Would a President Romney Start the Drive for Team Freedom?
You're watching a football game. Painted across one end zone is the word "FREEDOM"; across the other, "OPPRESSION." The game is in sudden death overtime -- next team to score wins. Now -- if that field represents the American struggle between teams Freedom and Oppression (through Big-Government control of our lives), where is the ball currently located?
I would say it's first and goal to go for Oppression.
It's taken their team a hundred years to march the length of the field, using a string of quarterbacks with both Ds and Rs following their names, but now they stand poised to score the winning touchdown. If freedom-loving Americans give up just a few more yards, government will grow so powerful and intrusive that We the People will no longer be able to stop them from ruling every aspect of our lives.
It is with this mindset that I approach the 2012 presidential election.
I find myself in an odd place just days before America chooses her next president. A year ago, I couldn't imagine voting for Mitt Romney if he were to win the Republican primary. I'm a truly small-government guy. I'm a Fed-bashing, abolish the IRS, and sunset every social program at the federal level kind of guy. And I viewed Romney as the biggest Big-Government candidate of all the Republicans running. Now, though, he represents my only viable alternative to another Obama term -- one in which I sincerely believe he could throw the winning touchdown pass for team Oppression with his Marxist eyes closed.
So where does that leave me?
Here: I survey the field, consider how close that ball is to crossing Freedom's goal line, and ask myself if Romney will not only stop Oppression's forward progress, but intercept the ball and start driving toward the other end of the field.
That's all I care about at this point. Being a Tea Party leader for the past three years has taught me that change comes gradually through perseverance and that I shouldn't take an all-or-nothing approach to supporting candidates. As much as I'd love to see Freedom throw a 95-yard pass for the winning touchdown on the next play, I know we're much more likely to score it through a disciplined drive of gaining four to seven yards each play. Which is exactly what we've been doing since 2009, electing enough genuine freedom-lovers at all levels of government, reshaping the political landscape and shifting the entire national debate to our terms to make a strong stand.
Now, back to Romney. I'm not looking for him to score the winning touchdown for Freedom. He's clearly not that guy. He'll never be that guy. But will he be a president who intercepts the ball and moves in the right direction again?
After watching him closely for some time, I honestly think he will. While I remain opposed to some of his policies and certain legislation he passed as a state governor, I actually think he understands that the Federal Government has grown far too powerful and reckless and will start to reign it in.
Though he publicly disavowed his infamous remarks about the 47%, the fact that he made them in private shows he understands the perils of having so many Americans dependent on government. And in that same private conversation, he also decried the irresponsibility of the Fed and the damage it's causing. These are but two examples of many that lead me to believe that Romney does indeed hold a solid grasp on the critical issues we face and takes a generally conservative approach in addressing them.
That's enough to earn my support in 2012.
Will he go as far as I want him to in shrinking the size and scope of government? Of course not. I'd like to see a flat tax or FairTax, but he's merely promising to lower rates and eliminate some loopholes. I'd like to see programs like Social Security and Medicare responsibly phased out over time, but he's proposing to reform them in order to save them. Only a handful of politicians in Washington -- at most -- would actually go as far as I would like.
But I don't need Romney to go that far right now; I just need him to move the ball in that direction. His policies will do that. Especially if the Tea Party stays on him every day, holding him accountable to the promise of reducing government power over our lives.
Does my support for Romney make me a sellout, just rationalizing another vote for the proverbial lesser of two evils? Maybe. But I don't think so. "Evil" in this context implies advancing the ball for Oppression. I may end up choking on these words, but I sincerely believe that Romney, even with his weaknesses on certain issues, will indeed intercept that ball and start to advance it the other way for Freedom.
This will, in turn, buy the Tea Party additional time to elect even more candidates who share our small-government approach. And if we remain engaged, we will march methodically down the other side of the field, ultimately achieving enough governing power to score the winning touchdown for Freedom.
Jonathan Wakefield is a Tea Party leader and the author of Saving America: A Christian Perspective of the Tea Party Movement. Visit his website teapartyforchristians.com