A Letter to Mitt Romney

 

Dear Gov. Romney,

If unsolicited advice were money, I’m sure your campaign coffers would have a mountain of cash high enough to perch a flag on top.  But perhaps you’ll indulge me briefly, because while I suspect you have advisors who are paid well to tell you what people like me think, I’ll let you in on it for free.   

You see, I’m not a Republican, though I write for a right-thinking website.  No sir, I slipped away from the Republican Party even as it slipped away from it’s Constitutional foundation, expanding in the process the entitlement state and the government’s reach into our lives.  A career non-commissioned officer, I retired from active duty in 2003 and went straightaway to an 18 wheeler, so I’m about as “blue collar” as it gets, and so “down to earth” that I’m practically under ground.  I’ve dined with generals and lived in foxholes.  Currently residing in the blissful quiet of an 18 wheeler sleeper, it is my privilege to travel this great country and meet a variety of people every day, so perhaps my perspective will prove useful to you. 

Though I wasn’t a supporter of yours early on, I’ve come to understand that you and I share the same goal; the advancement of human freedom and the repudiation of the historically disreputable idea that a small group of masterminds in Washington DC have the right to lead the citizenry by the nose and dictate to them the terms of their own existence.  

We must make common cause, you and I, for the situation is dire.  We live at a moment in history when government at all levels feels entitled to push people around in ways large and small.  Just last week, that walking fountain of incoherence and moral confusion, Nancy Pelosi, said that Obamacare, with its mandates and taxes, its new agencies and IRS enforcement, its death panels and its trespasses on the First Amendment, is a “right!”  Think about that for just a moment, please.  In her world, we have a Constitutional “right” to involuntary governmental control over the most personal aspects of our lives and our faith,…indeed, we have a “right” to submit to government control over life and death itself.  The audacious madness of the idea is breathtaking, and if you listen carefully you can hear the Founding Fathers spinning at about 1,500 rpm in their graves.  

That this kind of dumbfounding ignorance could reach the highest levels of a representative republic is disconcerting enough.  But the fact that it couldn’t have happened without the enabling confusion of a nominal opposition in the Republican Party is truly cause for alarm.  As Bill Buckley wrote many years ago: 

What was once a healthy American pragmatism has deteriorated into a wayward relativism. It is one thing to make the allowances to reality that reality imposes, to take advantage of the current when the current moves in your direction, while riding at anchor at ebb tide. But it is something else to run before political or historical impulses merely because fractious winds begin to blow, and to dismiss resistance as foolish, or as perverse idealism.

There is reason for cautious optimism however, and as Exhibit A, I offer last week’s wildly unsuccessful recall effort in Wisconsin.  After careful political and fiscal analysis, Governor Walker determined the best strategic points upon which to press the conservative alternative, and advanced boldly.  His strategy of drawing a clear line demarcating the opposing visions of limited and unlimited government proved successful. He didn’t back down.  As a result, Wisconsin continues its recovery, jobs are being created, and people who are now free of the shackles of compulsory union membership are exercising their “right to choose” something other than union thuggery.  

The point surely is that when the differences between the parties are not muddied, and the people have a clear choice, they will do what they did in 1980, 1994 and 2010, what they did in Wisconsin, and what they stand poised to do in 2012.  I hear it where I travel.  I listen to it over the counter at truck stops across the country and on the CB.  People are paying attention.  This isn’t 1964, when the mischief of the Great Society was carried aloft on the refreshing breeze of innovation and exuberance.  Almost 50 years and trillions of dollars later, the results are in.  We stand on the verge of national bankruptcy, we see that omnipotent government didn’t solve society’s ills as evidenced by the fact that the utopians still clamor for more,…more power to the state, more confiscation of private property, and more subservience to the masterminds who have sold us a bill of goods and have spent money not yet earned by people not yet born, and we have had quite enough. 

Last weekend, while recovering from a surgery, I watched Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.  Enthralled with the pageantry of the event, and drawn to the Queen’s personal story of challenge and triumph, I nevertheless felt somewhat congratulatory over the fact that our country was founded as a direct repudiation of the rule of monarchy.  My pride was wounded, however, when I surveyed the Sunday talk shows and realized that in America, we’ve substituted the Divine Right of Kings with the Divine Right of Asses, there being little that is divine and much that is asinine with the course upon which our country is charging at full throttle. 

