The authors agree that Romney was an outstanding candidate, that he was an admirable man, and that Ryan was a wise choice as a running mate. They concur that he lost because our nation has become immature, and irresponsible. They both fear that because of this, America as we have known it, is over or at least close to the brink.
I agree with the authors about the challenges posed by a left-wing media and I acknowledge that the institutional woes that characterize our current culture are worrisome. But, when it comes to the authors' conclusion that the nation hit a tipping point with this election and that we are over the brink in terms of people who do not want freedom outnumbering those who do, I believe they are wrong.
Passion for Romney?
The place to begin is with the lead candidate on the ticket. Ms. Hollis writes of the "enthusiasm, passion, commitment and determination" that characterized Romney supporters. Do you remember voting for Romney with passion? Not many people I know did; I can think of one. No, they voted with passion all right, the passion of despair about Obama; these voters were even labeled "ABO, Anybody but Obama voters."
And, there was not much passion for Obama either. Perhaps his victory margin, or most likely, a percentage much greater than that, voted for him because they did not like Romney.
Was there passion and enthusiasm for Romney? No.
Passion, enthusiasm, commitment and determination were there in 2012, there for Ron Paul.
The Primary Campaign: An Unwelcome Mat and a Small Tent
Both Rabbi Pruzansky and Professor Hollis speak very highly of Romney's character. Perhaps it is all they say it is. But, the tactics used on his behalf during the primary caucuses and conventions were shameful. Parliamentary procedure was ignored, and chairmen threatened to shut down conventions. Once it was known that delegates were Ron Paul supporters, their names were wiped off slates. We hear so much about how the GOP needs to appeal to all kinds of people, other than white men. And yet these very individuals, including independents, if for Ron Paul, were made to feel most unwelcome.
As many as 40% of the participants at the Georgia 6th District Republican Convention left the convention frustrated, sad, and angry. They were Republicans for Ron Paul and had paid dues and registration fees. They listened to speech after speech calling for unity, and yet were not permitted one delegate from their ranks to the state/national conventions. The tent just wasn't big enough. Just vote for us in November.
The National Convention: A House Divided and a Perception of Unity
This attitude and directive to the local GOP came from above, from the presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney and the party establishment. At the national convention, delegates from Maine were not seated and were eventually chosen by people not even from Maine. Georgia's chairman's microphone went dead when she started to read the delegates for Ron Paul from Georgia. Yes, there were some after all. The Convention Secretary only repeated Romney votes anyway even when Paul got more votes in a state than Romney; for example, "25 for Ron Paul, 3 for Romney" was repeated as "3 for Romney." There are so many instances of this kind of childish, rude treatment of fellow delegates. Speaking of immaturity!
When I read reports about how Obama cheated in order to beat Romney, I wonder how much the authors who say that know about how Romney, a man they characterize as decent and honest, clawed his way to a meaningless victory.
Imagine being that Bus Driver
"Let us off the bus!" they yelled. The Rules Committee Minority Report rode on the bus in the hands of a man intending to bring it before the convention. He, along with other delegates, circled the convention hall; around and around they went until it was "safe" to let them off. And so it was that the Minority Report could not be filed, could not be voted on, could not save the GOP from Romney forces who knew what they wanted and would do anything to get it. I wonder how much they paid that bus driver.
Meanwhile, just in case, the script on the teleprompter was already written, "The ayes have it." So when Boehner called for a voice vote, he did not even have to wonder, as many TV commentators wondered when the vote was so close, how the vote actually went. He did not have to recognize calls for "division of the house," the parliamentary term to poll the delegates. All he had to do was stand there and read the script. Simple, neat, and all wrapped up. This same rule, if it had been enacted in 1976 or 1980, would have prohibited Ronald Reagan from ever being nominated.
Is this behavior the model of dignity and righteousness that the authors want me to believe describe Romney? Was he really the man we needed to restore "time-tested principles" back to America?
Nomination by Central Committee and Delegate Positions for Sale
Now that this rules change has been decided, albeit unfairly to say the least, the delegates to the 2016 National Republican convention will not be chosen by the states. Instead, they will be named by the first place winner of the state primary and/or by the RNC. Got money? Grassroots activists better just give up and stay home. That will teach the Tea Party and those pesky Ron Paul supporters! The establishment has hired Karl Rove as a chief strategist to advise them how to combat these liberty-minded troublemakers.
Nobody for President
Pruzansky and Hollis are right about one thing. Obama has no mandate. He won 51% of the votes cast. Fewer people voted in 2012 than in 2008. Gary Johnson's votes in any given state did not tip the scales for Romney, or for Obama, but if we add in the thousands of alienated voters who stayed home or wrote in Ron Paul, this most definitely would have closed the gap. The unwelcome mat, the small tent, and especially the candidate's policies, made a difference.
Agreeing with Obama's Policies
Beyond condoning obviously unfair and unnecessary political maneuvers, Romney and Ryan are not men of principle. Romney is the architect of government run health care and its foundation, the individual mandate. Romney's principles changed depending on which election he was in. Those authors and individuals so concerned with the morality of our culture, or who write about the imperative to stand up for the unborn, and "time-tested" principles should revisit Romney's record. They might also want to check his past positions on guns.
The rabbi and the law professor agree that Romney would have been an "excellent" president, that he would have saved us from the collapse, that he was on the side of small business and entrepreneurs, and that those Republicans who cave and support Obama's policies are doomed.
