It’s official. On Thursday, Aug. 30, Gov. Mitt Romney accepted the 2012 presidential nomination from the Republican Party.
Let the hilarity ensue. This is set to be the most expensive campaign in history to elect the least-qualified individual ever to run for president.
Even to the last second, I had hoped that a lone challenger would rise to dethrone Gov. Romney in Tampa, Fla. this week. Virtually anyone would have been acceptable, as long as they: 1) expressed an interest in having views on issues, and 2) were not a robot – qualifications which the current nominee may or may not fit. Even Rep. Ron Paul, with his wildly outdated yet admirably existent views on the economy, foreign policy and the role of the federal government would have sufficed. But I suppose it’s hard to win a nomination when your own party refuses to seat your delegates, as was done to the pro-Paul delegates of Maine.
Maybe I’m wrong to imply that Romney has no views. His vauge, often evasive responses in interviews simply show that he has trouble expressing them consistently in public. Perhaps a look at the “Issues” section of his website might enlighten us. Below are some highlights from the site, along with my own translation of each quote to help us understand his plans. Please note these are not overarching summary statements but core arguments for his positions on key issues.
Israel: “As president, Mitt will reject any measure that would frustrate direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.”
The plan: Mitt Romney will not prevent Israel and Palestine from talking.
Courts and the Constitution: “The judges that Mitt nominates will exhibit a genuine appreciation for the text, structure, and history of our Constitution and interpret the Constitution and the laws as they are written.”
The plan: Mitt Romney will nominate judges who will do their jobs.
Education: “States should recruit the best and brightest into the classroom and reward them for a job well done.”
The plan: Continue encouraging employers to do what they do now.
Russia: “Mitt Romney will review the implementation of the New START treaty and other decisions by the Obama administration regarding America’s nuclear posture and arms-control policies to determine whether they serve the best interests and national security of the United States.”
The plan: Mitt Romney will decide if he likes what Obama did.
My point is, Mitt Romney does not offer America a plan. Sure, he seems to imply that he is a Republican, but other than that, we have to rely for the most part on guesswork to understand what actual policy decisions will be made in his administration. Despite having a record of flip-flops that stretches to the moon, we have no record of his justification for changing sides to match.
He gives his qualifications with the same depth of information. Many tout his success as a businessman, but he refuses to talk specifically about why that makes him uniquely qualified.
What about his time as governor of Massachusetts? He won’t dare mention that. His leadership experience as CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics? Same deal. His decades of leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Silent.
Over the last four years, those with conservative leanings have thrown around the word “uncertainty.” Used in a sentence, “Obamacare creates uncertainty for small businesses.” But now the GOP establishment has presented us with an option that is arguably more uncertain.
The one man on the ticket who has clear opinions is the vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan. But the last time we had a vice president who was more powerful than his boss, we ended up with a recession and the two longest wars in American history. Thanks for the offer, but I’ve had enough.