Mitt Romney’s RNC Acceptance Speech in 3 Words

1) Perseverance

Governor Romney’s speech essentially revolved around the idea that the American people are going through rough times (just like they were in 2008), and that it is time we persevered as a country. I would disagree that this is something “uniquely American,” but I couldn’t agree more with Romney when he claimed that “optimism” is the way out of this economic mess, and that it’s going to take drive, determination, and dedication to rise out of the deep hole we are currently in.

Romney was wrong in saying this is the first time a majority of parents have doubted their children's future due to the current economic woes (that feeling also existed in 2008). This is a time when people are suffering, trying to stay afloat, and Romney nails it on the head by letting Americans know they deserve better. However, it's worth noting that the adversity that families and businesses across the country are currently facing is drastically different than anything Romney has ever encountered due to his status and personal wealth.

Financial adversity has never been an issue for this man, and I’m sure it’s actually really difficult for Romney to relate to people who have been affected by this economy. How can you inspire those to persevere, quit being unproductive, and retain confidence to find work when you’ve never had to look for a job in your life? This theme of perseverance works for previous presidents who had been there before, people who lived in the shoes of those who they are talking to. Romney, on the other hand, has a disconnect, a gap that will take lots of time and sweet-talking to bridge.

2) Experience

Romney’s speech also focused immensely on the inexperience of President Obama, especially in regards to the economy. The Republican presidential nominee made the claim that he “learned the real lessons about how America works from experience.” As a self-proclaimed businessman, Romney willingly admitted that Obama hadn’t necessarily failed to fix the economy because he wanted to fail, but because he lacked experience in working with business. Jobs depended on artificial government manipulation and stimulation, not on clearing the way for natural proliferation through the free-market system.

Romney was picture perfect up until this point in his speech. But then he brought up Bain Capital (and said “hell” in front of what seemed to be a fairly devout audience — whoops!). Bain Capital’s founding and profits thereafter may be called a success story by some (with a little help from Daddy), but it's certainly not something to bring up when talking about experience.

If experience running an equity firm that frequently took over companies, saddled them with debt, and forced them into bankruptcy is any testament to how experience in business will help run government, I’m not sure this was the right message to bring up in his acceptance speech. That being said, his discussion on the risk associated with his business could specifically bode well to those who are looking for a president who won't mind taking a costly risk to ensure the economy gets fixed as soon as possible.

3) Armstrong

Romney’s mention of the late astronaut and American hero Neil Armstrong was current, genuine, and necessary — but he sort of shot himself in the foot. Romney was totally right to say Armstrong had optimism and humility, big dreams, and bravery, but Armstrong’s modesty is nothing the Republicans will be representing in this year’s election.

Neil Armstrong was a renowned unselfish, humble hero, who managed to focus on the small victories of those he met after his travel to space, not himself — even though he was the first to ever walk on the Moon. His modest approach to life is something that Romney and other Republicans don’t understand the purpose or true meaning of — it’s lost somewhere behind the imperative profit margins and lack of respect for the underprivileged. I’m sure Armstrong (if alive) wouldn’t be too happy about the RNC convention’s attack on teacher’s unions, since he was a professor at the University of Cincinnati for eight years after Apollo 11. He also would not appreciate the fact that Republicans have again and again voted to defund NASA for years.


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Logan Nee

Logan wrote for Mic from October 2011 to February 2014. He is now living in New York City. [logan.nee@gmail.com]

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