It is as simple as those four words: I don't trust him. The reason I don't trust him isn't something ethereal or fleeting. It isn't a gut feeling or hunch. It isn't because he looks dishonest or because he seems smarmy. I don't trust him because I have seen him objectively be dishonest.
Now of course, everyone says politicians are dishonest, they change their position as it suits them. That's true. President Obama has shifted his stance before as well. But there are certain things, certain principles, that go to the core of who were are. And, ultimately with Governor Romney, I can only come to two possible conclusions: One, is that he has no core principles; or two, he won't let anyone know them. Either way, I can't vote for him.
Abortion. Maybe the most personal and difficult social issue there is. There are strong, intelligent and defensible positions on both sides of this issue. But the problem is that it is really hard to be on both sides of this issue. The Governor has been. In 1994, running for Senator in liberal Massachusetts, he was unequivocally pro-choice as a candidate and argued for defending Roe v. Wade. Yet, as a candidate for the Republican nomination, he was just the opposite: pro-life and advocating overturning Roe v. Wade. And now he has come back toward the middle as the general election approaches.
So it was with the auto industry rescue plan. "Let Detroit go Bankrupt" was his plan. And while a version of bankruptcy is ultimately what happened, the plan proffered by the Governor was one that wasn't feasible. Bankruptcy as advocated by him was impossible, because at the time no bank was willing/able to fund it in a way to keep the car companies together. It would have certainly meant their liquidation. He called the bailout tragic, but then when it was successful, he tried to take credit for it. Now, he's plastered false ads all over Ohio claiming that he is the candidate that backs the auto industry and that the President is helping Chrysler ship jobs oversees. The ad is so patently misleading, that Chrysler and GM responded directly, calling his ads lies. Every major fact checker has panned the ads as misleading. He bet against American industry and lost, no hedging will change that.
He talks glowingly of women, but won't commit to equal pay for equal work legislation. He talks of his support for Latinos, but he calls for them to self-deport and calls the racial-profiling immigration laws of Arizona a model for the nation.
Then there is the 47% video. Every candidate has gaffes. Every candidate says things that get taken out of context. The media scrutiny on every word said, every expression made and every watch-check is relentless. But this was no gaffe. This was a calculated, extensive and deliberate statement on his views on America and Americans. He said:
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what . . . who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax . . . [my job] is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
FDR once said, “It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.” No serious candidate for the office of President has more exemplified that failing than Mitt Romney.
One could hope that the Governor would be the centrist he seems to be today, But I think that this column is closer to the reality of a Romney presidency.
Cutting taxes for the richest among us to pay for cuts to essential services for the poor, the sick and the elderly is morally wrong. It won't create jobs, it didn't in the '00s and it won't now. What it will do is force a greater burden upon our most desperate citizens. The ultra-conservatives love to harken back to the founding fathers as well as religion, so I find it appropriate to close with a thought from one that the Governor should pay a little more attention too.
Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor. - Thomas Jefferson
We shouldn't be a nation that demonizes our poor, simply because they are poor, and lionizes the rich simply because they are rich. Poor and lazy are no more synonyms than rich and industrious. We are all Americans, and the Mitt Romneys of the world will never accept that. I won't accept that we should let his green devour them. And so, I can never vote for him.