Diary

Mitt Romney's anti-Trump speech was exactly what voters needed to hear

I’ve been predicting for a while now that Romney would give a speech like this.  I knew he couldn’t sit back and watch as an impostor and an all-around horrible human being took over the party he was honored to lead in 2012.

Before I go on, I already know some people will accuse me of being a fan of the establishment or of Romney for praising him here.  Let me assure you I’m no fan of Romney.

I vote for Santorum in 2012 because I believed Romney was at best a moderate Republican.

But just because you aren’t a fan of someone or disagree with them on policy, doesn’t mean you can’t point out when they do something right, or even great.

That’s what I’m doing here.

I’ve been looking for a party leader, or really anyone with a position of power and influence in the conservative movement to give a public speech explaining why we must do everything in our power to stop Trump.

So far none have had the courage to do so.

Now some will say Romney is a hypocrite for making this speech because a)He accepted Trump’s endorsement in 2012, and b)His loss to Obama that year and his weakness on healthcare and other issues created the anger in the gop primary electorate that gave rise to Trump.

I don’t see it that way.  First of all, he didn’t have much of a reason to reject Trump in 2012.  It wasn’t like Trump was gonna be on the campaign trail with him, and he knew Trump would attack him if he rejected him, which would’ve created negative publicity and distracted from his campaign’s message.  Also, I’m sure he didn’t know all about Trump’s disgusting personal history and all of his failed business ventures, hardly anyone did cause they didn’t take Trump seriously so there was no reason to do their research on him.

As for the argument that Romney and the party establishment created Trump, that’s partly true, but it doesn’t justify voting for Trump.  I’ve always viewed that as such an immature way of responding to this situation.

I view the angry Trump voter as an angsty teenager whose parents just told him he couldn’t get a new car, or is being punished for some stupid thing he did.  Instead of accepting his punishment and reality and then changing his behavior, he throws a temper tantrum (in this case Trumper tantrum) and goes and buys a lemon from a used car salesman.

Trump is that used car salesman.

This isn’t how responsible adults act.  Yes, we should be angry at the GOPe for selling out conservative principles and for pushing moderates like McCain and Romney as our nominees.  But our response to that shouldn’t be to nominate another moderate who pretends to be a conservative.  That makes no sense.

We often find ourselves angry about something in life, and usually we can’t control whatever made us angry.  But we can always control how we use or channel that anger.  Just being angry doesn’t justify creating chaos or putting the future of the country in jeopardy because we feel we aren’t being listened to by the powers that be.

Now back to Romney.  As I said, I was never a fan of his, but I’ve always liked him more as a private citizen than I did as a candidate.  Frankly, I never would’ve disliked him if he chose not to run for president.  He was a model citizen.  There was really nothing to dislike about him in his personal life, quite the opposite actually.

He was always faithful to his wife, he was a great dad by all accounts, and he gave much to charity.  In his career was a very successful businessman who turned companies around and then turned the Utah Olympics around.

Despite my policy differences with him, I’ve always recognized that he is a brilliant man, there can be no dispute about that.  He just didn’t know how to be a politician because he couldn’t relate to the average american and certainly not to the average conservative or evangelical Christian.  But that shouldn’t take away from his good character traits and successful career.

 

The Speech

 

 

I thought his speech was spot on in many ways.  It was a perfect speech coming from an imperfect messenger.  I would ask everyone who hates Romney to ignore the messenger and just listen to the speech with an open mind.  Pretend it came from Ted Cruz or whoever your favorite politician is if you have to.

Romney said many things that needed to be said.  What struck me most about this speech is that Romney really did his homework on Trump.  He knew every detail about Trump’s past, not only his failed business ventures, but his disgusting personal life too.

What also stood out to me was that Romney didn’t hold back.  It took some courage to say what he said about Trump’s personal life because he knows that Trump will go after him and viciously attack him in a personal way.

Romney went there.  He brought up Trump’s comments on how his sexual adventurism and avoidance of getting STDs from the women he slept with was “his personal Vietnam”, and how disgusting and unpresidential these kinds of comments are.