The hour is late, minor course corrections are not enough, and a blithe acceptance of the terms of debate as dictated by our opponents will undermine liberty itself.  We must put the left on notice that the relationship of citizen to government will be fundamentally restored to its constitutional roots.  They’ve had generations to prove their point, and they’ve succeeded in practically ruining the country.  It’s time they learn that from truckers to businessmen, we do not exist merely as gatherers of money for the state to redistribute according to the egalitarian fantasies of politicians.  They must be challenged, from the root assumptions of their questions to the misrepresentations and errors of their dogma.  

And what then?  When they stand agog, and murmur that the Republican Party is, “the party of no,” we should answer that we do indeed say no to the idea that an unaccountable and unelected board of directors may sit in judgement over the health and wellbeing of every American; we say no to the continuing de-industrialization of our country under the Obama Administration; we say no to the idiotic refusal to fully exploit our own energy resources in favor of mandating tiny cars that won’t survive a crash but will insure at least an economic trip to the morgue; we say no to his czars and no to his unconstitutional appointments; we say no to goons with clubs intimidating voters with the tacit approval of the Attorney General; we say no to the suicidal notion of crippling our armed forces; and we say no to the horrific lunacy of the idea that our rights are bequeathed by the state.  And in so doing, we say a resounding Yes to the concept of individual liberty and sovereignty.  We say yes to excellence, yes to the accumulated wisdom of the ages which affirms the very basic premise that no man should be deprived of his life, liberty, or property through force or fraud and without due process of law.  And that law is the Constitution, which provides the framework for the implementation of the ideals found in our Declaration of Independence.  

If the left doesn’t understand all that,…so what?  The people whose votes you will need understand it.  They’ve voiced their understanding repeatedly from town hall meetings, to TEA Party rallies, to voting booths from Massachusetts to California.  To use the popular parlance, these people will “have your back,” Governor, so long as they know you’ve got theirs as well.  

In 1952, Bill Buckley wrote: 

American people are engaged in two wars—the one against Russian imperialism, the other against government paternalism. Only history will tell whether Joseph Stalin or Franklin Roosevelt will have wrought greater damage to individual freedom in the United States.

We’ve got one last shot at getting this right and, if we pull it off, we will be able to read Buckley’s question with a knowing smile, confident that in the end, the exceptional  American spirit defeated tyranny, both abroad and at home.  

There are 44 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @CobaltBlue

    Holy smokes, that was good. Thanks for writing. 

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    @DaveL

    Amen!

    • #2
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    @Skarv

    What a perfect start of the week. Thank you Sir.

    • #3
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    @LarryKoler

    Thanks, Dave. Nicely said. Regarding the Republican party, though, it’s the only horse even possible to ride for what you want. I know it hasn’t been going in our direction but it is steerable — whereas the Dem’s horse is not. 

    • #4
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    @Pseudodionysius

    Dave,

    If I were in the Romney inner circle, I’d tell him that he has a dinner date at a truck stop coming up very, very soon. Well played, sir. That’s the letter of an officer and a gentleman. 

    Its an  honor to know you.

    • #5
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    @LarryKoler

    James of England: Please get a grip. At this point in the election, Romney is mostly talk. I appreciate your research but I have a little trouble with your spin on him. 

    Why on earth would Romney rule Jeremiah Wright out? This smacks of McCain’s naivete. He needn’t have said anything but he decided to cave to the liberals insistence that he put a little daylight between himself and the people wanting to highlight Obama’s anti-Americanism and his Marxism. I don’t blame Romney for not wanting to deal directly with this stuff but he shouldn’t appear to be such a coward on these very relevant details in the lack of vetting for Obama.

    • #6
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    @MatthewGilley

    I say Governor Romney needs to sit down with Dave over a bowl of cheesy grits so Dave can calibrate Mitt’s compass.  If we’re lucky, Dave will soon be piloting the Romney campaign bus so he can yank the emergency brake when he hears the team getting soft.

    • #7
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    @JimmyCarter

    With absolute all due respect:

    “Governor Romney, if You seek peace, if You seek prosperity for the United States and the world, if You seek liberalization, come here to this capitol.

    “Governor Romney, remind this capitol.

    “Governor Romney, tear down this bureaucracy.”

    • #8
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    @BrentB67

    Great Post! This election isn’t going to be won with a subtle shade of gray or anybody but Obama strategy.Big problems – and we have them – require courageous positions.

    • #9
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    @EThompson

    In 1952, Bill Buckley wrote: American people are engaged in two wars—the one against Russian imperialism, the other against government paternalism.

