An Open Letter to Mitt Romney

 

Dear Mr. Romney:

I read your opinion piece in The Washington Post under the interesting heading: “Democracy Dies in Darkness”. You called it: “The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump’s character falls short.”

You say, “A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.”

If the president shapes the character of a nation to a degree, what if that shape created confusion, division, and fueled anger under a one size fits all mantle called hope and change? You gave President Trump some credit, but do you realize the impact that his policies have had so far? Crime is actually down in Chicago for the first time? Could it be because unemployment among minorities is at the lowest its been in decades?

As President Trump entered office I think he looked for honesty and integrity, starting with our justice system and found glaring shortfalls to say the least. Do you remember Peter Strzok and Lisa Page? How about destroyed emails, bleach-bit servers and the spider web called Fusion GPS?

As President Trump entered office eight years of resentment, anger and division were already in place. Eight years of spewing out phrases like white privilege, intersectionality, being too male, and gender-neutrality. At Christmas dinner, someone mentioned neighbors who are letting their three-year-old son determine his sex. They put a dress on him and braided his hair. Three years old. Trump found a drug epidemic, a rise in teen suicides and cyber-bullying. Where was the promised hope and change?

You state: “Several allies in Europe are experiencing political upheaval. Several former Soviet satellite states are rethinking their commitment to democracy. Some Asian nations, such as the Philippines lean increasingly toward China, which advances to rival our economy and our military. The alternative to U.S. world leadership offered by China and Russia is autocratic, corrupt and brutal.”

When Trump entered office he found an already emboldened Russia and China, who had plenty of time to make gains politically, financially, and militarily as the last administration stepped into the background on foreign policy. During that time, a group called ISIS formed and tore human life to shreds. They were called the JV team of terror. The Middle East was on fire.

You also said: “Our leaders must defend our vital institutions despite their inevitable failings: a free press, the rule of law, strong churches, and responsible corporations and unions.”

When Trump entered office a free press gave token amounts of time to the silencing of free speech on campuses across the country, the harassment of Christians and churches across the world, the increase of Antisemitism, the spiraling of the healthcare industry under The Affordable Care Act, and instead focused on picking apart the new administration even before their new pencils needed re-sharpened. There was nothing this administration could do right.

When Trump entered office the European populist movement was already well underway. Trump didn’t create the Paris we are seeing on the news. Europe was glad to have America pay most of their defense tab, so they didn’t have to think about it. They were stunned for a few days while Russia sailed its military might through the English Channel onto the Middle East, then went back to letting America worry about it.

I lived in Massachusetts when you were governor. I was a newly minted Republican and voted for you. I also voted for you in 2012 as president. That was six years ago. It feels like sixteen. What has happened to our country and the world in a short amount of time is nothing short of shocking. Your opinion piece sounds like a campaign speech that might have worked back then, when you ran for president. Back then you also knew better. Obama once told you the cold war was over and the 1980s wanted its foreign policy back. You were right and he was wrong. His foreign policy, and lack of leadership on many other fronts is why we have a Donald Trump for president. Review this segment through the lens of where we are today – only six years later.

With all due respect, if this opinion piece is a presidential campaign launch, I won’t be voting for you again. If you can do great things as a senator, bold things, and call out with clarity, for truth and justice on behalf of the American people, like Tre Gowdy and others have done, then you will inspire hope, and be doing what the people in your state have elected you to do. I believe you are a good man. Good luck, Senator Romney.

There are 90 comments.

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  1. Rodin Member

    Mr. Romney, I want my 2012 campaign contributions back. You sniffed around a Secretary of State appointment from this President. If you want to primary Trump why waste your time in the Senate? Are any Utahns wondering about their vote? 

    • #1
    • January 2, 2019, at 7:48 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Jules PA Member

    Front Seat Cat: With all due respect, if this opinion piece is a presidential campaign launch, I won’t be voting for you again. If you can do great things as a senator, bold things, and call out with clarity, for truth and justice on behalf of the American people, like Tre Gowdy and others have done, then you will inspire hope, and be doing what the people in your state have elected you to do. I believe you are a good man. Good luck Senator Romney.