This is exactly what needs to be said.  We can’t be afraid to call out Trump on his personal life because a candidate’s personal history gives us insight into the kind of person he is and thus the kind of president he would be.  Character matters, at least to those of us who don’t want Trump.  Clearly it doesn’t matter to those who support Trump.

Romney also called out Trump’s business record, and flat out said he doesn’t know anything about business, otherwise his companies wouldn’t have gone bankrupt four times, and pretty much every other business venture he started outside of real estate failed miserably.

Honestly, this was the kind of speech I was hoping Cruz or Rubio would have given months ago.  Just attacking Trump here or there with little insults or on policy differences alone isn’t enough.  The case against Trump needs to be laid out in depth, and in a public way.

 

 

Trump’s response to this speech will be predictable, as Mitt in fact predicted it would be.  He’ll take the low road and personally insult him, and talk about how he lost the election so badly.  If Trump hates losers so much, how come he wants the endorsements of a failed presidential candidate and a failed VP nominee?

And if Trump thinks Romney is such a loser, how come he endorsed him in 2012 and said things like the following:

It’s my honor, real honor, to endorse Mitt Romney,” Trump said, with Romney and his wife standing nearby. Calling Romney “tough” and “smart,” Trump said, “he’s not going to continue to allow bad things to happen to this country.”

. . . .But I have gotten to know him and he’s a terrific guy. I don’t know if he really comes out like he really is in person. He’s a warm, smart, tough cookie and that’s what this country needs. We need somebody that’s tough, that will stop China and OPEC and all these other nations from just ripping us up. And i think he can do it.”

 

Presidents are supposed to inspire us and lead us in a direction that gives us reason to hope and to bring a better future for our kids.  Trump has done the opposite of that.  He divides us and has clearly brought out the worst in people, both in people like me who are against him and in his own supporters.  As president he would tear the country apart even more than Obama has.

Trump is the anti-Lincoln.  He doesn’t want us to be defined by “the better angels of our nature”, but instead by the worst demons of our nature.

He’s the anti-JFK.  He doesn’t tell us to ask what we can do for our country, he tells us he’ll give us everything we ever wanted if we just vote for him.  No cuts to gov’t welfare programs, more jobs, less immigration, free healthcare for all, and more.  Basically Trump just wants to take the Obama welfare state away from minorities and liberals and give it to blue collar white people.

Forgive me for caring about principle and virtue, but I thought that’s what made us different as conservatives.  Trump has no principles and clearly has no virtue.

 

It’s clear that Romney really gets under his skin because Romney represents everything Trump isn’t.

Romney never inherited any money from his dad, even though his dad was rich and famous. Romney went to law school and business school and made his own way in the business world, without help from his father.

Trump inherited his dad’s entire real estate empire so he didn’t have to work to build something on his own.

Trump made his company go bankrupt four times, whereas Romney turned around companies that were about to go bankrupt.

Trump is probably jealous of Romney’s intellect and business success and knowledge, things he clearly lacks. He just got lucky because he was able to build a brand off of his personality. He actually made a success out of the fact that he was a failure when it came to business.

Trump is the Kim Kardashian of politics.  Romney is the opposite of that, and Trump hates him for it.

Trump has done a lot of amazing things in this campaign, and one of them is to actually make me appreciate the experience, knowledge, and character of a man like Mitt Romney, something I wasn’t inclined to do until now.

No doubt Trump’s supporters will say this speech only helps Trump, and they may or may not be right, but whether they are or not is irrelevant.  Speaking out against something or someone who’s wrong and standing up for the right principles and values is always the right thing to do, even if it doesn’t have the intended effect.

So thank you Mitt Romney for standing up to the narcissistic bully we know as Donald Trump.  This indeed is our time for choosing as conservatives and as a nation.  This speech is a potential turning point in the campaign.  We can either use it to rally around the anti-trump forces, or we can attack the messenger and give up on defeating Trump.  May we choose wisely.