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Political Spectrum: A View From the Left — Can Romney Beat Obama?


April 10, 2012 by Richard Drake

It seems apparent that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee. Can he beat President Obama?

Mitt Romney, the man the Republican party must finally embrace as its standard bearer this year, is actually the perfect man for our times. He all-too-perfectly represents the conflict between what Obama means for America, and the modern-day values of the GOP.

Romney is the candidate for those among us who fantasize about a return to the “good old days” when life was simpler, while Barack Obama represents for them the worst excesses of the decade that followed, a time when life became confusing.

The Siren Song of the 1950s is the anthem of the “modern-day” GOP, and Mitt Romney is the perfect “Father Knows Best” candidate for them. The 50s, as historical revisionists would have us believe, was the last perfect decade (okay, except for the Reagan years, when it was a perpetual morning in America) before the 1960s came upon this great nation of ours and brought us down.

Mitt Romney is the man to remind Americans of all of that. And he could win.

Without the 1960s, men like Barack Obama would never have risen in the ranks of the Democratic party. The 1960s saw the beginnings of “community activism,” after all, with all of its attendant evils. Suddenly, the previously silenced were making their voices heard.

The 1950s – the era that Romney and Company would restore us to – were safe; everyone had their assigned roles. Especially if you were women, black, gay, Latino, too liberal, working class . . . Everybody ate crap because they didn’t know any better, and didn’t complain even if they did. We had the Cold War and the political hysteria brought to us by Joe McCarthy and politicians too cowardly to stand up to him.

The 1960s, on the other hand, brought us civil rights marches, the space program, feminism, the push for gay rights, Medicare, those who said “No, I won’t fight in a war that is wrong,” Lenny Bruce (why hasn’t he been made a saint yet?), the Smothers Brothers, consumer advocacy. The environmental movement, and folks wondering what exactly they were feeding their kids.

Okay, we had bell bottoms and “Green Acres”; no decade is free from criticism. 

Figuring that if are old enough to kill and die for your country, you are old enough to vote, the voting age was lowered from 21-18


College students across America discovered political activism, but the modern day GOP would clamp that down hard if they could, and they are trying, believe me. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy stood up for what they believed in, and were slain by foul assassins.

The 1950s were great for the John Birch Society, the practice run for the 21st Century Tea Party, many of whose members probably think the Birch Society was some sort of nature preservation outfit.

Dad knew best. And as for legal rights? Try living in a world without Miranda rights, or in a world in which “separate but equal” was the rule of the land for diversity in America.

And Romney could win, because his supporters are disdainful of the 1960s, and they are artful in their arguments – without mentioning decades at all. And Obama could lose, because so often liberals take things for granted, and assume that the rest of the country has the same view when the man behind the curtain no longer has anything to hide behind.

Read a view from the right, Mike Landry’s response to the question, here.

Richard Drake

Richard S. Drake has been writing about political and cultural affairs in Northwest Arkansas for 20 years. The author of Freedom Run a science fiction novel, he can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter. He can be contacted at:

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