In his New Hampshire primary victory speech, Mitt Romney described this year’s presidential election as “a choice between two very different destinies.” He argued that it was a choice between Obama, who supposedly “wants to ‘fundamentally transform’ America” and Romney, and his super-awesome vision of a ‘restored America,’ reintroducing “the founding principles that made this country great.’ This conservative vision of America evoked a rapturous applause. Granted, his audience was his fans – a declaration about his indifference to cauliflower would have evoked a similar reaction. This reaction highlights a certain counter-progressive attitude in American society.
The USA is ruled by a codified constitution that was made in 1787. From this text, America developed its complex federal governmental system, with three branches of political power all acting as a check on each other, often leaving the state politically deadlocked on contentious issues, such as health care. In addition to this, the nation’s federal law is centered around the Constitution’s supreme laws, thus protecting the values of the founding fathers; to protect the legacy of America’s origins as the City upon a Hill.
On first glance, this seems to be a good way of protecting positive moral values; however, when one considers that only 27 amendments have been made to the US Constitution in over 200 years, and how the world has changed since the founding fathers drew up the Constitution in 1787 it seems such a conservative attitude may be stunting progression.
To break away from traditions is a step into the unknown, and whilst there is a risk that the result of trying something new may not be as satisfactory as doing things the traditional way, but in taking this risk, great things may be accomplished that would never have been possible before. Benjamin Franklin – one of the founding fathers of the United States – kept a diary, in which he had a list of 13 “virtues”, and in a quest for self-improvement, he would make note of which virtues his day’s activities had displayed. Surely, considering the value they place on the deeds of the founding fathers, the American electorate would want a leader to improve their society?
Something needs to fundamentally change; troglodyte Romney’s vision of a ‘restored America’, promoting old-school laissez faire ideas about a small state and big independent enterprise may, if made reality, may do more harm than good. It already appears that Mitt is the alternative to Obama’s presidency. If Romney gets into power, what does it mean for the western world? What would that say about the American people? What would that say about the stagnant mire that is American politics?