    Ditto from me. 

    • #2
    • January 2, 2019, at 7:53 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. philo Member

    Front Seat Cat: I read your thirteen paragraph opinion piece in The Washington Post…

    Fixed it for you…because that seems to be an important fact. I really enjoyed your twelve paragraph reply.

    • #3
    • January 2, 2019, at 7:57 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive

    You seem to be excusing the problems Romney writes of because there were also problems before Trump took office. How about addressing what Romney said?

    • #4
    • January 2, 2019, at 8:26 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Percival Thatcher

    Front Seat Cat: “The president shapes the public character of the nation … “

    Codswallop.

     

    • #5
    • January 2, 2019, at 8:58 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Randal H Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat: “The president shapes the public character of the nation … “

    Codswallop.

    Agreed. This is downright monarchical thinking. Should he be the head of the state church as well? This is much closer to British conservatism than the American version.

    The president presides over the executive branch of the federal government – much closer to a CEO than a king or religious figure. I have no idea if the CEO of the company I work for is a nice guy or not. In fact, I don’t care as long as he does a good job keeping the company moving forward. I feel the same about the chief of the executive branch.

    • #6
    • January 2, 2019, at 9:16 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. Pete EE Member

    Romney’s loss in 2008 was a crime because he was such a perfect man for the time. 

    Romney’s loss in 2012 was a shame because the other guy was so bad.

    Romney’s sitting out 2016 was for the better.

    • #7
    • January 2, 2019, at 10:35 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat Post author

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    You seem to be excusing the problems Romney writes of because there were also problems before Trump took office. How about addressing what Romney said?

    No excuses – especially since Republicans had the House and Senate and sat on their hands while a radically progressive agenda took over. Romney seems to see things as they used to be – is he not aware that he’s too white, too rich, too religious and too male to be president?

    • #8
    • January 3, 2019, at 5:50 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Hang On Member

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    You seem to be excusing the problems Romney writes of because there were also problems before Trump took office. How about addressing what Romney said?

    Why? What Romney said about Trump’s character is a sham argument. It was a sham argument that conservatives tried to use against Clinton. It’s a sham that some are trying to use against Trump.

    At heart is a disagreement about policy with conservatives trying to use character as a cudgel against Trump. Trump – fortunately – disagrees with conservative orthodoxy about a number of issues, e.g., trade, foreign policy, immigration, national sovereignty, nationalism. You never Trumpers accuse him of not being a conservative. The argument doesn’t wash, so you turn to character. It is having the same effect. 

    You must be very frustrated. Good.

    • #9
    • January 3, 2019, at 5:52 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    No excuses – especially since Republicans had the House and Senate and sat on their hands while a radically progressive agenda took over. Romney seems to see things as they used to be – is he not aware that he’s too white, too rich, too religious and too male to be president?

    What radically progressive agenda are you referring to? Obama accomplished nothing after GOP took control of Congress.

    Is Trump less white, rich, or male than Romney?

    • #10
    • January 3, 2019, at 6:08 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Why? What Romney said about Trump’s character is a sham argument. It was a sham argument that conservatives tried to use against Clinton. It’s a sham that some are trying to use against Trump.

    At heart is a disagreement about policy with conservatives trying to use character as a cudgel against Trump. Trump – fortunately – disagrees with conservative orthodoxy about a number of issues, e.g., trade, foreign policy, immigration, national sovereignty, nationalism. You never Trumpers accuse him of not being a conservative. The argument doesn’t wash, so you turn to character. It is having the same effect. 

    Are you arguing Trump and Clinton are actually men of good character or that character doesn’t matter?

    Doesn’t disagreement with conservative orthodoxy mean Trump isn’t, in fact, conservative? If so, how is it that argument doesn’t wash?

    • #11
    • January 3, 2019, at 6:11 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. Hang On Member

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Why? What Romney said about Trump’s character is a sham argument. It was a sham argument that conservatives tried to use against Clinton. It’s a sham that some are trying to use against Trump.

