In spite of Obama’s continual missteps in foreign and domestic policy, he has been able to pull ahead in presidential preference polls. This fact has some conservative commentators stirred up and throwing rhetorical barbs at Romney. Prominent among these detractors are radio host Laura Ingraham and columnist George Will. Ingraham, Will, and other conservative critics claim that with President Obama continuing to lead in the polls in spite of his abysmal record, Romney must be an incompetent candidate. In fact, Will claimed that a Romney loss in November will signal the end of the Republican Party as we know it.
My first thought upon hearing of the Republican Party’s impending demise was not kind: Since the Republican Party seems to be an increasingly moderate organization controlled by RINOs whose attempts to straddle the fence rather than adopt a truly conservative platform, demise might not be a bad thing. However, I am less concerned about the future of the Republican Party than I am about the future of America. This is why I recommend that conservatives hold their collective nose and turn out for Romney on November 6th. In spite of his shortcomings, Romney at least has one major asset to offer America: he is not Barack Obama.
It is true that Romney contributes to his own poor showing in presidential preference polls. This fact is what has Laura Ingraham, George Will, and other conservatives taking aim at him and his advisors. Like John McCain before him, Mitt Romney continually makes the mistake of bringing a knife to a gun fight. He is content to play the role of Mr. Nice Guy when he should be holding Obama’s feet to the fire until they are scorched by his dismal record. Romney’s inability to do this hurts him.
Because the Republican Party is forced to take on the incumbent, the Democrat Party, and the mainstream media all at one time to win a presidential election, party officials should know they need to field a roll-up-your-sleeves, fast-thinking fighter who can turn the tables on liberal politicians and leftwing journalists in the same way Ronald Reagan did and Newt Gingrich still does. Unfortunately, verbal barroom brawling is not Mitt Romney’s forte. Every time Romney speaks, I find myself asking, “Why didn’t he say this or why didn’t he say that?” He continually squanders opportunities to deliver killing blows when engaged in the thrust and parry of verbal combat with liberal journalists.
Romney’s shortcomings as a presidential candidate are many—this I readily admit. However, I do not think they are the root cause that explains why he cannot seem to pull ahead of President Obama in the polls. Collectively, Romney’s shortcomings as a candidate are what problem-solving experts call a contributing cause, as opposed to the root cause. The root cause behind Romney’s disappointing poll numbers is bigger and more worrisome than all of Romney’s shortcomings combined.
The root cause behind Romney’s lagging poll numbers is that America has finally turned a corner in its socio-demographic composition. Simply put, the American public now consists of almost as many takers as makers, and the takers vote in higher numbers than the makers. We have finally reached the point in America where those who exhibit an entitlement mentality are almost equal in number to those who still believe in the American dream of success through opportunity and hard work. The numbers are close, but those who think government is the solution coupled with those who would rather take from someone else than earn for themselves are close to being a majority. People with an entitlement mentality are not likely to be moved by a candidate who promises opportunity, jobs, and economic freedom instead of government handouts, no matter how incompetent the incumbent may be. This sad fact, more than anything else, explains Mitt Romney’s disappointing poll numbers.