Friday, October 26, 2012

What is the meaning of integrity?

Colin Powell, in his endorsement of President Obama, pointedly referred to the multiple positions taken by his opponent, Romney, as well as his vacuity (my word not his) on foreign policy.
Some, like David Brooks of the New York Times, call Romney's latest incarnation "the moderate" while others label it "shifting to the centre" to govern and to appear presidential.
There are not only deep economic and fiscal divisions in America but, it appears, there are very different perceptions of "integrity" also.
Clearly, Powell has taken the high road in this campaign for the votes and indeed the direction of the country for the next four years.
For Republicans to gloss over the extreme shifts in Romney's positions, as a political calculation made by all politicians, is to air-brush their own history.
While there are clearly examples of presidential candidates whose campaign rhetoric was unmatched by their actions while in office. George H.W. Bush's "read my lips" about no tax increases leaps to mind, compared with his overturning of his own lips when in office.
However, with Romney, it is not mere cosmetic, this shift to the centre; it is pathologic with him.
He first will do anything to abolish therapeutic abortion, and then, "there is no legislation that I know of that would do that" spills from the same mouth.
He is opposed to the Afghan withdrawal, and then he favours it.
He supports troop withdrawal from Iraq and then wants 5 or 10 or 20 thousand left, and then, he returns to withdrawal support.
He will lower taxes by 20% for everyone, without having the rich pay a penny less than they do now...and we all know that it is the rich whose funds are keeping his campaign afloat, supported and sustained by his own millions, or would that be billions. Who knows how much he has stashed in tax-free foreign bank accounts.
Without a doubt, Romney is not merely shifting to the centre; he is a dessert blowing in the wind, dumping a load of dirt here, and tomorrow removing it as if it never existed. He is like that car commercial depicting the family going on vacation with the child's voice proudly announcing that her father did "millions of tricks, or maybe even billions" so entertaining was his performance...
And yet, the campaign for the presidency is anything but an entertaining performance, designed and delivered to provide whatever sweet things the "little child" would like  to brag about after a family vacation.
And Colin Powell, to his credit, gets it. And so do many other independents, although Powell is a registered Republican. And the world can only hope that enough independent Americans can see through the fog as Powell has, and mark their ballot with an "X" beside the president's Electoral College supporters.
The many faces of Mitt is not a play the world can afford for the next four years, and for the many years after, cleaning up his decisions on Supreme Court appointments, for one significant example.

No comments:

Post a Comment