Let me preface this by saying I do not like President Obama. I think he is an incompetent, narcissistic megalomaniac who never should have been elected to the White House in the first place. And I do not intend to vote for him in November.
Still, I remain undecided on who to vote for President in November, even after Romney’s speech.
Don’t get me wrong. Romney delivered a solid speech with many quotable one-liners and heartfelt personal anecdotes about his family that are sure to stir up GOP loyalists across the country. However, for many like me, it wasn’t enough to undo the damage done earlier in the week when GOP elites, led by key figures in the Romney campaign, effectively disenfranchised grassroots activists (re: #RNCpowergrab).
Tuesday’s actions by the establishment formed a dark cloud over the convention and left many Tea Partiers, Paulites, and Libertarians (who, let’s face it, tend to vote Republican) sorely angry. For the GOP, these groups represent that annoying little brother who won’t stay out of your room whenever your cool friends come over to hang out. The GOP successfully weakened the influence of such “fringe” groups in future elections. Still, despite how annoying these movements may be to the establishment, the simple fact of the matter is, they represent the future of this party and the GOP would be in a much stronger position to defeat Barack Obama in November with the energy, enthusiasm, and dollars these groups bring to the table.
So, while Romney’s main challenges in delivering his acceptance speech were to rouse the base and sell himself to the crucial “Independents,” he also needed to extend an olive branch to a couple of very important arms of the GOP. Sadly, he did not. While he at times successfully showed a more personal side (I admit I cried a bit during the part about the day his mother didn’t get her rose), other times his words seemed shallow in light of the anti-democratic RNC rule changes he passively supported.
I don’t doubt Romney’s integrity and moral character, and he comes to the table with more executive experience than Obama, even including the four years Obama has served as POTUS. But I still can’t shake the very real concern that President Mitt Romney would not remain wholly committed to the principles of limited government that are very central to the Paulite, Tea Party, Libertarian et. al movements. His speech did not alleviate this concern, and thus I remain undecided.
Given my disdain for Obama, many would ask why I would risk another four years of an Obama presidency by not voting for Romney (and instead choosing to stay home, vote Libertarian, or vote Independent). I suppose it’s a matter of principle. Maybe it’s a stupid one. But I’m not the only one who holds it.
Perhaps Romney and the GOP elites think our common dislike for Obama will force folks like me to cave in the end. But is that a risk Romney and the GOP establishment are willing to take?