Mitt Romney, whose political philosophy has always been hard to decipher, is the latest. He came out for an increase in the minimum wage the other day. Why? “Because frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay,” he said. I agree, but that's not how the party runs its candidacies lately. Candidates move right because that's where the base is, they say, and that's how you win nominations. Of course, you win the primary and lose the general election. Kind of like being all dressed up with no where to go.
I hear my right-er wing friends already. George W. Bush won, twice. True but he also made some pragmatic decisions, as all presidents must. His dad did. Everyone read his lips and then he raised taxes. Why? Because it was the right thing to do. Not politically, because it's part of what cost him his re-election. But it was, for the country, the right thing to do. And 41 was always, in my book, a pragmatist, which is NOT a four-letter word, my righter-wing friends.
Then there was, cue the harps, Ronald Reagan, darling of today's right wing. The candidate and president most GOP presidential candidates and Members of the House and Senate cite as their guiding light. Would that were true. As someone once said, kind of: "I knew Ronald Reagan. I worked for Ronald Reagan. And, you non-compromising, holier-than-thou right wingers of today, you are no Ronald Reagans."
Reagan held true to his general principles: smaller government, lower taxes and a strong military. All of us who lived in his time can recite his mantra. And he held to it. Those were his goals, his aspirations, and he marched, sometimes slowly, toward them. And, he knew when to compromise. He liked to say to his party-mates on the Hill, you get me 70 percent of the way there now, and we'll get the other 30 percent next year. Today, they say "all or nothing." And the latter is what they get.
Truth is, I partly make up my mind on which way to vote based on: who do I think really think is not telling the truth about his/her views? Who is willing to forgo his campaign sound bites and do the right thing when the right thing should be done? For me, last time around, that was Mitt Romney. I figured, he doesn't believe everything he's saying, so he won't follow through on everything he's saying. In other words, I hoped he did not keep his promises, nor did I think he would.
I was right. But he's also now all dressed up with no place to go.