Last night Mitt Romney attempted to motivate us into voting for his vision of America.
Light on substance and heavy on 1950′s imagery, his speech did little to inspire. Don’t get me wrong, I too like the concept of everyone feeling the warmth of that Norman Rockwell vision of America that was Mitt Romney’s life and seems to be his vision, but the reality behind the picture is what we as voters really need to hear.
The speech, however, didn’t give us that. What it did reveal is that the Romney campaign wants us to feel the love. In his appeal to women, he presented repeated images of a happy, healthy family all of which are very touching. Clearly Mr. Romney loves his family. Still, that imagery occults the fact that if Romney takes charge of this great country, many kids won’t wake up in that carefully painted picture that was the Romney family’s reality but will instead have to wake to even more pollution thanks in no small part to Mr. Romney’s heavyweight political contributors in the fossil-fuel industry.
If you have any doubt how badly Big Oil and dirty coal want to win, just count the number of negative ads paid for by his friends in coal and his promise to drill baby drill anywhere and everywhere. As my colleague Heather Taylor-Miesele pointed out, “the energy plan Romney drafted with Big Oil donors after they gave him $10 million in donations calls for more drilling, more mining and more fracking with fewer environmental standards, and more fossil fuel subsidies.
For poor and minority communities that already feel the brunt of pollution and face lower rates of insurance or may lose coverage altogether, the impacts will be even greater.
I have to ask if the campaign realizes that the Leave it to Beaver picture painted here only accentuates the fact that Mr. Romney is out of touch. A democracy is supposed to be rule by the people for the people and our country no longer looks like it did in 1960–and that’s a good thing. Our diversity has made us stronger. And even the GOP “tried” to show diversity by prominently placing Latinos, African-Americans and, umm, well, that’s about it I guess—in their convention line up.
So while that cannot serve as an indictment of Mr. Romney’s character, it does give an indication of how “in touch” a Romney presidency would be with problems that tend to affect minorities like air and water pollution.
The bottom line is sprinkles of Spanish and mentions of his father being born in Mexico don’t go far enough to show that the GOP will act in the best interests of the Americans that didn’t frequently appear in Mitt Romney’s 1950’s America (for that matter neither do poor non-Hispanic whites, gays or non-Christians), and polls are reflecting this disconnect showing Romney trailing President Barack Obama by a large margin among Latino an black voters.
If during this convention–the ultimate infomercial for the Republican party–the party cannot muster up more representation or at the very least imagery to paint a picture more reflective of our country, how can we expect them care about us once they get the power they want? Bottom line is they don’t. A look at their platform shows we’re the least of their concerns.