Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mitt Romney's anti-freedom campaign ad

Mitt Romney is running for President. Putting aside any personal politics for a moment, think about what it means to run for President right now. Regardless of who you are or what party you represent, if elected you'll be facing an ongoing (or, hopefully, recently-concluded) unpopular and disasterous war, looming nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea, a rising China, an ongoing war with Islamic Fundamentalist terrorists and the very real possibility that the planet might be COOKING US TO DEATH. These are huge questions of immediate and vital importance, so when campaigning it's equally vital that YOU tell the American voters what issues are most important to you.

With that in mind, I give you the Romney campaign's latest TV commercial, as posted on the Romney camp's official YouTube page:

Yes, folks. In the face of war, climate-change, terrorism and worldwide instability, Mitt Romney wants YOU the voter to know that he's all tore up over... um... violent video games and internet pornography. Way to prioritize, Mitt. He goes on to wonder-aloud about how "we" can clean the culture up - the obvious implication: Make me president and I'll try to make the objectionable stuff go away. He even goes so far as to echo Peggy "What's My Relevancy Again?" Noonan's opinion that this "culture" was the cause of - wait for it - The Columbine Massacre.

Now, let's just be clear here: My problem isn't if Romney actually believes that the existance of Grand Theft Auto and MrSkin causes schoolchildren to become mass-murderers. It's his RIGHT to believe that if he wishes - it makes him an IDIOT, yes, but it's still his right. No, the problem is the unmistakable implication that Romney ALSO believes it'd be his job as president to forcibly remove such "toxins" from the culture. THAT I have a problem with. This is the United States of America, a Constitutional Republic. As such, the government is to have no influence or interferance with the content of the press, art, TV, movies, etc. In a free, capitalist-oriented society, such things are the realm of the private sector and the citizenry. Period. A system where the government would be "cleaning" the culture of objectionable material would be fascism. Or Socialism. Either one works, in this case.

Here's the thing: Romney is running as a Republican and calls himself a "Conservative." But look at the ad, and what it suggests. He essentially advocates a government deciding what content is "good for the culture." That's not any kind of Republic I've ever heard of. The word "conservative," as applied to politics, has only ever ACTUALLY meant one thing: limited government. In what Bizarro World does increasing the role of government in private citizen's decisionmaking LIMIT it? If this silliness was coming from, say, Hillary Clinton (spoiler warning: It will be soon enough) it'd at least be consistent: Mrs. Clinton, a liberal, is SUPPOSED to support increased government. Ayn Rand and George Orwell would BALK at this kind of Nanny State nonsense coming from a "conservative" politician. But Rand and Orwell were of a time when politicians still respected the English language and politics was still the realm of intellect and reason, and that's no longer the case. Politics is now about whipping up "the base," and "conservative" politics especially. is all about genuflecting in the direction of paranoid, backward-looking religious/superstitious regressives who actually DO believe that GTA will turn their lil' darlings into murderers.

Credit where it's due: Jason Apuzzo, the high muckety-muck at the right-wing "Libertas" blog, had this to say about the ad: "Why does the odor of McCarthyism still cling to conservatives? Precisely because of rhetoric like Romney’s." http://www.libertyfilmfestival.com/libertas/?p=5891

In any case, ads like this are designed to influence voters, and in my case I can safely say it has made up my mind about Romney for me: I won't vote for him. If he is the nominee for president, I will vote for the Democrat. If the Democrat is Mrs. Clinton, I will vote for a third party. Period.

P.S. Settle down. No, I don't have anything against Mormons. Just this one.