I try to keep myself from getting too worked up over the U.S. presidential election and all the craziness coming out over the internet (if you don’t read online comments, do yourself a favor and don’t start!) However, this piece by Charles Blow in the New York Times, titled I Know Why the Cages Bird Shrieks, sounded a chord for me. In response to Romney’s backtracking from his (now infamous) Boca Raton speech:
Romney’s feeble explanations reek of insincerity and desperation.
And I think I know why: he’s terrified.
Romney is trapped by a desperate desire for legitimacy. He is a square — in more ways than one — trying to squeeze himself into the conservative circle of trust.
In so doing, he says all the right things the wrong way. His facts are off. His timing is off. His pitch is off. He’s just off. Try as he may, he just doesn’t fit in. But he’s now so lost in his thirst for high office that he has also lost himself. Co-opted convictions will always betray you.
Romney, whose economic plan is titled “Believe in America,” demonstrated with brutal efficiency that he doesn’t in fact believe in America.
At the beginning of the primary season, I didn’t have much thought about Mitt Romney one way or another. He seemed like a moderate who wouldn’t go all ideological on us if elected. As the election season has progressed and I have seen and heard more of him, he seemed to take on a kind of deer-in-the-headlights look, even as his words turned more and more towards the right.
Blow writes that this kind of “infinite malleability” is a dangerous trait, in that it can be easily and infinitely corrupted by the true believers in that camp. He’s absolutely right. Romney is clueless about the world but convinced of his own goodness. We saw the consequences of such a president during the George W. Bush years. Do we really need to go there again?