    At heart is a disagreement about policy with conservatives trying to use character as a cudgel against Trump. Trump – fortunately – disagrees with conservative orthodoxy about a number of issues, e.g., trade, foreign policy, immigration, national sovereignty, nationalism. You never Trumpers accuse him of not being a conservative. The argument doesn’t wash, so you turn to character. It is having the same effect.

    Are you arguing Trump and Clinton are actually men of good character or that character doesn’t matter?

    Doesn’t disagreement with conservative orthodoxy mean Trump isn’t, in fact, conservative? If so, how is it that argument doesn’t wash?

    That character is not as important as you claim it is.

    Nonsense (as usual). When the orthodoxy doesn’t work – either in terms of results or of the electoral appeal – it is time to look for something else. Trump is doing that. The orthodox conservative position is stuck in amber for a time that no longer exists. The Cold War is over. The circumstances of the Cold War are being renegotiated something orthodox conservatives don’t get. Trump does. So he isn’t an orthodox conservative. Doesn’t mean he isn’t conservative defining a new orthodoxy. 

    • #12
    • January 3, 2019, at 6:16 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive

    Hang On (View Comment):

    That character is not as important as you claim it is.

    Nonsense (as usual). When the orthodoxy doesn’t work – either in terms of results or of the electoral appeal – it is time to look for something else. Trump is doing that. The orthodox conservative position is stuck in amber for a time that no longer exists. The Cold War is over. The circumstances of the Cold War are being renegotiated something orthodox conservatives don’t get. Trump does. So he isn’t an orthodox conservative. Doesn’t mean he isn’t conservative defining a new orthodoxy. 

    Character is important to me, and I believe it should be to others. You are simply begging the question.

    You seem not to understand conservatism if you believe it is about abandoning time tested principles on a whim of experimentation. That is progressivism.

     

    • #13
    • January 3, 2019, at 6:21 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Hang On Member

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):
    You seem not to understand conservatism if you believe it is about abandoning time tested principles on a whim of experimentation. That is progressivism.

    So keep spending trillions and killing American service members in war to spread democracy to people who hate us – that is something to cling to for you never Trumpers. Rejecting this and the failure you have wrought is hardly a whim.

    • #14
    • January 3, 2019, at 6:37 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  15. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive

    Hang On (View Comment):
    So keep spending trillions and killing American service members in war to spread democracy to people who hate us – that is something to cling to for you never Trumpers. Rejecting this and the failure you have wrought is hardly a whim.

    Spending what is necessary, in dollars and lives, to keep the American people safe. How is what you advocate different than what led to 9/11?

    • #15
    • January 3, 2019, at 6:39 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. MarciN Member

    I think what Romney may be referring to, given the context, by the word “character” is self-control, meaning not flying off the handle in conversations. If Mattis, Kelly, and Tillerson went to Romney to say that it is difficult to work with Trump because he cuts off discussions, that would concern Romney. An executive with Trump’s blustery personality can be very difficult to work with. It can create problems of its own. For example, underlings will take the attitude, “That’s what he said he wants. I’m not going to argue with him and tell him the building’s on fire.”

    • #16
    • January 3, 2019, at 8:07 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Jager Member

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I think what Romney may be referring to, given the context, by the word “character” is self-control, meaning not flying off the handle in conversations. If Mattis, Kelly, and Tillerson went to Romney to say that it is difficult to work with Trump because he cuts off discussions, that would concern Romney. An executive with Trump’s blustery personality can be very difficult to work with. It can create problems of its own. For example, underlings will take the attitude, “That’s what he said he wants. I’m not going to argue with him and tell him the building’s on fire.”

    That is not the impression that Lindsey Graham has. He says Trump is a good listener and interested in different perspectives unless he thinks you are out to get him. Thus making Mitts Op-ed a bad idea. Going after Trump like this (just because, not based on some new breaking issue) shows Trump that Romney is not someone he needs to listen to. This is a human thing, not just a Trump thing. I help you get elected and before your first day on the job you attack me, why do I care what you think?

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/01/02/graham-attacks-mitt-romney-anti-trump/

     

    • #17
    • January 3, 2019, at 8:17 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  18. PHCheese Member

    FSC, Mitt doesn’t deserve “with all due respect”. He is lost in the swamp.