Ryan's budget proposal would have balanced the federal budget in 30-40 years. Do you agree with him that we should wait that long? Recently, Ryan said he favored Boehner's Plan B to increase taxes and he also caved when he voted with Boehner to solve the debt problem by increasing taxes and increasing spending in order to save us from fiscal irresponsibility. Is this the way you would have voted?
Ryan voted for the National Defense Authorization Act, Obama's law allowing the military to lock up Americans indefinitely with no trial at the whim of the President. This legislation virtually wipes out the 6th amendment.
It is remarkable that the professor and the rabbi contend that Ryan was an inspired choice for VP.
In one debate Romney said he supported the NDAA. Is this the thinking of an excellent President?
The Free Stuff Argument
I read in these articles, and many Republicans have repeated it, that Obama won because Americans want free stuff. Where was the choice? Never did candidate Romney name any federal spending he would cut. He joined in the class warfare uproar that characterizes Obama's core strategy. Romney's solution to the country's deficit was to cut tax loopholes, the negative term for deductions, on the "rich"; in other words, he favored tax increases.
So, where was the principled difference between the two candidates?
Romney favored, and Ryan voted for, the bank bailout, and the GM bailout. This is free stuff too, free stuff for auto unions and free stuff for banks.
Never did Romney call for an audit of the Federal Reserve whose monetary policy of printing money permits presidents to go to war and politicians to buy votes.
Is the Federal Reserve manipulation of the money supply and its contribution to the debt the way to support small businesses and the free market that these authors contend were Romney's concern?
Intensifying Obama's Policy
Romney stated in his campaign that he would tighten the sanctions on Iran and increase the drone strikes on Pakistan. Both of these actions are acts of war. Women and children cower daily when the drones fly above them and many children have died from these drone strikes. Children and sick Iranians suffer from the sanctions we impose now. Both of these actions create hostility toward Americans. Both of these acts of war, taken without a declaration of war by Congress, undertaken by a President acting alone, are unconstitutional.
Is this the moral courage we need in a President? What about the oath to protect and defend the Constitution?
What do these actions of war do to protect American lives, and generate goodwill?
Is this the path back to "time-tested principles" the professor calls for?
The Bottom Line and the Illusion of Choice
The bottom line is, if supporting Obama's policies as a Republican will doom you politically, as the professor acknowledges, is there any wonder why the Romney/Ryan ticket lost? Romney favored expanding overseas war efforts, mentioned nothing he would cut in federal spending, supported the NDAA, and espoused increasing taxes on the rich. This year there was only an illusion of choice.
Eight Reasons Why not to be Sad about the Election
1. If elected, Romney's policies would have increased federal spending, increased the size of government, increased taxes on the upper brackets and increased unconstitutional war actions abroad. Moreover, and even more importantly, Ron Paul has made history. His campaigns were educational and his influence is being felt, even today, in Congress. The Audit the Fed bill will be introduced again, exactly as written by Dr. Paul, by his colleague, Representative Paul Broun of Georgia.
2. Would you have voted for Boehner to be Speaker? Five brave men of principle, Rep. Justin Amash (MI), Rep. Walter Jones (NC), Rep. Raul Labrador (ID), Rep. Thomas Massie (KY), and Rep. Ted Yoho (FL), along with seven other Republicans, voted against him. This took courage. One of them, Justin Amash, had been stripped of his committee appointment because he kept voting his conscience, instead of the way Boehner wanted him to. Amash is now chairman of the Liberty Caucus that was chaired by Dr. Paul. The "constitutionalists" are going to continue to grow in number in Congress.
3. On November 6, 2012, The Libertarian Party garnered a record number of votes on the national level.
Georgia State Coordinator for Ron Paul, Charles Gregory, won a seat in the Georgia legislature and others have won positions of leadership in various state GOP organizations.
4. The Campaign for Liberty, (C4L), an offshoot of the 2008 Ron Paul campaign for President, engages in research and disseminates information about federal, state, and local issues as well as pending legislation to help us take action with elected officials. The recent victory with Georgia Governor Deal about health exchanges is one example of its success.
5. Young Americans for Liberty, (YAL), a division of the C4L, has chapters on hundreds of campuses across the country. Members receive quality training in politics to ready them to become political leaders as well as candidates.
6. The Ludwig von Mises Institute has had its best year ever. Established to promote the principles of Austrian economics, its sale of books hit an all time high this year. When customers were questioned about why they wanted these books, the overwhelming answer was, because of Ron Paul. The institute will continue to grow, hold seminars, teach young people, publish books, and maintain its international scope.
7. The ideals of freedom, the free market, peace, and small government are certainly not dead.
8. Liberty Republicans remain organized across the country and are already in the arena preparing to become GOP leaders in 2013. There is a movement afoot to convince Judge Andrew Napolitano to run for President in 2016. Let me know if you are interested in either of these two efforts.
So, hold on to the knowledge that the liberty movement will never die. And those who are a part of it are committed, passionate, intelligent, well informed, and optimistic about the future. It is because of the strength of the liberty movement among young people that I have the greatest hope. They will remain on the political scene for years to come. It is time to look ahead and celebrate what we see.
Lynette Rosinger [send her mail], a retired high school teacher, writes from Roswell, Georgia.