Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

I believe in America

Jerry Stratton, May 27, 2011

Nothing says “I take your vote seriously” like “Dear Friend”.

Monday Morning

Dear Friend,

I believe in America.

How could I not? I grew up in Detroit in the heyday of the American automobile industry. American ingenuity was all around me.

I was impressed by that same ingenuity in the business world. I was inspired by it when I served as CEO of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. And I worked to foster it when I was Governor of Massachusetts.

I recently took the first step in a run for the White House by establishing a presidential exploratory committee. Let me tell you why I have taken this step.

Yes, of course, it’s Mitt Romney, whose only savior in not being the establishment Republican in this race is that Jon Huntsman is also running. An exploratory committee? Really? Are you seriously not going to run, Mitt, if I don’t respond? What are you really exploring in this letter?

His choice of experience to tout is odd; I’d rather hear about his time as CEO of a business other than the Olympic Winter Games.

His entire letter pretty much says “establishment politician” as much as it says Republican. Much of it could easily switch “conservative” and “liberal” and still have a stirring message of exploratory American love.

As one of America’s most loyal and generous [liberals], I am asking for your early support to get our effort off to a strong start. Will you help by contributing today?

“Believe in America” is more than just a campaign slogan -- it’s one of my core beliefs. I am the son of a man who achieved the American Dream and I refuse to believe the American Dream is no longer possible.

My father graduated from college. He apprenticed as a lath and plaster carpenter. Dad always believed in America, a lath and plaster man could work his way up to running a little car company called American Motors and end up a three-term Governor.

Early on I learned that America was the land of opportunity. I grew up in an America that respected and encouraged entrepreneurs. The current administration is doing everything it can to crush our spirit of enterprise and innovation.

[Bush] is suffocating the American Dream. We must save it.

How do we do that?

By believing in America. Our future depends on it.

Yeah, I had to cheat by replacing the reference to “Washington” with a specific reference to, say, “Bush”. But very little is actually said in this letter other than, “I need your money”. Which, itself, is probably a lie. I received this letter yesterday; he’s going to announce in a few days. He doesn’t need my money to do that.

He talks about his father’s accomplishments as much as his own, especially his father’s three-terms as Governor of my home state1, Michigan. Growing up in Michigan, but after Governor Romney’s era, all I know about him is that he gave us the income tax.

But then, bragging about his own accomplishments as governor only gets us asking about his Ghost of Health Care Past and how it ties him to Barack Marley’s clanking chains.

In his defense, he does take on President Obama:

I don’t apologize for America.
I believe in America.

Over the past few years, it’s become quite accepted for leaders to apologize for America. Our President has become good at it as evidenced by his American Apology Tour when he apologized to audiences in Turkey, France, Cairo, and around the world.

Never before in American history has its President gone before so many foreign nations and apologized for the America. The “We Are Sorry” apologies just fuel the anti-American fires burning all across the world.

[another paragraph]

[please give me money]

[the above “believe in America” passage]

The message itself is a timely one, but it’s not a policy one, it’s about appearances. To the extent that it is policy, it’s foreign policy. Romney is trying to turn this election into a foreign policy election instead of a domestic policy election. I don’t see how that helps him, and in any case it completely ignores the Tea Party and it’s concerns about economic issues and the general economic meltdown. Unless something drastic happens, the general election is going to be about domestic policy, not foreign policy.

It’s going to be about health care, taxes, borrowing, debt, and spending.

He doesn’t talk about any actual policy changes in this letter, unless you count “not apologizing”. He praises American ingenuity, American Motors, freedom2, free enterprise, and his wife Ann.

He talks about the stifling nature of taxes, but not what he supports for tax reform. He talks about reducing out-of-control spending on entitlements, but doesn’t mention the Ryan or Rand plan, nor any sort of Romney plan.

Yes, I want to know your principles. I also want to know what those principles have guided you into supporting. I want to know what you’re going to do.

As a non-Republican, somewhat libertarian who no longer identifies with anything in the Democratic Party, I worry that an establishment approach like Romney’s will be enough to win the Republican primary. But that isn’t going to win the general.

“Do you believe?” Mitt cried. “If you believe, clap your hands! Don’t let America die.”

In response to Mimsy Election Mailbag: Let’s see which politicians prefer the post office to the Internet, and what they say when they do.

  1. At the time, governors in Michigan served for two years; three terms meant six years, from 1963 to 1969. I was technically alive for part of that. I don’t think we had a television, however.

  2. “If elected, I will be vigilant in my defense of freedom for I consider it one of our highest values, bestowed by God and protected by our Constitution.”

  1. Michelle Bachmann ->