The first rule of politics is you don’t tell the truth. The second rule of politics is you don’t tell the truth. Poor Mitt Romney learned those hard lessons recently when a video unearthed from ancient times (in politics, that would be May, 2012) basically reveals he levelled with a room of Americans by telling them a certain portion of the population is hopelessly useless and will continue to complain regardless of what the government does.
And he’s right. People have been expecting the government, whether it be in the U.S., France, or Greece, to do everything from create jobs out of thin air, to label the nutritional value of water. In other words, a certain portion of the population is irrepressibly irredeemably dependent on somebody else running their lives, and anyone with common sense would say “my job is not to worry about those people.”
Unfortunately, that sort of honesty just doesn’t cut it in today’s world. Nay, friends and 53-percenters, telling people that they’re responsible for their own lives, prosperity and happiness is tantamount to saying tic-tac-toe is an unwinnable stalemate. And I’ll be goddamned if someone doesn’t think one day they’ll lay down three Xs in a box for the big victory.
See, the truth is that there is a vast swath of people who have little imagination, originality, or wherewithal to pull themselves out of a situation they put themselves in, and their best solution to such a problem is to cast a vote for Barack Obama. Hope and change without the need to change? Perfect. Obama.
That sort of attitude is the difference between putting blue helmets behind barbed wire in Rwanda and U.S. Marines in Iraq. On the one hand, you do nothing, watch the carnage unfold behind your wire, and get confused when nothing changes. On the other hand, you do something, it’s painful and horrible and difficult, and in the end there’s something called progress.
Obama has perpetuated and reinforced the worst expectations of government. That it exists solely to fix the problems of the electorate, regardless of how powerless it may be to effect that change. Which means if the voters believe dumping trillions of dollars into make-work projects that go nowhere is going to change anything, then the government is obligated to waste that money doing it.
I love that the new Obama campaign is focusing very little on what sort of accomplishments the administration has made over the past four years, save putting a bullet in Osama bin Laden’s beard. Now, the new movement is less about hope and change and more about patience. And although Obama promised everything but the White House sink to voters in 2008, the truth is that he can’t get it done in four years. He needs eight.
Well, that aint the truth neither, folks. Obama can’t do it in eight. He can’t do it in 28. What he’s doing, the truth now, is blowing money faster than the mint can print the stuff. And the 47-percenters are peachy with it because it isn’t their money anyway. As Romney said, they don’t pay the taxes that Obama’s spending.
Look, I’m not saying Mitt Romney is some kind of Honest Abe, and that every word that drips from his tongue has the holy blessing of Christ Himself. In the war of politics, we all know truth is the first casualty, and Romney’s camp has been busy painting a caricature of Obama that’s as ridiculous as the one the Democrats are scribbling.
But here’s the thing. The last Democrat with any courage whatsoever once famously said, “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” That beautiful quote is now a cliche but it’s no less relevant. Americans need to stop asking the government to be its mom and go back to being its elected assembly of representatives who are responsible for the fiscal security of the United States.
Goddamn it, the truth is that Americans do see themselves as victims. On the anniversary of the iPhone-entitled 99-percenters behind Occupy Wall Street, they’re still blaming the banks, the mortgage companies, the big corporations, the American government, the credit card companies, the oil companies, the illuminati, the Bilderberg Group. Anybody but themselves.
It’s got to stop. But it won’t. Not until somebody like Romney says it has to and makes people understand it and believe it. There was nothing wrong with the Hope and Change message in and of itself. The fallacy was that Hope and Change began and ended with government policy. And that’s a lie nobody can swallow.