WASHINGTON, January 16, 2012—Supporters of Mitt Romney may not be the most passionate group of people, but one thing they are passionate about is voting Barack Obama out of office. If this is their one and only goal, then they could definitely do worse than Romney. Most national polls have shown that the only two candidates who consistently match up well against Obama are Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.
This poses an interesting conundrum for small-government conservatives. The problem with the anybody-but-Obama crowd is that they are not proponents of limited government, but instead are big-government conservatives and are therefore just as much a part of the problem as Obama.
The Republican Party has been moving to the left for years, nominating candidates like Bob Dole, George W. Bush and John McCain. By nominating another moderate to liberal Republican, the party moves itself even further to the left and becomes less representative of the conservative electorate. If Republicans wish to elect a conservative to the White House, then they would do well to avoid nominating the poster child of big-government Republicanism, Mitt Romney.
Most Republican voters will be quick to point out that while Romney isn’t necessarily the most inspiring candidate, he would definitely be much better than Obama. On the surface, this is a reasonable claim, but look more closely at the record of the former Governor of Massachusetts, and you’ll see that it is simply untrue. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have been on the same sides of some of the most important issues.
Both Governor Romney and President Obama were in favor of the TARP bailouts. While this should be expected of a big government liberal like Obama, no one who calls himself conservative should have ever supported such a monstrous policy. Romney defended his position by claiming that we were on the brink of total collapse and that “…action had to be taken.” This is the same argument that Obama and the last administration used to defend the bailouts, yet they did not help anyone. The economic climate is still looking bleak. Republican voters should be assured that their candidate would not repeat the same mistakes that the last two Presidents made.
An individual mandate for healthcare is another important issue for conservatives, and Governor Romney has been on the wrong end of this as well. It has been well documented that President Obama’s healthcare plan was developed from Romneycare in Massachusetts, along with the individual mandate. While Romney has maintained that it was a state solution to a state problem, he forgets that an individual mandate on any level of government is still not a conservative solution.
As much as Romney talks about his private sector experience, one thing that he seems to have forgotten from those days is that one cannot spend more than one has. While a Romney administration might spend less than Obama’s administration, the former Governor still does not offer any substantial cuts and spending would continue to increase under Romney’s current economic plan. With our national debt at over 15 trillion and Obama asking for 1.2 trillion more, Governor Romney offers no relief.
Like the President, Mitt Romney will not be a defender of civil liberties. He has been a strong advocate of the USA Patriot Act, and he has not spoken out against the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens on the mere suspicion of being a terrorist. Even Rush Limbaugh, not often known for defending civil liberties, denounced this bill as a huge infringement on our rights.
Governor Romney has flip-flopped on gun rights, another important civil liberty to conservatives. Gun Owners of America gave Romney a grade of “D-” when it came to defending this essential Constitutional liberty. It should be difficult for most gun owners to trust Mitt Romney when he was graded only slightly higher than President Obama on this issue.
Conservatives call this election the most important election in our lifetime. The stakes are huge because of the debt, the economic climate, and the consequences of inaction or error. So why would Republicans want to offer someone who has no immediate plans to change policy? How anyone could consider Romney’s policies as conservative is absurd. The Republican Party needs to realize that Romney will offer little change to what is happening now, and they must nominate someone who is offering real cuts, real honesty, and real accountability. It should be fairly obvious that Mitt Romney does not fall into this category.
Read more about the candidates here:
Conor Murphy is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in political science. As a former radio talk show host on WVCW, Conor hosted two popular shows, Murphy’s Law and Son of the Revolution. You can read more of his columns in The Political Pro-Con at The Washington Times Communities.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.