Charles Dharapak AP Photo
By Karl Lembke
Well, well, well. A “secret” recording of candidate Mitt Romney has surfaced, and the left is in full uproar over it. The left campaigns, not so much on reasoned debate, but on the principle of “If they can drown out your argument, they can pretend you don’t have one”.
There’s a great deal of drowning going on. I think it’s time to throw a little chlorine in this pool.
There’s a Klingon proverb which says, “Tell the truth, and leave immediately thereafter.” The truth often hurts, and the hearer often wants to make sure the hurt winds up in someone else’s lap, usually the bearer. Romney is in the uncomfortable position of having uttered some truth, and it scored a direct hit.
The number 47% has become a meme, and I’m seeing hysterical posts bearing that number all over Facebook. Some of the calmer posts dispute the number, or dispute whether everyone in this or that 47% of the population is a victim, should be a victim, has been a victim, or must always be a victim. Others do their best to confuse the issue. They point to people on Social Security, or disabled veterans, or some other sympathetic group and ask if these folks really deserve to have their benefits cut off.
This is really beside the point. The point is, there are a number of people who won’t vote for Romney, even at gunpoint. Nothing Romney can do will change this. And while Obama’s been holding pretty steady in the polls at 47%, I don’t think this is the level of his support in the voting population. I think it’s probably a lot closer to 20%. (Besides, 47% of statistics are made up.)
So if the clamor over 47% victimhood is leading us off the point of Romney’s statement, what is the point?
Remember, this was in a roomful of donors. These are people who are giving money — lots of money — to support a man in a run for the highest elected office in the land. These people would want some assurance that their money will be wisely spent.
Imagine you’re the campaign manager for the presumptive nominee of a major party. You can spend your money reaching out to two groups. Group A will never vote for your candidate no matter what, and group B might be persuaded to throw some votes in your candidate’s direction. Where do you spend your campaign’s money? Put that way, it seems a no-brainer. Group A is written off, and group B is the target of the campaign’s outreach dollars.
So what should Romney do? He might as well double down on this point. The crybaby caucus will do everything it can to double down for him, and at least while he’s doubling down, he can move the narrative in the direction that helps him the most.
He should emphasize that he knows better than to try to change the minds of those who won’t change. He respects their decision, and believes in leaving them alone.
He should emphasize that “writing these people off” most emphatically does NOT mean abandoning them to their fates. He believes (as those of us voting for him do) that his policies *will* benefit them, whether they believe it or not. He knows it’s in everybody’s best interest for everyone, including the 47%, to prosper, to thrive, and to be healthy, and he intends to implement policies to promote this.
In some cases, existing programs will be left alone so people who have come to rely on them may continue to do so. Medicare, for example, will not be touched for anyone over the age of 55. The government has made promises and it will darn well keep them.
But if you’re among the 47% of the people whose minds are made up, and nothing will change them, the Romney/Ryan campaign would love your votes, but knows better than to count on them. Those who don’t like being “written off” in this fashion have only themselves to blame.