I have stuggled to find–or come up with myself–an article that I could send to my non-Romney friends that explains Romney’s conservative credentials.
Until now. Courtesy of the great Article IV blog:
The entire article is great, but here’s my favorite part:
On Mitt Romney
Even a glance at Romney shows a deeply conservative man. He is his father and mother’s son. At great cost, he has held to the religious faith of his fathers. He chose to be a Republican when many of his background (see Reid, Harry) would have joined the Democrats.
He is a conservative man, but not a reactionary. Most of his “flip-flops” are due to different responses over changing times or conditions.
Health care in Massachusetts is a prime example. The voters of Massachusetts are to the left of the American center. They wanted more coverage for the citizens. Options on the table all would increase state power.
In this case, it was not a choice between doing nothing or something. It was a question of what would be done. Romney gave Massachusetts a plan that honored the free market far more than “single payer” or other more strongly socialist plans would have done.
As a result, voters in Massachusetts got what they wanted, for good and bad, but at less cost and harm to liberty than if Romney’s political opponents had defeated him.
Romney got the best deal he could get and did good for uninsured people as well. He should be proud of his plan.
The US is not Massachusetts. By the time of Obama Care, the electorate had also changed. Obama Care is similar to the Massachusetts plan, but imposes it on Utah and Texas and other states where it is far inferior to other possibilities. Passing Romney’s plan also allowed Romney and other politicians to see the strengths and weaknesses of the plan.
Romney learned from this, but Obama did not.
In short, Romney got the best plan he could in Massachusetts. Obama crammed down the worst plan that could pass. Single payer might have happened in Massachusetts, but it had no change at the Federal level.
Romney-care was conservative in Massachusetts. Obama-care was liberal for the entire United States.
On abortion, Romney changed his mind. Unless he is lying, he had horrible family experiences that had made him pro-choice. The experience of dealing with the abortion extremists in Massachusetts began to change his mind. Finally, he came to a position more mainstream to his deeply held LDS faith.
That seems a natural evolution for a deeply conservative man.
Finally, Romney is a human being and one that is ambitious. He has made mistakes and been inconsistent. I don’t think he is more inconsistent than any other politician.
Romney is no ideologue. He will preserve what he can while allowing change the people or times demand to happen. He respects the past and the Constitution.
Mitt Romney has lived out the ideals where compromise is impossible: liberty under law with God given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Romney is not a libertarian, but he favors a smaller government than President Obama.
Romney is likely to respond to the demands of the American people in as conservative a manner as possible. As Americans become more libertine, Romney will not follow in his personal life and he will protect traditionalist from the government.
Romney the businessman, is well equipped to save the free markets from the reaction to the abuses of some robber barons.
A critic might respond that I have missed a change in circumstance. GOP voters have grown more conservative. I think the loud voters are more conservative, but one quarter of the voters have stuck with Romney all this time in a broad field. Sadly to me as a conservative, programs like Social Security and Medicare are still popular. Most GOP voters want them improved not cut.
If GOP voters have really moved so far right that Romney cannot win, then the GOP cannot win. Romney is center-right . . . and the majority of the nation is center-right . . . not hard right.
But I am not worried really. I think voters know Romney. He is not a fresh face. They are looking for someone more exciting, but will settle, as GOP primary voters always do, on the sensible candidate.
The Republican Party is lucky that Romney betrayed what is expected of a man of his background, wealth, and education and stayed in the GOP. If he wins, America will be lucky this wealthy and happy man was willing to serve.