Mitt Romney: This Time It's Personal?

Conservatives are noticing that as the presidential race intensifies, Mitt Romney seems to become more conservative.  Not only has he picked Paul Ryan, a staunch pro-life Catholic conservative with impeccable credentials, as his running mate, but his campaign platform is gradually incorporating more conservative principles, while his messages have become sharper, clearer, and more focused on important moral and constitutional principles.

Others have observed the same positive development. In an editorial at American Thinker, Rosslyn Smith highlights a plausible explanation for this gradual public shift in Mitt Romney's positions . Romney is more fully expressing and defending the same conservative principles he has always believed in and the values he's embraced all his life.  Except now he realizes just how ideologically different he is from the Marxist we now have as president.  The unmitigated disaster that Obama's policies have been for America, his consistent scorn for company owners and his anti-business rhetoric, and the certain catastrophe four more years of such misguided and incompetent leadership will bring may have motivated Romney to stand up more forcefully for his conservative beliefs and in defense of America.

This campaign is coming down to two competing views of America. As it plays out, I think something very profound may be happening to Mitt Romney. Romney reminds me of a good many smart businessmen I have known. They live their own lives by a set of solid small-c conservative rules, but they are too busy solving smaller daily problems to think much about political conservatism as a coherent system. Such people often pay lip service to the left-of-center conventional media wisdom about big government and public morality even as they rigorously practice all the bourgeois virtues of thrift, hard work, neighborliness, sobriety, and sexual continence in their personal affairs.

As long as the conventional wisdom doesn't impact their daily lives in a concrete way, why bother challenging it? They have better uses for their time. Now this very smart, very competitive man is facing an opponent who is perhaps the most rigidly ideological man ever to become president. Romney doesn't like what he sees happening to the nation, nor does he much like the person he is running against. Confronted with the problem of beating not just the person, but also the ideology, and then fixing what is broken, Romney may be discovering for the very first time that he is actually far more ideological than he ever thought he was.

The ugly class warfare rhetoric that slipped through Obama's lips recently, in a rare moment of unscripted candor, may have further clarified for Romney who Obama really is and the ideology he embodies.  In insulting and ridiculing all hardworking business owners with the infamous "you didn't build that!" comment, Obama also belittled everything that Mitt Romney, a self-made businessman and entrepreneur, accomplished in life.  In so doing, Obama showed himself to be not just another political opponent, but a real enemy, a devoted follower of the many radical mentors he looked up to and admired all his life.  This confirmed that conservatives were not exaggerating when describing Obama as a leftist, a Marxist, and a communist -- rather, said people were and are simply describing facts. 

Obama is not someone you can reason, collaborate, or compromise with.  He must be defeated.  His sneering remarks and constant class warfare rhetoric confirm his deep-seated hatred for the principles and core values that have made America great.  He represents the most serious threat to our liberties and way of life in a generation.  It may have finally dawned on Romney just how important it is for America to reject Obama and his destructive ideology. 

This is not just a political campaign, but an ideological civil war that will decide the future of this country.  The choices are clearer than ever.  Do we want to live as free men, who embrace liberty and are masters of our own destiny, or do we become slaves of an ever-expanding and increasingly tyrannical government?  If conservatives don't win in November, all of America is in trouble -- serious trouble, dangerous trouble. 

I sincerely hope that Romney's determination in more passionately supporting and defending conservative principles is not a passing fad.  He must continue to govern with the same courage and conviction once he wins the presidency and throughout both terms in office, should he win a second one.  America desperately needs a real man and conservative leader to step up and do the heavy lifting necessary to counteract the tyranny of the left and return this blessed country to the path of liberty and prosperity.

Chris Banescu regularly blogs at and