    I would only add that the inimitable WFB failed to mention the war against capitalism and the free market, the very war that Obama and his ‘progressives’ are waging against the country today.

    Mitt Romney has an impressive track record of fighting successfully against overrregulation and irresponsible spending- see: Salt Lake and Bain & Co- and should be highlighting, magnifying, emphasizing, and boasting about his fiscal acumen and accomplishments.

    “Now is the time for all great men to come to the aid …”

    • #10
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    @Gretchen

    Dave, words fail me, but that’s okay because you have said it all. Thank you.

    • #11
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    @

    Wonderful post, Dave.  I hope the Romney people hear about it because you have the voice he needs to listen to.

    • #12
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    @RonSelander

    Superb!!

    • #13
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    @DaveCarter
    Matthew Gilley: I say Governor Romney needs to sit down with Dave over a bowl of cheesy grits so Dave can calibrate Mitt’s compass.  If we’re lucky, Dave will soon be piloting the Romney campaign bus so he can yank the emergency brake when he hears the team getting soft. · 1 hour ago

    Did someone mention cheesy grits?  

    • #14
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    @Instugator
    Larry Koler:Why on earth would Romney rule Jeremiah Wright out?

    Larry, JW was relevant in 2008 because we didn’t know who Pres. Obama was then.

    We know now. He is a member of the Socialist New party. He surrounds himself with Communists (Van Jones), Marxist wannabes (Anita Dunn) and race baiters (Eric Holder).

    He doesn’t have a son, but if he did he would look like Trayvon Martin and you can’t expect justice in Mr Obama’s America if you don’t look like the son he never had.

    He likes to slip his cronies lots and lots of public money (Solyndra, GM & Chrysler Bailouts)  – borrowed from your unaborted great-grandchildren ($6T and rising).

    He thinks the private sector is doing fine; eyeing it like the greedy couple sized up the goose who lays (oops… laid) golden eggs.

    Compared to this, JW is small potatos (or is that potatoes)?

    Face it, we have more material than we can possibly use between now and November and wasting electrons on the Trinity United Church of Christ and its Pastor emeritous is beyond foolish.

    Let’s give President Obama a lifelong vacation (after all, he’s earned it.)

    • #15
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    @Ansonia

    Fantastic post.

    • #16
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    @RedRules

    Well said! Let’s help keep the Tea Party primed and motivated!

    • #17
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    @LennyAnalias

    Wonderful post!  May I dare say, you have a wonerful gift for expression – a gift from God.

    • #18
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    @DaveCarter
    Lenny Analias: Wonderful post!  May I dare say, you have a wonerful gift for expression – a gift from God. · 2 minutes ago

    You’re very kind, as are the other commenters to this post.  Thank you, though I prefer to think of it as a simple embodiment of the American spirit itself.  We weren’t born with rings in our noses, and there’s no reason to acquiesce to their installation now.  

    • #19
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    @DaveCarter
    Dave Carter  … We weren’t born with rings in our noses, and there’s no reason to acquiesce to their installation now.   · 0 minutes ago

    With apologies, of course, to those who sport enough piercings on their nose and face to look like they were attacked by a hardware store. 

    • #20
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    @donaldtodd

    Dave,

    Don’t know that we ever met, but we might have hot bunked the same foxhole.  I too am a former Republican who those fools took for granted.   Before that I was once even a Democrat who those fools took for granted.

    Perhaps we can find the money to ship Pelosi off to her own planet, along with her cadre of supporters?  Then they can invent their own constitution without American hindrance.

    See you at the polls.

    dt

    • #21
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    @JamesOfEngland
    Larry Koler: James of England: Please get a grip. At this point in the election, Romney is mostly talk. I appreciate your research but I have a little trouble with your spin on him. 

    Why on earthwould Romney rule Jeremiah Wright out? This smacks of McCain’s naivete. He needn’t have said anything but he decided to cave to the liberals……. I don’t blame Romney for not wanting to deal directly with this stuff but he shouldn’t appear to be such a coward on these very relevant details in the lack of vetting for Obama. ·

    I think that this is a category error. If the “Big Problems” Brent was saying the country faced were Jeremiah Wright, then we’d be talking about the same thing. My understanding, though, is that Brent meant that the country faced substantive problems, and regarding substantive problems, none of those elections had more radical manifestos than this one does. Go, read the linked manifestos.

    Plus, you’re smart enough to see why Romney doesn’t want to legitimize “religion” attacks. With Mormonism remaining one of his key vulnerabilities in several swing states, unlike McCain this is a losing issue for him.

