During the last 40 or so years as the Left in this country has ascended to ever-increasing levels of power, there have been few roadblocks in their way. They have used the timidity of the opposition, the overall good will and tolerance of the American public, and the gradually boiling frog theory all to their advantage. As a result, at least until recently, leftist politicians and media drones have been able to spew the most outrageous attacks on conservatives and, for the most part, get away with it.
Although it’s difficult to pin down just when this began, one clearly important marker was the flawed and tragic presidency of Richard Nixon. During the dark days of Watergate, anyone who dared to defend the president from the left’s echo chamber of damning charges was labeled as a neo-fascist or worse. From there, the next target was Ronald Reagan, who frustrated the Left no end because his sunny disposition, sense of humor, and relative absence of paranoia about his political opponents gave them no real leverage to make the attempted tarring and feathering stick. Still, Reagan was vilified in ways that even Nixon, granted a more moderate Republican, was not.
Then, in the late 1980’s the tide began to turn again in the Left’s favor. In George H. W. Bush, the Left saw someone who could be manipulated and belittled with relative impunity, given his patrician and gentlemanly demeanor. This became especially apparent when Bush selected a young, untested conservative from heartland America as his vice president. Dan Quayle provided the Left with a perfect foil for their unceasing vitriol against all things conservative, and Quayle’s often less-than-stellar retorts along with his boss’s inept defense or silence just made his enemies pile on all the more.
During the Clinton years, the Left went into high gear to protect their man in the White House from his critics at all costs. The selection of Ken Starr, a thorough but soft-spoken man, as independent prosecutor in the Lewinsky scandal, gave the Left yet another foil that either wouldn’t fight back or was ineffectual in trying to do so. As a result, Bill Clinton emerged from the impeachment imbroglio stronger and more popular with the public than ever, even as Starr became the villain—at least in the eyes of Clinton’s political and media allies, who did much to frame public opinion.
By the time George W. Bush was elected—or, as his enemies would say, “became” president—any semblance of respect or cooperation from the Democrat Party—by this time totally subsumed into the extreme political Left—was long gone. Unfortunately, Bush’s dogged efforts to be a true unifier as he promised by working with Democrats on key legislation and in solidarity post 9/11, were all in vain. Many in this country who claim that both parties are to blame for today’s “hyper-partisanship” are ignorant, either genuinely or by choice, of Bush’s futile but mighty attempts at bipartisanship to the point of pandering to his opponents. Far worse was Bush’s utter refusal to take off the gloves, for risk of soiling the dignity of the office, when it became clear that his opponents wanted nothing of cooperation and compromise, so busy were they stabbing him in the back.
The less said about John McCain’s sorry campaign in 2008, the better—so nothing more will be said here. Let’s forward to the current campaign, in which Mitt Romney risks making the same mistakes his predecessors have made and thus allows the Left to manipulate the voters against him.
In fighting against the attempted smears regarding his tax returns—including his “failure” to release as many of them as the Left demands—Romney has thus far kept the gloves on regarding his brazen opponent’s refusal to release his academic records as well as records to prove his shady financial dealings with a man who is now behind bars were not as sinister as they seem. Romney, if he expects to win in November, cannot allow this double-standard to continue virtually unchallenged. And this goes for more than just tax records.
Romney’s recent international trip, although universally panned as a gaffe-fest by the leftist media, was in fact a breath of fresh air compared to what we’ve been hearing for the last three and a half years. Romney’s camp needs to point out that the true gaffes lie with Obama and his bowing, scraping, apology tour as the president (Romney is, after all, still a mere candidate).
This election is not just a contest between two contrasting views—it is, rather, a fight to the finish for the very heart and soul of this country, between those who still value how America was founded and what it stands for, versus those who wish to destroy what remains of that America and remake the country as part of a socialistic, new world order. Romney can ill afford to be a nice guy in the coming weeks, as people actually start paying attention to all the nasty sound bites the Left will throw at him.