BA on Assignment

September 1, 2012

Left vs. Right

More articles for »
Written for: Communicado Magazine
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Another month of campaigning… another 30 days of, “Who’s on first?” The back-and-forth has hit a high – everything the other party says gets pounced upon, exaggerated and perpetuated. Isn’t that what everyone does when they go to work? 🙂

I’m going to start this post disclaiming myself from having to comment on either party’s conventions. Conventions are nothing more than adult pep rallies and so, complimenting them or criticizing them has no actual value. Enough said…

However, since our last post, there have been a few milestones…

Mitt Romney made an overseas trip stopping in London, Israel and Poland. London makes sense because of the Olympics. His wife’s horse was in the Dressage competition. Right.

Israel even made sense because Romney and Benjamin Netanyahu – current Prime Minister – worked together in the middle 70’s. But, everyone seems to be scratching their heads over his decision to visit Poland. Supposedly, there was some connection to ideology that Romney was intent to make subliminally, but, I think that’s too much of a stretch considering, voters are still trying to connect with him.

A more effective statement would have been to go to Mexico. 1) His father was born there. 2) He has a particular disconnect from underrepresented groups. 3) It’s a country in turmoil and the US has made few in-roads to help.

President Obama has not been able to connect the dots on the numerous issues related to Mexico because it is an impossible situation. Immigration, the drug trade for which Mexicans point to the US as fuel to the fire… IMMIGRATION!

I think it would be such a huge show of courage for Romney to make the natural family connection and make a show of support for Mexican leadership – even if it is just for show. Poland was just for show and what is he getting out of that? More Polish white males? He needs them? He would at least make a dent in the hispanic population which could be critical in this election. As it stands, I don’t think he can count on any underrepresented groups for support.

Then he picked Paul Ryan as his VP running mate. More white males. AND, more voters even further to the right. It’s a choice that gets him firm support from the GOP base, but, it also pushes him further away from women, people of color and independents. Portman or Pawlenty would have been better because their views are not as starkly RIGHT and clearly documented like Paul Ryan’s. Everyone is clear that Paul Ryan stands clearly and firmly to the right… far right.
So the problem is now a full-on catch-22. Romney’s best hope for undefined voters was the sense that he was/is a more moderate republican. He picked Ryan to please the base; Now Ryan has to back-track on his documented views to match up with Romney’s documented views. Just looks like a series of contradictions. The GOP appears to be at war with each other and we’re all watching it. I’m sure that won’t build confidence with any voters…

And speaking of building confidence in voters, the Obama campaign has to stop sounding defensive. Like I’ve said before, they need to focus on talking about what they’ve actually done instead of constantly addressing the accusations from the other side followed by an attack on ANYTHING and EVERYTHING imperfect about the Romney campaign. It’s actually quite unattractive and alienating to know that they would rather be nasty finger pointers than stand up and fight on equal ground.

If the DNC wants to win this election, they need to outline the pitfalls of trickle-down economics and why it didn’t work under Bush 43 and they need to reposition the conversation on their successes – whatever they are.

The voters are drawing their own conclusions about Romney’s trustworthiness and the clear distance in lifestyle, advantages and commiseration the Romney’s don’t get. It makes a difference to the average voter.

So, now the choice is crystal clear: This election is about Right vs. Left. We’ll find out in November where our country really stands as a majority.

Fact is, candidates always have these glorified ideas about what they will do BEFORE they take office. Then they get there and realize, “I’ve got 200 other things to fix BEFORE I can even get to one of the things on my agenda.” It’s PBO’s achilles heal and Mitt Romney would be no different. Pick the person and the plan you like better…

I’m gonna shut this month down with the question that keeps being asked: Are you better off today than you were four years ago? Good direction for the GOP to go. But, why isn’t the DNC saying yes? If I’m not mistaken, weren’t we LOSING jobs when PBO took office and aren’t we now gaining a small amount of jobs? Gaining instead of losing is always better, isn’t it?

The DNC should counter that question with: Do you think you’ll be asking yourself that same question after four years with Romney/Ryan? I bet that’ll scare a few million voters…