I am a part of the 47%, at least insofar as I will vote for President Obama “no matter what.” However, I do pay taxes, and it is now clear that I pay a far greater portion of my gross income that Romney apparently ever has. I was therefore as insulted by Romney’s remarks as everyone else. Romney has made a mess of his campaign. It is, as described by one self-described conservative, a rolling disaster.
All of that being said, and in accord with the insistence that discourse on this blog be always reasoned, I vote that it is past time to stop bashing this poor, unfortunate man and to use the rest of this campaign to hold a serious discussion of the critically important issues that this country needs to face in the next four years. We need desperately to reduce the cost of health care in America while providing basic care to everyone in America. We need to reasonably and efficiently fund education to provide our youth the tools they need to improve the world that we are handing them. We need to develop and execute a policy of clean, domestically produced energy that will both improve our environment and reduce or eliminate our dependence on foreign sources of energy. We need to encourage our entrepeneurs to create the businesses that employ our people on our soil. We need to pass a reasoned program of debt reduction, the elimination of waste in government and a reasonable increase in taxes to pay the debt and accomplish the tasks listed above.
Most of all, we have to return to a political atmosphere where politicians of every stripe can work together to accomplish the work of the American people. We have to create an atmosphere in which members of opposing political parties can discuss their differences on substantive issues, without caricature or vilification. We can start our long journey in that direction by refraining from rubbing Mr. Romney’s nose in his gaffes and allowing him at least to be heard on what would probably be, if both his supporters and his opponents would let him speak honestly, valuable suggestions for how this country can continue its long slog out of a very bad time and toward a remarkable and much-needed recovery. Mr. Romney is, as David Brooks so correctly characterized him, a good and decent man. He would clearly be a terrible president, but he wants to help this country, and we can use all the help we can get.