Romney will win and the progressives (liberals, Democrats, however you want to label us) are helping to make that happen.
Every time Romney makes one of his gaffes, the progressive and even the moderate communities fall all over themselves with shock, disgust, and a lot of gleeful laughter. Each time we do that we put another nail in our coffin. The radical right knows their base of voters—and their base votes—believes hard work really pays off. In their view, if Romney is rolling in dough and helping the rich, he’s doing it because he’s successful. He must have done what they (the poor, working poor, and fundamentalist evangelical Christians) believe they can do if they try hard enough. He is a successful man, he is at the top of the food chain, so he is a leader (strict father morality) deserving of respect.
When we respond to him and mock him or say he’s awful, we are doing what the well-oiled communications machine of the radical right say that the “elitist liberals” do. We think we are better than everyone. We think we know what’s best for people. We condescend to everyone around us. We pat poor people on the head and give them a cookie and a hug. We don’t know how to be strong (like the successful guys like Romney or George W. Bush). Our wimpy ideas will turn our nation into sinful/amoral hedonists without any sense of responsibility.
Whether everything about Romney’s idiotic statements has been orchestrated, or if he is simply the best choice of puppet for the radical right (all politicians are puppets in this regard, the public face of policy formation and communications), or if they just got lucky that he keeps upsetting the progressives, it’s working. The progressives are all giddy because they think we’ll win. Surely even the least informed voters will realize Romney is an asshole who doesn’t care about them? The progressives are all passionate to show how wrong Romney is. The progressives are all swept away with responding to Romney. That’s how the radical right will win.
We need to stop paying attention to the radical right. We need to embrace our own values and share them with each other:
Hard work should pay off—A man should be able to work one full-time job and bring home enough money to pay for food, shelter, healthcare, and reasonable living expenses for his family. When hard times hit a family, the work they’ve done and the taxes they’ve paid should guarantee their freedom from poverty. Hard work should pay off.
Caring requires strength; caring is strength—Firefighters, police officers, first responders, and soldiers are all in the business of caring. They protect us. When a single mother protects her children by enduring the humiliation of asking for assistance from the government, she is being strong for her family. Protecting is caring and caring requires strength.
Government’s job is protecting our freedom—We should be free to drink clean water, eat disease-free food, and have access to electricity and drivable roads. Our health should be in our own control; the government should protect our medical freedom (access to high quality and truly affordable healthcare). Government’s job is protecting our freedom.
We are strong enough to care about each other. We are strong enough to be proud of our patriotic values (caring and freedom). We love our country because we value freedom: freedom from fear, from illness, and from poverty. We recognize we are a part of an interconnected global community. Finding peaceful solutions to international problems—trying to keep our soldiers safe—protects our freedom. Caring requires strength.