I hate politics. That used to be a bit of a slogan for my blog here. I hate politics because it brings out the worst in people. The demagoguery of politics cons generally otherwise reasonable, respectable people into obsessing over trivialities and into adulating people whose primary skill is convincing people to idolize them. The result is that the ideas and the people that really matter, those that can actually benefit society the most, never see the limelight.
So I can’t help but cringe when a Big Political Event like Romney choosing his running mate saturates the news. Mercifully, I was away on a family camping trip in northern Michigan when this monumental occasion transpired, but an infrequent newspaper did cross my path and from the headlines it was obvious to me that Something Big had happened. Apparently.
But all the hype is just that: hype. The carefully calculated selection of a vice presidential candidate has no bearing on policy; its a contrived display meant to gin up maximum party support and cohesion. For anyone who already has a firm stance regarding Romney, whether he chooses Jesus, the devil, or anyone in-between as his running mate is really of little consequence. Except in extreme circumstance such as assassination of the president the VP is really little more than a glorified cheerleader. A powerful cheerleader with a national voice might mean something to the indifferent but to those who adore Romney (I have yet to meet anyone who does) or, conversely, those who will avoid voting for him as if their life depended on it (of whom I’ve met quite a few), it doesn’t matter.
According to The Detroit News Mitt Romney made a “bold” decision and he “ended the debate about whether he is a closet moderate and made clear that, if elected, he will govern as an economic and social conservative.” The article continues by likening Romney’s decision to Bush selecting a “Washington-wise” and “strong-willed” Dick Cheney in 2000. Bush, however, was a neocon who selected a fellow neocon for his running mate: any boldness was painstakingly calculated and superficial. Romney’s choice for running mate, Paul Ryan, is a pro-preemptive war, big government Republican who supported an expensive and strategically stupid war condemned as unjust by his own faith, supported both the auto bailout and the bank bailout, and supported the expansion of the already failing, impoverishing Medicare program. Neoconservative and corporate fascist Mitt Romney chose a neoconservative corporate fascist as his running mate. There’s nothing “bold” about that: he chose one of his own and, what’s more, he chose one of his own to play a highly visible but largely powerless role. Mitt Romney hasn’t ended any debates (as if the “if-by-whiskey” politician could ever actually convincingly “end” anything) – he’s just as much of a corporate collectivist as ever before except now the plastic android has a younger more attractive version of himself to excite Americans to his cause.
God help us if we swallow the lie that this is what true conservatism looks like or that these are the defenders of liberty or the Culture of Life. They are not.