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    @Rapporteur

    {applause}

    Well said, sir.

    • #23
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    @JamesOfEngland
    BrentB67: Great Post! This election isn’t going to be won with a subtle shade of gray or anybody but Obama strategy.Big problems – and we have them – require courageous positions. ·

    Solutions of the size promoted in the 1980 election, as above?

    In 1980, Reagan campaigned on “cutting waste”. Romney is doing that in a pretty big way, and has the strongest record of doing so of any Presidential candidate in history (Reagan had an absolutely terrible fiscal record as governor).

    Reagan promised to increase defense spending, as Romney is, and by similar proportions, and both emphasize the need for a robust policy support for America’s military efforts. Reagan wanted better integration with Mexico and Canada as part of an anti-Soviet “North American Accord” that looks moderately similar to Romney’s anti-China/ North Korea “Reagan Economic Zone”

    Like Romney, Reagan focused heavily on the free expression of religion in the face of unprecedented governmental intrusion against it, although unlike Romney Reagan was not specific about the policy implications. Like Reagan, Romney is campaigning for energy deregulation, although Romney lacks Reagan’s conservation support.

    The big difference is Romney’s focus on spending v. Reagan’s tax focus.

    • #24
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    @JamesOfEngland

    To compare the 1994 election is difficult, as that was a Congressional election, and mostly focused on Congress (term limits, committee chairs, that sort of thing). There were also demands for Constitutional Amendments that were never going to pass.

    On the comparable issues, the Contract did support increased criminal sentences, which has also been a long term campaign for Romney, both in his Senate run and as Governor, but which Romney has not talked about much this cycle (possibly because he’s satisfied with the reforms passed).

    There were corporate tax cuts, tort reform, regulatory reform, and promises to slash agencies, all of which feature prominently in the Jobs Document, and increased parental control in education, which is in Romney’s education document.

    There’s welfare reform, but the only changes to other entitlements are expansions to social security and new tax credits for raising children, elderly dependents, and suchlike. Mitt, by comparison, proposes reforms that significantly reduce costs for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, HUD programs, and others.

    He also proposes anti-labor reforms to reduce union influence on politics, supports the social conservative stuff that the Contract avoided, has plans to expand free trade, and has other policy reforms.

    • #25
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    @LarryKoler

    Wright is the bull’s eye in the many categories. Right in the middle of the real problems. But it takes a brave man to weigh in here.

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    @KCMulville

    I love that part about Pelosi: we have a “right” to have government make decisions for us.  Um, that’s exactly what a right isn’t.

    I second Pseud (although as I write this, his like count stands at nine, which means I’m only 10th-ing him): “That’s the letter of an officer and a gentleman. Its an  honor to know you.”

    • #27
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    @barbaralydick
    Dave Carter

    Dave Carter  … We weren’t born with rings in our noses, and there’s no reason to acquiesce to their installation now.   · 0 minutes ago

    Indeed. 

    That and a word from noted historian Richard Brookhiser about  freedom: Adopted as the motto for our new system of government and the hopes of our country, the committee responsible for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of America’s independence chose the words of Richard Rumbold, an English Puritan executed for a Restoration plot.  On the scaffold he said he could “never believe that Providence had sent a few men into the world ready, booted, and spurred to ride, and millions already saddled and bridled to be ridden.”

    • #28
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    @JamesOfEngland

    The final comparator in Dave’s post is the 2010 election. In that election, again a Congressional election, the most radical elements ran on the “Contract from America” (most of those running ran on more moderate platforms, but I’ll treat the CfA as the platform).

    That had ten points. Points one and nine were Congressional rules, with one failing and nine effectively passing. Point 4 is a frankly dumb idea that the tax code should be no longer than the Constitution (this would mean that essentially the whole of the tax code was bureaucrat written regulation, which would mean that Presidents could enact fundamental tax reform at a whim, and not all Presidents will be conservatives). Point 6 is a gimmicky way to limit spending, of a kind that has consistently failed to work in the past. 

    All other points are Romney policy. In addition to this, Romney supports wide ranging entitlement and discretionary spending cuts, and the things mentioned in my first two comments.

    It could be said that the 2010 election was about the Pledge to America, not the CfA, but the Pledge is much more Romney-like than the CfA.

    • #29
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    @DaveCarter
    KC Mulville: I love that part about Pelosi: we have a “right” to have government make decisions for us.  …

    Yes, under that kind of thinking, the Gulag must have been the freest place on earth.  

    • #30

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