Two statements, two visions

Candidates' straight talk reveals where true compassion lies

“It’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

– Barack Obama, in 2008, on the views of small-town Pennsylvania voters

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

– Mitt Romney, in May 2012, in a video shot at a
private fund-raiser

Let’s look at those two unguarded moments of the two men vying to be our next president.

The “mainstream” media want you to believe what Mitt Romney said is scandalous. They did not feel the same way about what Mr. Obama said in 2008.

But the truth is, Mr. Romney was speaking largely about facts and reality. Some 47 percent of Americans do not pay income tax. Perhaps coincidentally, Mr. Obama’s support in a recent Gallup Poll stood at 47 percent.

Mr. Romney is not “caught” on the hidden camera disparaging anyone. If anything, his comments – issued last May – are honest and have been proved prescient, and simply reflect the state of America.

Mr. Obama’s summation of small-town America, on the other hand, is an elegant, elitist diatribe filled with stereotypes and scattershot accusations of rage-filled racism among working-class voters. In one derisive bit of ridicule, he convicted wide swaths of America of
unalloyed xenophobia and hatred.

There simply is no comparison between the two. Yet, the national media are apoplectic about Romney’s statement.

Will the media find another Obama unguarded moment, from 1998, as captivating? In it, he admits, “I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution – because I actually believe in redistribution ...”

Oh, wait. That socialist sentiment didn’t much matter to the media in 2008 when candidate Obama talked with Joe the plumber about spreading the wealth around.

Romney’s statement actually reveals nothing new. His facts are well-known.

But lost in all this back and forth, and the media’s rabid reaction to the Romney video, is the fact that the candidates’ statements do reveal strikingly different visions of and for America.

Mr. Obama’s love of government is leading to record numbers of Americans becoming dependent on it – 47 million on food stamps, 9 million on federal disability – at a time when governments, here and worldwide, are dealing with dwindling resources.

Governments are collapsing from the weight.

Mr. Romney represents the more traditional American view – the one that made this country the strongest, most prosperous in history – that free individuals must be allowed to set their own course, unfettered as much as possible by the heavy hand of the collective.

At bottom, this election is about whether the American ideals of individual liberty and self-determination endure.

The current imbroglio between the two candidates could be instructive – if the national media let it – about the definition of “compassion.” Mr. Obama’s camp seems to think that feeding and encouraging dependence (they’ve actually advertised to get more people on food stamps) is compassionate. But destroying the work ethic and preventing people from realizing their God-given potential – often through adversity and hardship – is the opposite of compassion.

You’ll never hear that from media that are simply obsessed with getting this president re-elected.

America’s ability to handle straight talk is being tested. The early results are not promising.

Letter: Romney remarks no secret
Letter: Candidate shows disdain

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