Ronald Kessler reporting from Washington, D.C. —
The presidential campaign has exposed the fact that a broad segment of the country feels entitled to a free lunch from the government, Dave Keene, the former chairman of the American Conservative Union, tells Newsmax.
As noted in my story, "Dave Keene: Romney Will Win by 5 to 7 Points
," Keene believes Mitt Romney will win decisively. “It’s very difficult for President Obama to get above 48 percent in the polls,” explains Keene, one of the country’s most astute political observers.
But he says, “The more troubling aspect of what you see are the longer-term implications of this campaign, and by that I don’t mean the spending, the role of the outside groups, the attack ads. What I mean is that the country is not the same country that conservatives and Republicans thought it was 10 or 12 years ago.”
Instead, “Words like self-reliance and individual responsibility are scary words to maybe a majority of the public now,” Keene says. “We are getting closer and closer to a majority of the people believing they have a right to support from the government.”
Keene cites the outraged reaction to Romney saying that 47 percent of Americans are not paying federal income taxes. In contrast, in 1986, 18.5 percent of the population was not paying federal income taxes.
“It’s not that they are getting federal subsidies, which is bad enough, it’s that everybody thinks that that is the way that it ought to be,” Keene says. “That may mean that the European invasion of the American economy and culture is proceeding exactly the way that President Obama and the progressives hoped that it would.”
In reaction to Romney’s comment, “People said how dare you think I’m doing anything that I shouldn’t be doing,” Keene says. “If a majority of the people think that they have a right to do that, then the whole American experiment starts to come unglued.”
This sense of entitlement makes the Democrats and Obama more appealing to voters.
“The Democrats’ strategy is ignore the deficit, ignore proposals to do anything about it except in a vague, rhetorical way, and then attack anybody who actually wants to do something to pull us back from the brink for trying to cut off this group or that group or the other group and then in spite of the economic problems, promise more and more money to this group, that group, and the other group,” Keene says.
While this kind of appeal has never worked, “It’s closer to working now than it has ever been, and unless Romney wins and successfully pulls the country back from the brink, it may mean that free markets, conservatives, and Republicans are in for deep trouble in the decades ahead,” Keene says.
Meanwhile, the media cover up Obama’s failings by asking Romney — but not Obama — how he will balance the budget.
“They don’t ask that of Obama because they know that’s not his deal,” Keene says. “The deficit is only something to be discussed seriously with the Republican candidate and not the Democratic candidate. Romney is constantly asked where is his detailed plan, when the other guy doesn’t have a plan and doesn’t pretend to have a plan.”
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. He is the New York Times best-selling author of books on the Secret Service, FBI, and CIA. Read more reports from Ronald Kessler — Click Here Now.
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