Archived Story

Romney’s principles still evolving

Published 11:05am Friday, October 26, 2012

USA Today, on its opinion page this week claimed Mr. Romney has mastered what the paper referred to as “double flips,” an ice skating term representing the ability to hold any position on any issue in front of any audience in its political application.

An unfair charge for a man very close to the U.S. Presidency?

Yes, according to Romney supporter and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. McDonnell argues Mr. Romney is “a man of steadiness and principle who will stand for the values he has embodied throughout his life.”

So what are those abiding principles that guide Mitt Romney? Well certainly there is more than ample evidence that Romney has been guided in his life by faith and family.

And, no one can doubt that Mr. Romney has held capitalistic success and profit-making as guiding principles in his career.

Certainly, for anyone to achieve as much as Governor Romney has, there has to be a high degree of personal ambition as a guiding principle.

But Mr. Romney has another core principle that few have named, that he is a first generation postmodernist believer and leader in America.

In the 1970s European philosophers suggested that Western culture was finding it impossible to continue to believe in what they called the “metanarrative,” that is the fundamental truths of society.

Those essentials truths, trust in government, science, education, even knowledge, were, according to the postmodernists, going to undergo a breakdown in their assumptions of creditability. And truth itself, to some postmodernists, was taking a turn to subjectivity.

Now, 40 years later we can see the evidence of their argument both in institutional breakdowns and in the rise of subjective truth. Mr. Romney is the first U.S. presidential candidate to represent those new arguments.

Of all the postmodernists the core principles of Mitt Romney most completely mirror are the words of the American philosopher, Richard Rorty “…we should do what works.”

And so the Romney campaign has done exactly that, what works.

In campaigning in the very conservatively driven Republican primaries Mr. Romney presented himself as “an extreme conservative.”

In his presidential campaign he avoided controversial issues and said little about social policies, arguing he would basically just “do better” than President Obama.

But in the presidential debates, targeting undecided voters, women and all Ohioans, Mitt Romney became a passionate moderate.

While once Romney argued if the federal government bailed out GM you could kiss the auto industry goodbye, he now says he was the one who saved the industry with his plan.

While he argued for private financing of GM in a structured bankruptcy, he was fully aware there was no private financing available in the banking crisis, meaning GM would have been broken up and sold off.

Yet in the third debate he insisted he supported the bailout by Presidents Bush and Obama that actually did save the American automobile industry.

Romney’s position here, like many of his postmodern “whatever works” before an audience, is, in simple terms, a lie.

There are far too many postmodern lies in the arguments Mitt Romney offers to different audiences at different times.

His conservative base does not believe Mitt means what he says now in the debates, so they remain silent and supportive while Mitt says what he must to win, at the expense of the truth.

But if his conservative followers are right, that any lie to get elected is a good lie, and the newly minted Moderate Mitt is just a postmodern convenience, then what should you think of Mr. Romney and his core principles?


Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.


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  • mickakers

    Noesis; “seriously” did you take note of my comment “but we do have control over politicians by our right to vote. We have no control over the barons of industry without government (we the people) intervention.” Right Wing Republicans have no problem with a closed mindset.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    keta; The only program I am attached to is the truth and the wisdom to discern it.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    mike; Your comment in regard to Socialized Medicine. Yes Mike, I am more than willing to bet my life. Your question about knowing who to vote for, there is no need to rely on the medias interpretation, use you own good judgement, insight and research. Check out an individuals voting record and comments.

    (Report comment)

  • Noesis

    Bloomberg to Obama: Stay Out of NYC

    President Obama has been a busy bee the last two days, spending a huge swath of time with the press and in front of the cameras. Aside from using the White House website as his personal PR firm – putting out pictures of himself with the folks at FEMA and the Red Cross and in the White House situation room, and giving updates stating that he had “expressed his concern” and been informed “throughout the night” – Obama desperately wanted to visit New York City to let the photographers capture him overseeing the damage. He wanted his hero moment….

    (Report comment)

  • keta

    A newly-minted republican voter, suggesting the barons of industry might need controlling? LOL…..get with the program, Mick.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    Noesis; Your comment “And yet there are none so corrupt as a politician”. I see insight in this comment, but we do have control over politicians by our right to vote. We have no control over the barons of industry without government (we the people) intervention.

    (Report comment)

    • Noesis

      Mick…. seriously? Wasn’t Hasting kicked off the federal bench and elected to congress by democrats? Cold hard cash Jefferson was re-elected even though he was videotaped accepting a bribe. How about Murtha? Told the FBI, that he was willing to accept bribes… just not that day. Democrats continued to elect him.

      Democrats have no problem re-electing corrupt officials.

      (Report comment)

    • mikehaney

      Mick–control over politicians by our right to vote.
      With socialized medicine one of your pet projects, are you willing to bet your life on it Mick?
      article from 2009

      Socialized medicine has led to a drastic reduction in services and in quality of care in every nation it’s been tried. The elderly and the infirm are always the hardest hit.

      When Barack Obama was asked about this by the media, he openly admitted that the elderly and the infirm would not be priorities. How shameful it is that the media did not see fit to call him out on this.
      How would we know the facts down the road if our present media didn’t report it? How would we know who to vote for?

      (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    Noesis; As a PS: Enjoy your visit to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Beautiful and historic country. I have a daughter living there. The land of beautiful horses, and also the heart of Appalachia. May I suggest a read of; A True Man Of God a Biography of Father Ralph William Beiting, Founder of the Christian Appalachian Project, by: Anthony J. Salatino, published by the Jesse Stuart Foundation, Ashland, Ky. 2001. A very enjoyable read. This presents a true picture of life in Appalachia. As an interest to Ironton readers, his funeral mass was celebrated recently at Holy Family Church in Ashland. A gentleman of the first rank.

    (Report comment)

  • Noesis

    Greed has a tendency to corrupt.

    And yet there are none so corrupt as a politician Mick.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    Noesis; Your comment “Private sector is the way to go. They do things cheaper than the government. Always have and always will.” Really? What about the quality? What about the care and concern for the average man and woman? What about the care and concern for the environment? The primary concern of the private sector is profit, irregardless of the consequence to society or the environment. Greed has a tendency to corrupt. Care, concern and oversight by the government (we the people) can curtail and limit the abuse of the people and the environment by the barons of industry. Coal and Oil as the primary examples disregard.

    (Report comment)

  • Noesis

    Obama called the Navy SEALS, and THEY got Bin Laden.

    When the Navy SEALS called Obama, They got DENIED!

    (Report comment)

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