Early thoughts on Mitt Romney's speech
Having just heard the speech by Mitt Romney I want to share my early thoughts. I think that this was an impotant speech, and there will be no end of pundits discussion of what worked and failed in the speech. But from a comman man’s point of view, I have to say that it was a good speech.
I have no doubt in the conviction of the words spoken by Mitt Romney. They came across in a heart-felt manner. And I believe there was a hint of annoyance at times as well. I too share that annoyance, because in the 21st century, with 231 years of existence, America should not have a need for such a speech.
I have to wonder, as I did early in the speech, if Senator Barack Obama needs to make a speech about his race, or Senator Clinton needs to make one about being a woman. Sounds absurd on the onset, but where is the difference? In essence there is no difference unless an individual seeks to find a way to segregate and divide Presidential candidates on a basis that ignores character, intelligence, ability and experience.
Mitt Romney stated [I am writing this before the full speech is available so forgive me if I misquote]
“As President I will need the prayers of all the faiths of this nation.”
The fact is that any President needs this. We are a diverse naton, and no President has ever, nor ever will, represent everyone in the nation. Nor should they. We don’t need candidates that are willing to deny what they are, or give platitudes in an effort to gain cheap votes. And do not misunderstand, seeking votes on the basis of gender, race, religion or other categorizing factor is a vote that is sold cheaply and unwisely.
There is no question that in this nation there are many faiths, and peoples from across the planet. That is a strength of this nation. The basis that we all live and believe that our freedoms are the single most important fact of our lives. It is the driving force of why everyone in the world wants to live here or have their nation emulate facets of our own.
But the fact that this speech needed to be made worries me. It implies that there are some, a great many of them, that cannot accept the freedoms far too many have died and bled to maintain. It means that some would rather stick to prejudiced ideals and huddle in the dark rather than take steps forward to ensure the greatest good for the nation.
I am not making an endorsement, but I am highlighting a thought. Does it truly matter what the race, gender, religion or ancestry of an individual if they are the best choice to lead our nation in prosperity, peace (as much as possible), and freedom? Could anyone honestly say that they would give up any of those things to gain a superficial comfort in having a cookie-cutter incompetent lead them? If so that is perhaps one of the most un-American things I’ve ever heard.
The next President of the United States, and those to follow like those that preceeded them, is not a Man. They are not a religion, race or anything else. They are the embodiment of the nation, and when we pick them properly, the highest ideals that are the foundation of our land. It is this embodiment of the people, and service to them in seeking the greatest good, that is what the President is. To select a President for any other reason, to have a President that serves any other purpose, not only diminishes the nation but in fact harms our ability to continue.
Mitt Romney’s speech reminded me of these facts. He crystalized the fact that the election is not about Democrats vs. Republicans, or men vs. women, or White vs. Black. It’s not about whom a person gives faith to, or chooses not to. This election, like all elections in America, is about serving the will of the people and the betterment of our lives and world.
Perhaps that sentiment will pervade as pundits and major news organizations ponder over every letter and syllable. Perhaps the various candidates will reflect on this as they prepare for the next speech or debate. Perhaps the American citizens will take to heart this thought as they discuss this among friends, debate at primaries, and vote in the general election.
The faith of the citizens of this nation, in our nation and each other, is pre-emminent for each of us and all of us to continue to be free.
If we lose sight of that, we lose sight of America.