What Romney Must Do
The Romney campaign has a lot of work to do. First, Mitt Romney needs to think really hard to remember what the context of his entire answer was when he made his now-infamous comment about the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay taxes. If he can't, someone who was there needs to come forth to help refresh his memory. Otherwise, he needs to apologize and begin to convey the true conservative message about the politics of a free society with regard to economic matters.
The pundits haven't helped. Most of them have come forth to defend him. They've decided to turn the conversation into a battle between the makers and takers of society. That's not going to bode well for our chances of firing Barack Obama in November, considering that his policies have forced many into the unfortunate position of relying on assistance due to high unemployment and lack of opportunity.
While it goes without saying that there is a lot of fraud within the system of welfare and entitlements, classing up the 47 percent who don't pay federal taxes with common slackers is disingenuous. This is especially true considering how conservatives in the past have been successful in constructing honest arguments against liberal policies by pointing out that liberalism seeks to put individuals in positions of government dependence in the first place.
Despite being relentlessly demonized by the press, Margaret Thatcher ran a campaign during some of the darkest days in Britain's history. It was a campaign based on the values of honesty, restricted government frivolity, and common sense. She not only won on that platform, but went on to win re-election two more times. She did it, in part, by reminding the downtrodden that the only answers to their biggest problems lie within the principles of freedom and the virtues of hard work.
This was illustrated on the floor in the House of Commons. Thatcher took on one liberal in particular who claimed that the gap existing between the richest and poorest ten percents had widened substantially during her time as prime minister. Thatcher argued that what the left really meant when they said such things is that "they would rather the poor were poorer, so long as the rich were less rich."
She explained that no social experiment could magically raise the poorest to a higher standard, especially when the bar of the wealthiest comes down. Engaging in such a nonsensical policy discourages wealth-creation, opportunity, and a functioning free society.
This echoed a previous sentiment by Winston Churchill, who once said that "socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
That's the message needed to replace Obama and to easily out-debate his apologists. Right now, most of those 47 percent of Americans are sharing the same misery Churchill described. In fact, nobody knows it more than they do. This is the time to inspire those who have no choice but to turn to Obama's plan of lifetime mediocrity. In fact, considering that many of them have been forced to it due to his failed policies, convincing them of a better way should be a relatively simple thing for a conservative to do.
It was done by Sarah Palin when she stood before thousands in September of 2011. She spoke with great charisma about the importance of developing our resources, eliminating the corporate income tax, and immediately engaging in the sudden and relentless reform needed to rid Washington of crony capitalism, corporate bailouts, and pay-to-play schemes. These ingredients needed for a booming economy will create the taxpayers lacking in the system today.
It was done during the primary, when Newt Gingrich spoke eloquently of shared misery by pointing out that more Americans have become food stamp recipients under Obama than under any other president in history. He then concluded by saying: "I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their Creator with the right to pursue happiness, and even if it makes liberals unhappy, I'm going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job, and learn someday to own the job."
But unfortunately, it isn't done when the only alternative to Barack Obama is a candidate who stands in a room full of wealthy donors and insinuates that Americans would deny articulated conservative ideas for more shared misery from the man who gave it to them. It also isn't done when you profess to liking parts of ObamaCare.
It's even worse to have a former GOP presidential candidate, who railed against bailouts and government interference during the primary, leave the cause of firing the worst sitting president in American history to become a Wall Street lobbyist.
And as hard as they try, it doesn't help for Republican pundits to ignore or make excuses for this type of behavior, ultimately denying the obvious: Republicans always lose when they stop being conservative.
If the Republican Party fails the task of replacing the one president provably responsible for spreading more misery around than any other in history, the prospects of a new party will undeniably become the only hope remaining for Americans looking for a better future.
Steve Flesher is a contributing editor at Conservatives4Palin.