A Few Final Questions

By Jeffrey Page

There’s a fact about the results of this election that baffles me and which I haven’t been able to put aside. According to a story in The Times, exit polls indicated that Mitt Romney won 52 percent of the male vote, faring seven points better than President Obama. So men went for Mitt even with Mitt answering as few questions as possible.

Is there some logic in this? Are men just dumb enough to allow themselves to be hoodwinked by a snake oil salesman who wants to be big boss of earth so badly that he won’t be specific about anything, and whose convictions are about a half-inch thick?

Why would any demographic group – least of all, the second largest in the country and therefore one that can demand answers – come out in large numbers to support a silent candidate? Men argue about everything, about work, politics (usually), sports, movies, their favorite beers, the best pizza place in town, Beatles vs. Stones. Why would they give a candidate a free ride on their futures and the futures of their families and their nation?

Mitt Romney switched on just about everything. Consider the question of abortion. In the years, months and days leading up to the election, I knew that at one time Romney was prochoice. Then, with the emergence of the Tea Party, Romney, with the grace of a metallic pancake, flipped.

Reasonable people will agree that anyone has the right to a change-of-mind. The problem with Romney of course is that he changed his mind on abortion, and other matters, several times.

This is a terrible and dangerous way for candidates to act. It gives voters no information and lets the candidate off the hook when we don’t raise a stink about non-responses. It can’t make Tea Partiers happy. It surely can’t make pro-choice people comfortable.

So blatant were his vacillations that if flip-flopping were an Olympic sport, Romney would have been a medalist. Not only did he vacillate on abortion, sometimes he did it with breathtaking speed. Here’s a story that deserved much more ink than it received:

Bloomberg News reminded readers that Romney’s message in the period leading up to the Republican convention in late August, was that he opposed abortion in most cases. He also blasted Barak Obama, saying the president was way out of line in forcing religious organizations to provide contraception in their employees’ health coverage.

Then, about 40 days later, Romney said: “I think I’ve said time and again, I’m a pro-life candidate. I’ll be a pro-life president. The actions I’ll take immediately are to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget.”

And then, about three weeks after that – just before the election – Bloomberg reported that the Romney campaign ran a TV ad in the three battleground states of Virginia, Florida and Ohio noting that Romney “doesn’t oppose contraception at all” and “thinks abortions should be an option” in certain situations.

To cast an intelligent ballot, we need information. Here’s an example of how Mitt Romney thwarted curious Americans. It’s another story that was not widely reported. Late in the campaign, Romney granted a five-minute interview to a local TV reporter in Colorado, and then proceeded to dictate the rules of engagement.

The reporter had to agree to ask no questions about abortion and no questions about Todd Akin, the genius who believes a woman’s body is somehow designed not to get pregnant as the result of “a legitimate rape.”

All right. This wretchedly long presidential selection process is over for now though there already is talk about Hillary Clinton’s plans for 2016, and we are all relieved of robo calls, endless radio and TV commercials, and tons of campaign material in the mail.

But the question remains: What were the men of America thinking?

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One Response to “A Few Final Questions”

  1. Carole Howard Says:

    You’re so right: what in the world were they thinking? And here’s another one: Even though there’s lots of talk about the Republicans being crushed, taking a beating, being soundly defeated, etc, I can’t help but notice that 48% of the people in the country voted for him. 48%!! Your question pertains: what were they all thinking?

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