This exchange between Mitt Romney’s father – then Michigan governor George Romney – and Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee at the time, is fascinating.
Actually, it’s especially fascinating given that Ron Paul is in the race against Romney-the-younger this time around, and Paul shares many of Goldwater’s more unfortunate views on the Civil Rights Act. He also has some of the same dubious associations.
Don’t get me wrong, I still think Ron Paul comes off as a heck of a lot less crazy than someone like Santorum, and leaps and bounds more honest than Romney, but the Ron Paul newsletters raise many of the same concerns about Paul’s past choices as George Romney raises about some of Goldwater’s associations.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney displays none of his father’s courage or frankness, none of his honesty whatsoever. The younger Romney comes across as a fake, through and through.
It’s too bad, really. Reading George Romney one does realize how badly this country needs two grown-up parties and not one grown-up party and one party throwing a perpetual temper tantrum.
At a time when the Republican ticket consisted of a man who opposed the Civil Rights Act, George Romney was saying things like: “The assassination of Martin Luther King is a great national tragedy. At a time when we need aggressive nonviolent leadership to peacefully achieve equal rights, equal opportunities and equal responsibilities for all, his leadership will be grievously missed.” George Romney even marched in civil rights marches.
Of course, these days we have Newt Gingrich saying that the first black president is the “food-stamp president” and that black people are all dependent on government largess. And we have Rick Santorum saying that women really ought to be governed by the laws of Christ rather than the laws of America when it comes to their own bodies.
Wouldn’t it be nice if George Romney’s son could speak out against this sort of nonsense the way his father spoke out against similar nonsense several decades ago?