Since I devoted all of last week to laying out the case against President Obama’s reelection, I didn’t have time to comment on some of the happenings in the campaign. For instance, there was this big hullabaloo over a remark Mitt Romney made about how 47% of the electorate is getting some kind of government assistance and won’t be as amenable to his message. He said they were basically in the tank for Obama.
That comment brought a storm of criticism from the media—the same media that is working actively on behalf of the Obama campaign. You would have thought, given the extent of the coverage of what they considered a “gaffe,” that this was the most shocking statement ever to come from a political candidate. They did their best to put his remark in the worst possible light and create anxiety in the electorate.
I do believe Romney exaggerated the numbers a bit, simply because he also counted those who are receiving Social Security, which is primarily getting one’s money back from the government after being without it for most of our lives. However, even those on Social Security often don’t want any boat rocking. They want nothing to touch what they were forced to hand over to the government all those years. That makes some of them skittish about any talk of real change in government spending and taxation. What Romney was really doing was pointing out a sad fact of American life in the twenty-first century: we are creating a nation of people who feel they are victims and who need the government to bail them out:
Therefore, Romney was correct in principle: those who receive a benefit want it to continue; they are more closely tied to the ones who are offering the benefit. In this case, the giver is the Obama money machine. Never mind, of course, that anything he gives first came from the people of the country—or from the printing press, as we churn out more of the greenbacks to pass around. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is on the job:
Unfortunately, this bad example could become contagious:
I’m impressed that Romney hasn’t backed down on the principle. The message needs to be spread far and wide, and with passion: it’s time to turn the corner away from government paternalism. If we accept the role of government as our father and provider, we regress into helpless children. We are in deep need of maturity. It’s time to reject paternalism and regain our self-government and self-respect.