Shame, shame on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney! He did what no politician should ever, ever do -- particularly during a tight election. He told the truth.
When I woke up Tuesday morning and turned on the morning news every talking head on television was clamoring about a secretly taped speech Romney made to a group of his most staunch supporters. In this speech Romney had apparently confided in the group during an off-the-cuff remark that 47 percent of Americans are going to vote for President Obama in the upcoming November election no matter what. He went on to say that 47 percent of the nation has become dependent on the government and believe that they are entitled to certain benefits from the public largess.
Oh, the outrage! The public should be up in arms! A candidate for president publicly announces -- well, privately announces, but his remarks were made public -- that in order to win an election he has to convince the independent voters of America that he is the best person for the job. Oh the humanity of it all!
Of course a large percentage of Americans are going to vote for President Obama no matter what. Is the number as high as 47 percent? Probably. And a large percentage of voters are going to vote for Mitt Romney -- or anyone who runs against the president -- no matter what. That's the way American politics have been ever since Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson headed up the first two political parties in this great nation.
Of course Hamilton said that his Federalists were just a group of like-minded individuals who wanted what was best for the fledgling nation. These Federalists lobbied the new Congress to pass laws that benefitted their vision for the country and worked to get candidates elected that would vote the way they believed, but they insisted that they weren't a political party. Political parties, you see, had a bad reputation in the minds of the newly formed American nation and were blamed for most of the corruption in English politics. Still, the Federalists did insist that Jefferson's group was a political party.
Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, said that his Republicans were just a group of like-minded individuals who wanted what was best for the fledgling nation. These Republicans lobbied the new Congress to pass laws that benefitted their vision for the country and worked to get candidates elected that would vote the way they believed, but they insisted that they weren't a political party.
Of course both were political parties and America has been a two-party nation ever since, except for a brief period after the War Of 1812 when the Republicans, soon to be the Democratic Republicans and, finally, the Democrats, emerged as the all-powerful party for a generation.
But back to Romney. Every election in American history has been just like this one. One group has a base that cannot be shaken. The opposing group has a base that cannot be shaken. The group in the middle decides the election. The only thing that varies is the size of the base.
Barack Obama's base is growing as government entitlements continue to grow. There is no disputing it. Now don't hear something I am not saying. I am not saying that everyone who votes for Obama is on the public dole. There are yellow dog Democrats who are yellow dogs for a variety of reasons -- heritage, custom, ideological beliefs -- just as there are Republicans who vote Republican for the same reason. None of that changes the fact that Obama's base has grown in proportion to the percentage of the population that now receives support from the government.
There are an equal number of people that are just as vehemently opposed to Obama's policies. The folks in the middle will decide the election.
It is strange to me, however, that the liberal media -- which spends a lot of time and energy and money on "independent studies" in an effort to convince people that it is not liberal or biased -- is making such a mountain out of this proverbial molehill. And yet they have routinely failed to present candid facts to a listening world.
Like the fact that gasoline was $1.85 a gallon four years ago. How much did you pay the last time you filled up your tank? The national debt has escalated from $10.6 trillion to $16 trillion -- and is still rising. That 32 million Americans were on food stamps four years ago compared to 46.2 million today -- and the government is spending millions in advertising dollars to get more people to register. In addition to getting food stamps at home, the children in those families get free breakfast and lunch at school. Check into how those applications are verified sometime.
Unemployment has gone from 7.8 percent to 8.3 percent and that doesn't count the millions that have given up on looking for work. The median family income has dropped from $54,983 to $50,964. That's a 7 percent drop. America is being attacked all over the Middle East and the president apologizes and chastises the U.S. for being intolerant.
And folks are trying to be outraged because Mitt Romney told the truth. God help America.
I hope every candidate on both sides avoids saying anything the rest of the week. I want to get back to writing about skate keys and fried catfish and the Goatman.
Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For past columns, visit www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.