As a rule, Mitt Romney doesn’t have much to say for himself. He’s refused to discuss his time at Bain Capital, his experience as Governor of Massachusetts, his income tax returns, his behavior in high school, or the specifics of any plans he may have regarding energy, the economy, or immigration. He pledges to make America energy independent by 2020, for instance, but doesn’t clue us in as to how he plans to do it. So I was awfully curious about his plans for his big RNC speech. Where would he even find the words to fill up that great big time slot?
He found the words, almost 40 minutes worth of words. But he didn’t use them the way most humans do, to construct meaning and communicate it. All those words can be summarized as follows:
1) America is awesome!
2) Americans are awesome, and entitled to all kinds of awesome things!
3) Families are great!
4) Mittens loves his family!
5) It’s not really that Mitt’s mad at President Obama, he’s just very, very, disappointed in him.
About as substantial as marshmallow Fluff, but not nearly as delicious.
To be fair, he did restate his goal of creating, “jobs, lots of jobs.” 12 million to be exact. But he said nothing about how he’d do it. And he did say the thing about making America energy independent by 2020, but again, not even a hint as to how he’d go about it.
Mittens has declared his past, professional and personal, and his future plans off limits. It’s as if he expects us to take his word for it, that his history qualifies him for the presidency, and that he has lots of good plans, which will successfully accomplish good things. He’d apparently like us all to make a leap of faith, and give him our votes in ignorance of his history, what he’d do as president, and how he’d get it done. This, more than any evangelical prejudices, may be where his Mormon faith hurts his campaign.
The Church of Latter Day Saints is organized along a strict hierarchy. Members are discouraged from questioning either the Church’s doctrine or its leadership. Growing up in such a culture, Mittens was probably expected to take a lot of things on faith. As an adult, serving as a Bishop, he expected others to extend the same respect to him. It would explain his surprised annoyance when reporters, or voters, question him on one of his forbidden subjects. He doesn’t quite believe anyone has the right to challenge him in any context. If he’s serious about his bid for the presidency, he’s going to have to learn to tolerate, and answer, questions the both the media and voters deem important. Just because we say so, that’s why.