this, and well said. There is no reason for Romney to let Democrats define the meaning of fairness. He should make this part of his stump speech.

    Clare Day: Commenting afterwards on CNN Paul Begala said that it was a misstep for Romney to use the word “fair” so often in this speech because “fairness” is a theme that belongs to Democrats. Confirmation of a direct hit – Romney will cede no ground. · 6 hours ago

  3. KC Mulville

    Do they really want to have word association games?

    If “fair” must be associated with Democrats (where does one go to register such associations?), then so too is any and every stereotype we can stick on them. So let’s associate them with “union thuggery,” “abortion,” “soft on defense,” “free love,” “KKK,” and anything else we can tag them with.

    At the same time, let the Republicans own “profit,” “freedom,” “defense,” and every other stereotype.

    Yes, of course, such stereotyping is false and … well let’s just say it … unfair … but if the Democrat Party and the media want to play that game in that way, they have only themselves to blame.

    This is nothing more than politics-by-name-calling. Good grief.

  4. Scott R

    Romney will politely deliver devastating zinger after devastating zinger to Obama’s tropes throughout the summer and most dramatically in the debates this fall. Can’t wait to see the polls inch in Romney’s direction and watch the corresponding confusion, exasperation, and anger in the Administration and its proxies.

  5. DocJay

    I just read this to my wife and her comment was “Awesome”. A great start.

  6. Mel Foil

    There’s no way for an outside party to be “fair” in distributing success.

    There are thousands of stories about immigrants (to America) who in secret, in the wee hours of the morning, studied their craft, studied their profession, to have that extra bit of knowledge that would single them out when their chance came. Only the market–the market for their skills–knows, or cares, what extra effort they put into being “lucky” on that day.

    Nobody from the outside knows enough about an individual to judge their path to success. Only the market can do that, and only the market should do that. People should succeed because they’re good, even if they had some advantage. The history of success in America is that it sometimes takes two or three generations to flower. There’s nothing wrong with that. It just makes it all that much sweeter when it does happen.

  7. Rodin

    Why is it that we are to celebrate diversity and then all be stuck with same outcome?

  8. J. D. Fitzpatrick

    It’s always good to draw from the classics. 

    “I see Barsad, and Cly, Defarge, The Vengeance, the Juryman, the Judge, long ranks of the new oppressors who have risen on the destruction of the old, perishing by this retributive instrument, before it shall cease out of its present use. I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out.” 

    “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done.”

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Of course, Carton “thinks” this just before getting the axe.  

  9. katievs
    Scott Reusser: Romney will politely deliver devastating zinger after devastating zinger to Obama’s tropes throughout the summer and most dramatically in the debates this fall. Can’t wait to see the polls inch in Romney’s direction and watch the corresponding confusion, exasperation, and anger in the Administration and its proxies. · 55 minutes ago

    Dittoes, Scott.  This was a brilliant rhetorical tack on team Romeny’s part.

  10. flownover

    Love the point about workers getting better pay than those they serve. The drumbeat unfairness could be good, if continually applied.Sounds like a good start to me. Read it on Ricochet, will it be on the front page of NYT in the morning , above the fold ?(now there’s a non-internet term!)

  11. James Of England

    I always loved a line by Sven Littorin, one-time employment minister in Sweden. He was asked what kind of fairness he was most proud about in Sweden, and he responded that he was proud that they’d never had a minimum wage; the government did not discriminate against those who were unable to be more productive than some arbitrary figure.

  12. maureen dirienzo

    Ask those Moms, which guy would you rather your daughter marry? Obama or Romney?

  13. Clare Day

    Commenting afterwards on CNN Paul Begala said that it was a misstep for Romney to use the word “fair” so often in this speech because “fairness” is a theme that belongs to Democrats. Confirmation of a direct hit – Romney will cede no ground.

  14. Richard Stewart

    Well, thanks be to God that Paul Begala was annoyed. Now, if we can just get the rest of the country even more irritated with the present administration…