Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mitt Romney: A Flip-Flopper In Good Company

If "Occupy Wall Street" had taken place in 1948, Ronald Reagan would have pitched his tent and thrown his unforgettable voice behind the occupiers.  He was a democrat; an unapologetic, card carrying, Wall Street blaming, minimum wage raising, rich taxing, liberal, democrat.  He was not a little-bit democrat...  Ronald Reagan was the whole enchilada.

Don't believe it?  Click here and listen to Reagan The Democrat as he rails on the rich and Wall Street.

Now here's the thing.  I'm a conservative.  I love Ronald Reagan.  I cast my first vote in 1984 for Ronald Reagan.  Reagan's optimism was inspiring to a country who needed inspiration.  He was not perfect.  He reached across the aisle when he probably should not have.  The national debt increased more than it should have.  He trusted democrats to keep their word when he should not have.  He even raised taxes.  Nonetheless, he inspired a nation with optimism and american exceptionalism.  I still remember the chills that went down my spine when he fired the air-traffic controllers, sending a message around the world that he was no one to be trifled with.

Fast forward to today.  Mitt Romney, like Ronald Reagan, has been a bit of a flip-flopper.  He has held liberal views on social and fiscal issues just as Ronald Reagan did.  However, the self appointed defenders of conservatism like Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Eric Erickson, Rob Johnson, and others assign Ronald Reagan a god-like status while making it their life's ambition to destroy Mitt Romney.

Meanwhile, they overlook other similarities between Reagan and Romney.  Romney is tough.  Yes, he plays the political campaign game, which we are all a bit tired of and from which we would all love to escape.  But this man has been tough in business.  He has made the hard decisions.  He has taken over companies that were failing and fixed them.  He took over a failing and nearly bankrupt olympics turned it into a booming success.  He started businesses from scratch and turned them into world-wide corporations.  He has been attacked on every front including his religion and he has come out the other side standing tall.  He has stood toe to toe with Rick Perry and Rick Santorum and has beaten back half truths and flat out lies.  Mitt Romney is smart.  He is tough.  And he reminds me of Ronald Reagan.

So what about healthcare?  Every president during the past 40 years has had the opportunity to address healthcare.  None, including Reagan, have had the guts to do so.  Health care costs are on a path to destroy this country financially.  The issue needs to be addressed at the national level, with a market-based solution, starting with the enforcement of the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution.  But, as governor, Romney did not have the luxury of waiting for a president to address the problem.  So, incorporating the conventional conservative thinking of the day, he implemented an individual mandate in his state.  The idea originally came to life from the conservative think-tank, The Heritage Foundation.  It was supported by the Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.  It was conservative because it required free-loaders to pay their own way.  As everyone knows, federal law does not allow anyone to be turned down from emergency room care; not a citizen; not an illegal alien.  These unpaid visits drive up costs.  Those costs are then passed on to you and I through higher prices that result in higher insurance premiums.  Romney stood up, stayed true to the conservative ideal, and made the tough decision.

Somewhere someone is snidely mouthing, "I knew Ronald Reagan, and believe me Mitt Romney is..."  Look closer my friend.  Greece and the European Union is on the verge of economic collapse.  China is eating our lunch and stealing our lunch money.  American workers are out of work.  America has become anything but exceptional.  So don't be fooled by talking heads with their own agendas.  Mitt Romney has the know-how and the grit to right this ship and bring America back from the brink.  As Ronald Reagan would say, "it's morning again in america."