Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Here’s one paragraph, from Bill Voegeli on Romney’s secret message to the rich guys, with which I agree:

It’s worth noting that Obama and Romney were both attempting to describe Americans making less than half the median income to an audience of people making much more. Both politicians ran into trouble because they didn’t really know very much about the people they were trying to explain, having much more in common with the ones they were speaking to. The most offensive aspect of Obama’s assessment was its crude anthropological reductionism, the assumption that he understood the people of the small towns better than they understood themselves. The most offensive aspect of Romney’s is its crude application of the theory that economic incentives not only influence but determine political behavior, including voting.

Neither candidate knows much at all about the challenges facing and the beliefs ennobling ordinary Americans these days. Obama thinks, like so many rich libertarians, that most people live in the thrall of redneck fantasies. And Romney thinks, like so many rich libertarians, that most people are living lazy and personally irresponsible lives, thanks to our soft despots.

The craziest libertarians are now suggesting that Romney should go with the flow and carry the election by campaigning against the scandal of the untaxed. One such commentator on NRO compares Romney’s moment to Lee’s at the Battle of Gettysburg. Well, what did Lee do? He effectively brought the Confederacy to an end by a reckless strategy that sent so many men to their slaughter.

Here’s the real scandal: Who would have confidence now in what ought to be the true message of Romney-Ryan? We’re the guys who can save our minimalist entitlements by mending them effectively in light of our crises of demography and debt.

That Romney and Obama now appear as separate but equal kinds of elitists means advantage Obama.

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles