The Santorum surge has radically altered the state of the Republican presidential race – at least as of today. Whether Santorum has the strength to defeat Mitt Romney is an open question; we shall see over the next few months. However, many of my friends are heavily leaning (or have fallen over) in Santorum’s direction. When I decided my choice for president, Santorum had hardly caught any fire; however, I am sticking with Romney.
I have three main reasons for doing so:
First and foremost: only one candidate has raised the alarm on the Chinese Communist Party – and that candidate is Mitt Romney: He has been alone in raising concern over the regime’s theft of intellectual property from foreign
dupes investors far and wide. He is the first candidate for president ever to take note of the CCP’s desire to build a global network of tyrants to challenge the free world (not even Duncan Hunter mentioned that in 2008). He has continued to sound the alarm on them despite being attacked for it by the other candidates – including none other than Rick Santorum. For the uninitiated, just about every enemy of America or threat to the same (the mullahcracy of Iran, Saddam Hussein before he was deposed, the Taliban, al Qaeda, North Korea, the Syrian regime, even Qaddafi) has been backed or is backed by the Chinese Communist Party (for the latest on the Tehran-Beijing axis, see the National Post). We need a president who recognizes this danger – and Mitt Romney alone makes the cut.
Second, Romney has the private sector experience that is needed: Just to be clear, private sector experience itself, while certainly valuable, is not per se what I mean. It is Romney’s experience in taking on bloated companies that are bleeding money with antiquated business plans that got my attention – especially given that the new president will take over an executive branch bleeding over $1T a year with far too large a bureaucracy and service systems (e.g. entitlements) stuck in 1969. None of the other candidates have experience in paring down overloaded personnel and modernizing a wheezing entity.
Finally, I consider Romney’s conversion on life to be sincere: I’ve given this one a lot of thought over the last few months, and for good reason. The abortion issue being what it is, many politicians have held to one view throughout. Some have shifted, once, based on intellectual pondering, a dramatic personal story, or, well, crass political considerations. Romney is the only politician I know who has double-backed on this issue. Initially, in 1994, Romney had his personal story (if memory serves, a distant relative had died from an illegal abortion), and that seemed that.
Then the embryonic stem-cell research debate hit Boston.
Normally, views on ESCR are driven by views on unborn life in general. Defenders of the latter by and large can’t stand the former, although a few do. Almost no one who defines themselves as pro-choice opposes ESCR. So one can imagine the surprise when Romney himself tried to stop the creation (and destruction) of research-only embroys. It just doesn’t make sense. After a while, it didn’t make sense to Romney either, and he realized that if you can’t tolerate the death of one embryo, you can’t tolerate the death of any of them.
It’s an unusual journey on the issue, of that there is no doubt. But Mitt Romney is more an empirical politician than a philosophical one; he builds his views from what he sees in front of him – and in this case, what he saw in front of him was so horrifying it overrode the loss of his relative.
These are the reasons I still support Romney. I do not think his nomination is inevitable. Nor do I think he would automatically be a better general election candidate than Rick Santorum – each has their own potential path to victory.
I do think Romney will be better at reducing the size and scope of government, identifying our enemies around the world, and standing up to said enemies. In short, I think he would be a better president than anyone else in the field.
Cross-posted to Bearing Drift