The Tampa fun and games are over. Despite bad press from media types who seem threatened by a little convention creativity, Clint Eastwood delivered the lines GOP voters wanted to hear. How else could we have worked that unspeakable phrase into the usual partisan rhetoric?
Voters demand lies from their candidates.
Just like Democrats, GOP voters demand that their candidates lie. Believing acceptable lies is better than losing heart during a hard-fought, bitter campaign. No matter how ugly or divisive this election season becomes, there are a few lies GOP voters expect to hear as part of the process, just as Democratic voters can anticipate the same lies and empty promises from Obama that they heard in 2008. When times are tough, lies are sometimes better than the truth.
Four years of the Obama recession have made us ravenous for change. Regardless of how the cards are stacked or how minute the chances that any one candidate will quickly restore prosperity, we expect to be told that better times are on the way. Call them necessary falsehoods or morale boosters. Here are a few of the statements you will hear. Just remember the truth behind the hyperbole.
Bipartisanship and political compromise are just around the corner.
We need to rethink our definition of “bipartisan.” The only bipartisanship we are likely to have anytime soon is the kind we get when one party rules both houses of Congress. If the partisan composition stays the same on Capitol Hill, we are in for four more years of inertia.
The congressional divisiveness and outright hatred spawned by the Obama presidency will not disappear overnight, no matter who is in the White House. We have likely moved past the point where bipartisanship and worthwhile compromise on the issues that are sinking us are even remote possibilities.
A businessman like Romney is what we need to fix the economy.
We will hear this one a lot. A businessman in the White House is what GOP voters have been asking for because Democrats are irresponsible politicians and Republicans are business people. The unfortunate truth is that the businessman or woman we put in the White House had better be an ace politician, too, or we will find out just how little running a business has to do with repairing the economy. Business owners understand what regulations and taxes do to their companies, but with the exception of Barack Obama, presidents are not legislators. Congress will happily throw the whole businessman paradigm into the toilet if the partisan balance is a bad match.
I will create (fill in the blank) number of jobs.
If only we could fill that gaping hole with a believable number. Mitt Romney told us last night that he would create 12 million jobs. President Obama keeps telling us that he has created over 4.5 million. To the detriment of both, when politicians assign numbers to success voters expect them to follow through. 12 million is a great number, for the time being. That accomplishment is still in our future. No matter how often we hear it, 4.5 million still sounds like a fraud.
A Republican president will deal with Iran.
The Iranian nuclear problem did not begin in 2009. Mr. Obama’s chief contribution to the crisis was to make it more acceptable for other nations to walk all over us. GOP voters have been talking about dealing with Iran once and for all while we secretly hope that Israel will step up to the plate, do the deed, and put the president in his place. If the opportunity presents and the choice is ours, are we ready to go to war in the Middle East?
Two half-truths the GOP should stop borrowing from Democrats:
Our public education system is putting America in second place.
Talking about world-class public education is tired Democratic jargon. The truth is that our education system is just fine. Americans are the ones with the problem, from teachers, to their union controllers, to jobless parents who have to worry about homelessness instead of homework. Chicago, the site of oureducation secretary’s last job, epitomizes everything that is wrong with the public education system in America. Teachers’ union members are revving up to begin the school year with a strike, all the while proclaiming their concern for students.
Get the unions out of education, grow the economy, and stop telling teachers they are special and deserve to be entitled just because they work hard. Then see what happens to our education system. If the compensation and benefits argument is true, how could private schools fill their teaching positions?
We are a nation of immigrants.
Amnesty, anyone? Ellis Island is a museum. The nation of immigrants slogan is for those who espouse a liberal fix to the immigration problem, not a party that declares that its priority is enforcement.
We are a nation of Americans. Why do Republicans insist on buying into a Democratic argument that erases the distinction between American citizens and illegal immigrants? Ask those who have gone through the process and have taken the oath of citizenship. Will they identify themselves as immigrants, or Americans?
The biggest whopper of all: Americans deserve success.
Americans deserve nothing. Anyone who believes otherwise is part of the problemwe have put up with since 2009.
Isn’t success what hard work and responsibility are supposed to bring? We need to kiss any expectations of big government solicitude goodbye. Forget Social Security, forget Medicare, forget Obamacare, and forget welfare. Americans want to hear that Social Security and Medicare will be around if the bottom falls out. We better wise up. The bottom fell through years ago.
Our acts and our potential are what make us great and give our country an unprecedented capacity to do good things, including funding humanitarian missions that are quickly forgotten and handing out foreign aid to erstwhile allies like Pakistan. That value has been eroded and denigrated over the past four years. If we find ourselves indulging a few well-intentioned lies and listening to some suspicious-sounding promises during the next two months, it will be the least we will have to do to correct the wrongs committed during this presidency. If anything, Americans deserve the chance to do that.