Now that President Barack Obama is in the spotlight for his foreign policy fiascos in Russia, Libya, Syria and Egypt, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney has stepped up and is reminding Americans how correct his own instincts were in these and many other foreign and domestic issues during the 2012 presidential campaign.
Might this be another opportunity for Romney to present himself as a candidate for the presidency in 2016?
He is almost surely the most experienced, capable, and administratively mature of the current Republican candidates and therefore most able to lead us out of the many crises a weakened and wounded America will be facing post-Obama.
Since Ronald Reagan was always gradually on the move toward his “shining city on a hill,” this slow but sure dynamic should be good for evaluating Mitt Romney, as well — subject to Reagan’s rule of “trust but verify."
And while there was not then or now any absolute guarantee that Romney's movements to the right are permanent, there has been no flopping back to positions which were once more centrist or even center-left. For example, Mitt Romney is solidly to the right on issues that matter the most:
- Increasingly pro-life (based on both medical science and 10th Amendment rights)
- Increasingly supportive of Second Amendment gun rights
- Increasingly tough on illegal immigration and on border security
- Increasingly anti-Obamacare (born of universal Hillarycare, not Romney's one-state plan)
- Increasingly supportive of Paul Ryan's "MediChoice" versus Obama's "MediCrash"
- Increasingly supportive of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
- Increasingly supportive of Simpson-Bowles spending cuts and early budget balancing
- Increasingly critical of the pseudo-science of the gobal warming of a “climate scam”
- Increasingly tough on foreign policy, national security and Defense Department funding
- Increasingly against Obama’s tyrannical violations of the law, his oath, the Constitution
These issues define Romney as an increasingly patriotic tea party movement "concentrist" (new label for the tea party’s center right) – and as a president who would reverse and repeal Barack Obama’s endless acts of enmity toward America’s traditional identity as a land of opportunity rather than dependency.
Romney would bring us back to God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness rather than of false promises by a Marxist-inspired purveyor of so-called “social justice” who has stated that “my salvation will be [not individual but] collective.”
Importantly, this new concentrism label defines Ronald Reagan and Mitt Romney themselves, far more accurately than do the ultra-right invectives hurled daily at virtually all smaller-government conservatives by the reactionary leftists.
So why did such a good candidate lose in 2012 but stand a good chance of winning in 2016? The peculiar nature of the earlier race between Romney and Obama, and the much different future race against either Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi or Al Sharpton.
First, in 2012, Romney was for many months hammered by very persuasive and well-funded fellow Republicans for reasons that appear less valid now than they seemed then — e.g., his Mormon faith, his supposed flip-flopping, and his “Romneycare” experiment in Massachusetts.
These are millions of voters — many of whom simply stayed home in 2012 — who will be much wiser two years from now and more supportive of the real Romney than they were of the ill-defined and even demonized candidate of before.
Also, in 2012, Romney was facing Obama who had a “personality cult” following and an “inherited from Bush” scam that would not quit.
Finally, in 2012, Romney was faced with many left-wing voting blocs (blacks at over 90 percent, Latinos at over 70 percent, Big Labor unions at over 80 percent, academics and media types at 85-90 percent, welfare-dependents and unemployed at 70-80 percent, state-local-federal government employees at 60-70 percent, Jewish voters at over 60 percent) — most of whom were still in awe of Obama’s charm and still believing that his “Hope and Change” promises were for real.
Now, looking ahead to 2016, a relatively undamaged, fully re-energized, much better known and completely vetted Mitt Romney, or any other likely GOP candidate, will not have to overcome “personality cult” types and will not have to overcome the “blame Bush” and “inherited from” scams that have now run their deceitful courses.
Such a candidate will not have to overcome enormous left-of-center block-voting margins among voters who no longer expect miracles from a cult-of-personality type.
Romney, lest we forget, is an exemplary family man, a serious person of religious faith and high ethics, a generous humanitarian with his own time and wealth, a hugely successful and jobs-creating businessman, a proven manager of complex bureaucracies, and a thoughtful and experienced leader with sufficient wisdom and "gravitas" to be a very good president.
In that connection, Romney’s steady growth in this conservative direction is made all the more believable, calling to mind the journey of a true conservative several decades ago, that of a young “New Deal” Democrat and Hollywood union leader — Ronald “Dutch” Reagan.
In light of all these factors, it would be interesting to poll all 15 or more Republican hopefuls with the following question: Of all the other candidates for the GOP nomination, with whom would you prefer (a) to run for Vice President, (b) to help “Rescue America” for 4 or 8 years, and (c) in due course to run for the presidency yourself?
If in the last days of the 2012 race the Romney campaign had made claim to the “new Reagan” mantel, the Obama and Clinton worshipers, the mainstream media and many Republicans who considered themselves the true reincarnations of the “Gipper” would have loudly derided the idea of Romney’s neo-Reaganism. With insufficient time to argue this new narrative and to prove its validity, this would almost surely have backfired.
But now, with the Reagan-Romney parallels becoming ever more clear and with ample time to convince millions of voters by both words and deeds that this is, indeed, the truth, the odds will greatly increase American voters will not miss this second chance to elect a model of the new Ronald Reagan.
A D.C.-area attorney, writer and national security strategist, Jim Guirard was longtime chief of staff to former U.S. Sens. Allen Ellender and Russell Long. His TrueSpeak.org website is focused on truth in language and truth in history in public discourse.
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