Of Polls & Refined Conservatism


By David Beilstein

IT appears National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru is hitting his campaign coverage stride. His column, here, makes some interesting points. Likewise, Ponnuru’s link to Sean Trende’s election analysis seems rock solid to these eyes … you can catch Mr Trende’s column here.

Make no mistake the majority of American voters want to replace President Obama. The polls about the economy and the direction of the country are crystal clear. That’s not where the hedging is going on. The hedging concerns Mitt Romney. Is Romney a reasonable replacement for Obama? Right now, in the eyes of voters, Romney has not answered that question well and will need to be clearer and better in this area if he wants to win.

Any conservative (or libertarian) can throw bombs at presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the GOP, generally — their recalcitrant spending, congressional cowardice, subtly progressive premises  — and much more.

That would be missing the point though.

In Ponnuru’s column, he explicates how Romney’s weakness is his campaign’s inability to articulate a coherent message — to be empathetic — to middle class voters. Such circumstances overshadow the fact Democratic Politics (and candidates) are supported by the more wealthy counties across the nation in recent elections. Likewise, it seems the political cliché, that Democratic policies, of course, are for the working people, the poor, etc., and Republicans — yes! — shill for the rich. This nonsense is too easily maintained despite contrary evidences.

Romney’s problem is his conservatism is skin deep. Such misfortune leads to a superficial classically liberal argument against Obama’s campaign. This superficiality, therefore, lacks the ability to explain the intricate relationship between productivity, job creation, and capital formation, so important to middle class voters.

Romney needs to articulate why his policies reduce the economic impediments gone amok under Obama’s policies. In consequence, the explanation from Romney-Ryan that reduction of government interference with capital formation, fuels productivity, thus creates the kind of jobs middle class voters can live and expand opportunities for them and their families.

Moreover, the popular presumption wealthy people eat up economic resources needs to be attacked passionately by the Romney campaign. There is a need to explain from team Romney that private wealth expands, and yes, distributes itself amidst various people working in the economy. This fuels GDP revenue, reducing debt, and fortifying monetary and currency stability.  In contrast, government redistribution reduces overall wealth — without creating sustained ‘new’ wealth — while private distribution through the free market system increases and expands wealth formation.

Top Romney strategist, Stewart Stevens’ obduracy of running an ideologically neutral (or indifferent) campaign is expressing its severe inability to deal with the ideological presuppositions inherent in this election. Ideology does not mean tepid communication — or disconnect from average voters. Actually, it is quite the opposite. Consequently, the way to combat President Obama and his ideology is an opposing ideology, not an absence of it.

Gov. Ronald Reagan successfully beat President Jimmy Carter by wading into ideological waters. The middle class (as is now) was being suffocated by intrusive government overregulation. The path to being inaugurated on January 20th 2013 for Mitt Romney is an expansion and interconnected campaign based upon ideology. It must be expressed in such away in contradistinction to Obama’s rhetoric, of why policies of economic libertas will dramatically impact middle class voters in the positive.

The time is now — tomorrow might be too late.


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