    • #18
    • January 3, 2019, at 8:44 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  19. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat Post author

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    No excuses – especially since Republicans had the House and Senate and sat on their hands while a radically progressive agenda took over. Romney seems to see things as they used to be – is he not aware that he’s too white, too rich, too religious and too male to be president?

    What radically progressive agenda are you referring to? Obama accomplished nothing after GOP took control of Congress.

    Is Trump less white, rich, or male than Romney?

    The radically progressive agenda that’s been in place and Hillary was carrying forward.

    • #19
    • January 3, 2019, at 8:47 AM PDT
    • Like
  20. Hang On Member

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    So keep spending trillions and killing American service members in war to spread democracy to people who hate us – that is something to cling to for you never Trumpers. Rejecting this and the failure you have wrought is hardly a whim.

    Spending what is necessary, in dollars and lives, to keep the American people safe. How is what you advocate different than what led to 9/11?

    What led to 9/11 was stupid immigration policy – Saudi travel agents could issue American visas! – and placing ourselves in the middle of civil wars in which we had zero national interest. We have a clueless elite – including Republicans – so wedded to multiculturalism and political correctness that they endanger American lives by importing terrorists and terrorism from Islamic countries. They at the same time stir the pot by intruding into other people’s civil wars. It all started with Somalia back under GHW Bush and the idea of intervening where we had no interest because of so-called humanitarian reasons. That turned out really well and these clueless idiots keep doing the same thing over and over again. But to do anything different would of course be a bad idea because it is time-tested failure.

    • #20
    • January 3, 2019, at 8:51 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  21. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    The radically progressive agenda that’s been in place and Hillary was carrying forward.

    That really doesn’t help. What specific aspects of this radically progressive agenda were put in place while the GOP controlled Congress sat on its hands?

    • #21
    • January 3, 2019, at 8:52 AM PDT
    • Like
  22. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat Post author

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    That character is not as important as you claim it is.

    Nonsense (as usual). When the orthodoxy doesn’t work – either in terms of results or of the electoral appeal – it is time to look for something else. Trump is doing that. The orthodox conservative position is stuck in amber for a time that no longer exists. The Cold War is over. The circumstances of the Cold War are being renegotiated something orthodox conservatives don’t get. Trump does. So he isn’t an orthodox conservative. Doesn’t mean he isn’t conservative defining a new orthodoxy.

    Character is important to me, and I believe it should be to others. You are simply begging the question. You seem not to understand conservatism if you believe it is about abandoning time tested principles on a whim of experimentation. That is progressivism.

    I agree with you Klaatu, that character is important or should be, and it takes a lot of character to buck a system that’s been failing, not because time-tested principles are no longer relevant, but because they have been abandoned. Trying to restore them or even communicate them in today’s culture is an uphill battle that we may not win. Trump seems to try something, and if it doesn’t work, he tries a different way. Do you agree he is at least trying to restore our time test principles, even in un-orthodox ways?

    • #22
    • January 3, 2019, at 8:53 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive

    Hang On (View Comment):
    What led to 9/11 was stupid immigration policy – Saudi travel agents could issue American visas! – and placing ourselves in the middle of civil wars in which we had zero national interest. We have a clueless elite – including Republicans – so wedded to multiculturalism and political correctness that they endanger American lives by importing terrorists and terrorism from Islamic countries. They at the same time stir the pot by intruding into other people’s civil wars. It all started with Somalia back under GHW Bush and the idea of intervening where we had no interest because of so-called humanitarian reasons. That turned out really well and these clueless idiots keep doing the same thing over and over again. But to do anything different would of course be a bad idea because it is time-tested failure.

    What civil war are you referring to?

    Is there evidence any of the hijackers would have been denied entry had their visa gone through normal channels?

    Are you really arguing we are better off with a failed state In Somalia?

    • #23
    • January 3, 2019, at 8:58 AM PDT
    • Like
  24. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Thank you Mitt for speaking truth to power.

    Thank you James Madison for six year terms for Senators.

    • #24
    • January 3, 2019, at 9:20 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Jager Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Thank you Mitt for speaking truth to power.

