By Jordan Chariton for US Daily Review.
Ever been in the lucky situation where your opponent gets wrongly penalized, leading you to victory? Maybe your boss screamed at the co-worker you are jousting with for a promotion over a costly mistake that was really the space cadet down the hall’s doing? The office is rocking at your promotion party, and part of you feels bad because victory came cheap, but winning is winning right?
I don’t have the childhood home videos of Mitt Romney, but one can only imagine his lucky breaks: as the son of an automobile executive and then Governor of Michigan. This is not a criticism, as we are all born into rather than choose our families, but it is safe to say Romney had early privileges that helped lead to his success in life. It is with these advantages, Mr. Romney learned from a young age to take advantage of situations that might benefit you, regardless of context or extenuating circumstances.
It is that core philosophy that explains the presidential candidate we see today, from day
one waging an all-out assault focused on President Obama, with his Republican primary opponents merely a footnote.
Although plenty of false claims have come from the likes of Santorum, Gingrich, Perry,
and the rest of this year’s GOP circus, it is Romney who introduced us to the notion of the “Obama Economy.” Throughout the campaign, Romney has been pinning individual American’s hardships on President Obama. He does this instinctively indifferent to whether his statements are based on facts or data. If there is an audience out there, who vote based on anger and fear, instead of reality, Romney has given them his trademark grin and handshake.
You see, when Romney echoes the line calling President Obama a nice guy who’s “in over his head,” he knows he is throwing out tag lines. When he consistently evokes the “Obama economy,” alleging President Obama inherited a bad economy and made it worse, he is deliberately lying. This isn’t about relitigating the past, or placing blame solely on George Bush’s doorstep while blindly defending the President. No, that is for the ideologues. Smart businessman like Romney, who have made a fortune based on intellect and taking data based action, are aware of economic reality. Romney knows recessions that teeter scarily close to depressions, like that of 2008, take years if not a decade to recover from. He knows President’s, who come into office during or after these economic downturns begin, don’t have magic powers to quickly bring a country back from the economic abyss.
History has shown us that the economy is cyclical, going up and down based on:
consumer demand, peace or war, the tax code, changing technologies, and global competition, etc. There are plenty of economists who could delve deeper into this, but here is the simple truth for the everyday person: when a nation narrowly avoids a 1930’s like depression and falls into a deep recession, hard times will settle in for most Americans. Millions will suffer, as they lose their jobs, homes, or ability to get a bank loan to pursue their version of the American dream. At the time of this recession, a President might come into power from either political party, but he or she does not have the influence to improve or harm the economy quite like Mitt Romney would lead you to believe.
For conservatives, who argue against this as they gaze at their bedside Ronald
Reagan portrait, they are living in a right wing fantasyland. The reality is the economic
recovery of the 1980’s had little to do with giant tax cuts, or union busting, and a whole lot more to do with lowering inflation. Mind you, with this recovery, came the biggest spike in national debt ever (debt tripled under Reagan), as well as the beginning stage of today’s much talked about income equality gap, where the top one percent has seen its income grow two hundred seventy five percent over thirty years, while the bottom ninety nine has either stayed stagnant or grown slightly.
In fairness, for you Clinton lovers out there, the economic boom of the 90’s had less to do with tax hikes on the wealthy, and a whole lot more to do with the gift President Clinton received–the Internet. To Clinton’s credit, a large part of the first ever-balanced budget featured wise executive decisions: not spending trillions on unnecessary wars, tax cuts, and new entitlement programs.
These truths might not be appealing to Democrats or Republicans, who now more than ever, fight like politics is a death match, but are important for everyday American’s looking to make an informed decision when they enter the voting booth.
You will never hear anything like this from Mitt Romney; it would be too inconvenient and hurtful to his narrative. More importantly, you won’t hear him admit that although a large part of the country still hurts, progress is being made. At the time of Barack Obama’s inauguration, the country was losing 700,000 jobs per month. Fast-forward three years and there has been twenty-four straight months of private sector job growth. In three years, there have been over three million new jobs created, mostly in the private sector. Is this pace enough to forecast jobs for all of the thirteen plus million Americans out of work? No it is not. With that said, is it factual for a candidate to constantly allege a President has made the situation worse, based on that data?
Of course not.
If there was a candidate running who gave credit to President Obama for taking actions that avoided a depression, and modestly bringing back jobs, but argued that they could improve the economy faster, should you consider them? Absolutely.
Unfortunately, there is no candidate out there making that argument; it is based in fact, and we have gotten to a point in today’s political conversation, where facts are put on a lower pedestal than theatre. You can thank cable news and lobbyists for that.
Is Mitt Romney the only politician to criticize for campaigning fast and loose with the facts? No, he is not. With that said, for better or worse, he has been the inconsistently consistent Republican frontrunner this year, and thus has the spotlight on him more than anyone else. His criticisms of President Obama have been egregious, substance-less, inaccurate, and not worthy of a serious leader and thinker. There are ways to challenge an enemy by highlighting the advantages and improvement you represent over them, while not lying about their record or effectiveness.
Mitt Romney chose not to take the path of campaign higher ground, and it is the main reason he will lose in November. When the debates come, and he finds himself one on one with President Obama, the truth shall set the country free. Not just the truth about President Obama’s record, but the fact that Mitt Romney has twisted it around like a pretzel–for his own benefit.
Independent voters, who decide Presidents, will see it and vote not necessarily for President Obama, but against a man willing to lie, fib, or cheat his way into the Oval Office.
And when the months and years following his defeat pass, Romney will be left with one dark realization.
He could have been President if he embraced his own merits and ability; rather than hoping the referee would hand him victory by calling a cheap foul on his opponent.
Editor’s Note: US Daily Review is often accused of taking one perspective. Actually, we believe in lively debate and Mr. Chariton’s article provides just that.