Regular readers know that last week I proclaimed for all the world to see that “politicians lie.” They do. I stand by that.
This week, however, I must admit that a politician is taking heat for telling the truth.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had the unabashed gall to stand up in front of a group of supporters (apparently save one) and tell them the truth: Around 47 percent of the people in this country pay no taxes and are mostly dependent on the government for their survival.
That “one person” in the audience “secretly” taped Romney speech and then put it on You Tube where it naturally went viral. I just cannot help but believe that “one person” was a plant, especially since Jimmy Carter’s grandson has been publicly linked to the video’s release.
So, there it is for all the world to see. Romney “revealing” that 47 percent of the population feels some sense of entitlement from the government and the chances of them voting for a Republican are slim and none is twisted by the media and the Democrats as another example of a wealthy individual’s aloofness.
Actually, Romney’s statement is not that big of a revelation. Talk show hosts and columnists have been telling us for years that the number of people who pay no taxes is fast approaching 50 percent of the population.
The Democrats, however, have seized on Romney’s statement as if it were some terrible judgment on a large segment of people whom Romney has written off as constituents if he is elected president.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
True to the nature of those Democratic political hacks, and even several of those in the national news media, they have accused Romney of something which he did not do. What he actually did was tell his gathered supporters (save that one non-Republican) that any attempt to win those 47 percent of the voters over to the Republican Party was a lost cause.
And he is without a doubt right on target. He wasn’t talking about what he would do once he was elected and sworn in as president. He was telling those gathered at that fund-raising dinner that spending money to win over that 47 percent was a waste.
The concentration of campaign funds should be spent toward the 10-15 percent of undecided independents that make up the swing vote in the upcoming election. After all, it was precisely those voters who help thrust Barack Obama into the White House in 2008.
Whether it was some sense of guilt over not voting for a Black candidate or an overwhelming frustration with a Republican party that was looking more and more like a Democratic clone, those swing voters tossed their support for a president that has been an utter disappointment.
Romney must win those people over. And the only way he can do that is by hammering home the reality that President Obama has failed in his first term to deliver on the promises he made when he ran for office.
We all must face the fact that there is a segment of our society that feels the government owes them a living; that the government (whether it be state or local) has the responsibility of providing them with food, clothing and shelter; that they also believe the government should provide them transportation and day care; that the government is responsible for providing jobs to those who want to work; and that any attempt to curtail government supporter for those on the doll is wrong.
Lest we all forget, in his speech at the Republican National Convention, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said Mitt Romney was the candidate who had the courage to stand up and “tell the American people the truth.”
Ryan’s comments were received with applause from the delegates.
Now that Romney is delivering on Ryan’s promise the news media and the Democrats are waging war on his efforts by twisting what Romney said into some supposed sort of presidential policy should he be elected.
As an independent voter, who has cast a ballot in every presidential election since I turned 18, it distresses me that we have a segment of our voters who are either blind to the lack of ability of Obama, so loyal to the Democratic Party that they would stand by and watch this nation sink deeper into debt and continued high unemployment numbers because of failed policies and ineffective leadership, or who simply cast their vote for someone because of who he is and not what he has (or has not) accomplished.
As a nation we must reverse what is going on, both in the voting booth and in national politics. We are wandering far from what the Founding Fathers envisioned.
Kerlin’s roots go back generations in southwestern Fayette County. He’s a regular columnist for this newspaper.