    Thank you James Madison for six year terms for Senators.

    Is saying the same thing everyone else in the media has been saying for 3 years really speaking truth to power?

    How about the moral courage of asking for and receiving and endorsement from Trump on multiple occasions and then turning around and “speaking this truth?”

    I guess I have an old fashion view of the job of our elected officials. Mitt Romney was not elected to air his personal grievances. He was elected to represent the interests of the people of Utah. He needlessly made his job harder. There was nothing new here, nor any new issue that would need him to speak out. He did this out of self interest not the interest of the people he is supposed to represent. 

    • #25
    • January 3, 2019, at 9:33 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  26. PHenry Member

    I agree with Instapundit:

    • #26
    • January 3, 2019, at 9:54 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  27. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    What I look for most in a President is that he (or she) win the election. 

    • #27
    • January 3, 2019, at 10:19 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  28. Henry Racette Contributor

    I broadly agree with Senator Romney’s piece, but think it was petty and irresponsible of him to write it.

    I’ll second @klaatu‘s comment (#4) that it’s a weak defense of President Trump to point out that the last guy was worse — though of course he was. In fact, there’s little defense for the President’s character flaws, mismanagement, and occasional lapses into bad policy.

    On the other hand, I’ll take exception with my friend @garyrobbins‘s comment (#24) that this bit of counter-productive grandstanding on Senator Romney’s part was somehow a good move. I am a Republican, and I want the Republican party to both thrive and find its footing. I don’t want just one or the other of those, I want both: a better party out of power doesn’t serve my interests well, nor does a significantly worse party with control of both houses.

    As a past Republican presidential candidate, Senator Romney has the status of statesman within the party. Unfortunately, he chose to compromise the leverage and effectiveness his status conferred on him by staking out a position conspicuously critical to Trump — and doing it on platforms that are routinely hostile to the de facto leader of the Republican party. We all think we know who President Trump is, and nothing Senator Romney tells us is going to change our opinions — nor change Trump. He chose division over statesmanlike reserve, and so risks becoming just another Republican critic of our sometimes problematic President.

    What’s diminished is the voice of a Republican of integrity, self-restraint, and serious bona fides. What is gained is yet another scold using the one technique that is pretty much certain not to encourage President Trump toward better behavior. I trust Senator Romney will vote with my party and be a responsible and honest Senator. Alas, I no longer expect him to be a force for unity within the party. That’s unfortunate.

     

     

    • #28
    • January 3, 2019, at 11:11 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  29. Roderic Fabian Coolidge

    Front Seat Cat: “The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump’s character falls short.”

    It’s only natural that people want a kind, benevolent, parental figure to look up to in a President. It’s natural, but it’s also a piece of narcissistic nonsense. 

    The fact is that the President is not our father, not our confessor, not our priest, not our ethics advisor, not our beer buddy. He’s this guy who we hired to enact policy we like, to run the executive branch.

    We often have had decent men and women vie for the office, but then look what is done with them. 

    Perhaps it’s only the kind of low life, conceited, devious, lying, cunning all round S.o.a.B. who is tough enough to win and crazy enough to try for the office any more.

    In any case, as I recall, we only had the two choices in the general election, not counting throwing our votes away or not voting.

    • #29
    • January 3, 2019, at 11:31 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  30. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat Post author

    Is it possible that Trump blew up the road so that the Republican party can be re-created or something new can be created from it? The old no longer worked. Charting new courses is difficult. But is it an opportunity to something better? At the very least, we have Americans enthusiastic to be Americans again so I disagree with Romney’s gloomy headline – look at the greeting the military gave Trump in Iraq.

    What can we pass along to the new generations? Better opportunities – for employment, less regulation, judges who will stick to the law as written, safer borders, getting other countries more involved in their own safety, tearing up outdated trade laws for starters?

    The moral lessons to be passed along, character issues – are they better taught within families, at the community level, within a faith-based structure and are they more easily taught when families have employment, a safe place to live? We saw it here after the devastating Hurricane Michael – government can’t provide it and is very slow to provide what it can.

    • #30
    • January 3, 2019, at 11:40 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
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