Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Details Mitt

There's something disturbing in Mitt's answers to questions about specific policies. What's disturbing is that he refuses to answer questions with policy details. He claims he doesn't want to get attacked by the opposing party. And I have a problem with that

First, that is a patently absurd comment. Whatever Mitt does or doesn't say will be attacked by his opponents. In this highly polarized atmosphere, there is little one can say short of “America is awesome, and we love our troops” that won't be attacked. It's part of modern politics, and it's kind of part of politics in general.

Second, the characterization of what would essentially become a public debate as an “attack” is wholly misleading. Whenever there are details about a policy position the nation is given the opportunity to react to details and formulate opinions based on good information.

The very foundation of good Democracy rests not with vague platitudes but with concrete details. I respect that Mitt wants to stay at “30000 feet” but the nation deserves some ideas of how to implement a landing. He doesn't have to even follow-through completely or talk minute details. He just has to show a reasonable approach to achieving his goals.

His argument that the opposition will fight him is almost irresponsible.

It's disingenuous to treat the election like a battlefield. Although it is often portrayed that way, the result is the presidency. Winning the privilege to occupy the office is not the end of the job. It's the beginning. Consequently, hiding details to win is akin to cheating in a Democracy. And without details as simple as proposed areas that are up as policy proposals then then the American voter is left agreeing to a philosophy without grounding.

So the question, in other terms, could be put as, “where does the rubber meet the road?”

What happens in four years of a Romney presidency? Certainly goals have been set out, but how does he propose to get there?

In terms of policy, Americans can allow that specific policies and legislation may not be fully fleshed out but certainly we want to know a general strategy. If spending is going to be cut to address the debt where are those proposed cuts going to be? Is that a feasible solution given a polarized congress? If it's not how do you propose to work around these difficulties?

The call for specific policy details is—beyond a need for information—a fundamental reality test. Is this real? And by refusing to proffer details on the red herring argument that the opposition will do what opposition does, Mitt is hurting the very core of government by the people.

He is instead assuming the part of someone who knows better—a patriarchal figure that always has your interests in mind but asking for the inner workings is disrespectful. In that scenario though, the voters are children and their privileges are wholly at the whim of the father who knows best. And he could know best. He could have the best ideas and plans. But in a government by and for the people, it is everyone's job to determine that.

It is every American's right to know what is going on in the nation and to have input. And by stepping above the debate, Mitt has stepped away from the principles of democracy and the Americans who believe in it.