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Tim Blagg

Didn’t meet the standard

Still too many willing to ignore Romney’s flaws

Whew! I’m glad to see that President Obama was re-elected to a second term, but ...

What the heck just happened?

A guy who demonstrated over and over again that he has no moral, ethical, political or other solid base of belief, just missed by a whisker being elected president of this country.

Mitt Romney, who I’m sure is a nice guy in person, has switched positions on extremely important issues throughout his political career ... a fact that was called into question not only by his opponent, but by nearly every neutral news organization covering the campaign.

His campaign staff announced at one point that they weren’t going to allow their statements to be hampered by fact checkers ... in other words, they were prepared to lie and keep lying, regardless of what anyone said.

And nobody seemed to care.

Partisan pro-Romney Americans shrugged it off as immaterial.

Really? It doesn’t matter if a candidate for the highest office in this land makes it clear he’s not going to be constrained by the truth, and is willing to shift positions depending on who he’s talking to, and it doesn’t matter?

Now I’m not going to put the Democratic Party up on some sort of a pedestal and argue that various members don’t play fast and loose with the truth when it suits them.

As far as I’m concerned you can trust the average congressman as far as you can throw the Washington Monument.

In this day of continuous fund-raising and campaigning, it’s a rare member indeed who can keep his or her promises and sort out the lobbyists from the constituents.

But I think we ought to hold the candidates for president to a higher standard.

And no, I don’t agree that “they all do it.”

Obama’s campaign certainly skirted the truth and took things out of context in his TV ads and his stump speeches were often calculated to catch the 5 o’clock news with a catchy sound-bite, rather than discuss serious issues.

But we all know where this guy stands on the basics, and he’s never suddenly reversed course because of his audience.

His big flaw, I think, is his belief that his oratorical gifts will allow him to persuade just about anybody.

In that, he’s like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who believed to his last days that his charm and persuasiveness would allow him to shape the post-war world into something better for its shattered peoples. He failed to understand that Stalin, his final target, was a psychopath ... and the result was the Cold War and 40 years of misery for Eastern Europe.

Romney was a victim of that insidious disease that some politicians get when they start to believe that they have actually a chance to preside in the Oval Office. The illness distorts reality and “the end justifies the means” becomes the only standard for behavior.

Sen. John McCain got it, bad, and it turned him into a caricature of the genial, bipartisan senator he had been.

Romney had it when he ran for governor of Massachusetts, and it made him one of the worst governors we’ve ever had.

I can’t really blame these guys ... obviously, the disease consumes them.

But I can blame those American voters who turned a blind eye to Mitt’s flaws and embraced him for telling them just exactly what they wanted to hear.

That’s shameful.

Blagg has been Editor of The Recorder since 1986. He lives in Greenfield and is a military historian with an interest in local history. He can be reached at: tblagg@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 250.

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