In personal polling, Republicans say the most important thing in a relationship is to have someone who agrees with them.
This explains Mitt Romney.
Mitt agrees with everybody on everything. Everything. All Republican ideas are Mitt's ideas. At the Conservative Assembly last weekend, he agreed, in order, with Ronald Reagan, George Bush I and II, Abraham Lincoln, John McCain and Sarah Palin. Sarah said Mitt did not agree with her and that it was too late for someone to walk in talking like a conservative or trying to spin his record to look like a conservative and she meant Mitt.
Mitt agreed with her.
So, we have figured out Mitt and his appeal.
The two main contributions of the Romney campaign, no, three, are these:
We now know about Private Equity firms. PE firms buy a company, borrow money against its assets, push in new management, take management fees and then declare bankruptcy when the old firms fail because of all the new debt brought in by the PE companies.
We know now about Super-PACs. Super-PACS take in enormous amounts of money, tax deductible, but not regulated. They can literally change the face of elections by the excercise of very expensive free speech. One starts to see what McCain-Feingold was all about.
We now know all the words to "America the Beautiful."
What about Ron Paul? Dr. Paul does not really agree with the Democrats but he really does not agree with the GOP. What in the name of Harold Stassen is he doing at the Republican debates?
Ron Paul is actually recreating the Reagan Republicanism that Reagan mostly talked about but did not enact. Ron Paul is trying to out-Reagan Reagan.
For Libertarians, necessity is a virtue. The push of history is based on hard personal experiences in the past they have overcome with hard work, individualist initiative and pluck. This is precisely what Stephen Colbert mocks in the title of his book, I Am America. And So Can You.
Or some such thing.
Libertarians hate any kind of social collective. Facebook must drive them insane, except that everyone gets to have their own account. For the Libertarian, their own early suffering is paramount in their politics, even if it is only imaginary. All altruism other than that which is personal and tactile is actually abuse of power masquerading as compassion.
Here is their point (and it slogans well): Individuals can be heroes but only individuals who are heroic loners can be heroes. No one else is admirable, least of all those who would move forward in a united front. This makes winning elections enormously difficult because it makes it necessary for millions of rugged individualists to show up at the same place on the same day and do the same thing.
Libertarianism works if the world is really big, loosely connected and with poor communication. If there are things like cell phones for ten year olds, lap top computers and moving pictures, Libertarianism is pretty much squashed. If we can see each other and unite around the most loosely held common needs, we need something more than slogans.
When the planes hit the towers in New York, Texas saw it and sent aid. When American troops went into the Middle East, Texas did not get to say, "Well, after all, those weren't our towers."
We are stuck with each other. Deal with it. Rugged individualism is on the way out. Collectivism, in the guise of large political parties, is the wave of the present.
You can like Ron Paul. You can independently celebrate some of his ideas and the way he energizes people with ideas.
You just cannot vote for him.
Opinions here are mine alone.