Don't get me wrong.
I'm a card-carrying, blue-blooded, third-world loving Democrat.
I buy homeless people coffee, I believe in "global warming" and not "climate change" and I wept real tears when Ted Kennedy died.
Not to mention....I'm Black!
Yet, I'm about to ask the question that most democrats are wondering but afraid to ask...
What's wrong with Mitt Romney and why does the Republican Party apparently think that he is
the devil? the anti-christ? the ABSOLUTE WORST CANDIDATE to face Barack Obama in the 2012 Presidential election?
I just don't get it...
- He looks presidential...in that middle-aged white man sort of way.
- He is rich.
- He uses the words, "Ronald", "Reagan", "Tea" and "Freedom".
...Not to mention that he was a governor and a successful businessman.
Yet over the past months we have seen the relative implosion of several "front-runners" within the Republican primary, which caused me to ponder the basis for the apparent "Anyone but Romney" position that the party has seemed to take. Is he unelectable in the general election? Is it really because he isn't conservative enough? Is it because he is a Mormon? Or is it because everyone has been waiting with baited breath for the resurgence of..."The Newt"?
I would argue that the answer is none of the above.
The fact of the matter is, time and time again, no matter how much we hate it about ourselves as a country - most of us do not like, support, or vote for people who do not remind us of ourselves. We will vote for a rich guy as long as we can imagine sitting next to him at church. We will vote him in twice if we can imagine having a beer with him.
So join me and let's figure out what the Republican National Party apparently already knows - why Mitt Romney will apparently take the "America" out of the U.S.A...
Theory #1: He's unelectable in the general election...
Let me introduce you to Campaigning 101: The Theory of the Median Voter
Imagine every voter in the U.S on a linear spectrum. Those right-most on the spectrum are fiscally and socially conservative. Those in the middle are some combination of fiscally and socially moderate. Those left-most on the spectrum are fiscally and socially liberal. What you would find is that the voting populus is centralized in the middle, with substantially fewer people on either of the extremes.
So the key to winning ANY election is always to be the most moderate. (Remember this point)
So what's the point?
The point is, as much as I hate to admit it, most of us know that Mitt Romney is best poised to appeal to moderates and independants and compete against Obama in the general election. The fact of the matter is that there is very little difference between Romney and Obama's fiscal policies. Romney may be slightly more socially converative. But in all, the biggest difference between Obama and Romney is that one is Black and the other is White and that one is Christian mistaken for a Muslim and the other is a Mormon.
Theory #2: The country has become more conservative and HE AIN'T CONSERVATIVE ENOUGH!
Has the Republican Party made a monumenal miscalculation and, in light of the rise of the Tea Party, assumed that the country overall has become more conservation? Perhaps? That would at least explain why each candidate desperately tries to convince the world that they are,"the most conservative. the most evangelical. the most American." every chance they get.
Yet, with the counter-emergance of the Occupy Movement, I think that most would agree that the country isn't becoming more conservative. It's simply becoming more angry with the status quo.
Theory #3: He is a Mormon and Mormons = Aliens + Jesus + Alot of Wives
In this country, we like our coffee with a big heap of Jesus. Across the ideological spectrum, American voters are consistent on one thing: We like our traditional ideas about Jesus and most are quick to give the side-eye to anyone who doesn't fall within our narrow scope of how we generally define Christianity.
Yes, we can't pray in schools and you can't say God out loud yet America remains a relatively homogenous country when it comes to our spiritual beliefs. 70 percent of the population considers themselves Christian while only 7 percent of the population belongs to non-Christian belief systems. Of those with Christian beliefs, only 1.7 % belong to the Mormon faith which leaves the door open for a widespread misunderstanding of what it means to be Mormon.
Even the most highly educated people are often surprised to hear that Mormonism is a sect of Christianity. It has been speculated that evangelicals, who make up one-third of Christians believers and who is the core of the Republican base, will be leery of electing a hoo-doo voo-doo Mormon.
Yet, America has elected a Catholic, a peanut farmer, and a Black man so I would argue that stranger things have happened.
Theory #4: Romney is too educated to speak to middle America, just like Barack Obama...
The most resounding critism of the Obama Administration is that it, and the entire Democratic Party, has become a cult of "Technocrats". Whereas the previous administrations acted on hunches, feelings in their guts, and with a "shoot first, ask questions last" mentality, this administration has made decisions based on research, analysis, and experts. The use of science, and not country club steamshowers, to debate such topics as global warming has left "Middle America" convinced that nothing good can come from such and administration and many quickly dismiss all that come from it with a cautious eye.
No more pictures of enemies with turbans?
No more mentions of "freedom fuel", "freedom fries", or patriotic acts of law to rally around?
My theory is that republicans saw that even after trying to give everyone healthcare, killing Osama bin Laden, and making American cars cool to drive again - Barack Obama's biggest vulnerability is that he is too smart and too cool.
In a land that prides itself of many things, including the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Atlanta, and Orange Country, you can't call yourself running our country without a piquant for drama, throwing martinis, or getting caught with drugs.
In the end, I speculate that this is why the Republican National Committee preferred Cain, the catastrophe known as "Gingrich", and even Moses himself (Ron Paul) to Mitt Romney and why even now, at the twelth hour with seconds left on the clock, they still believe that he just won't do.