Saturday, September 1, 2012

The opportunity society vs the entitlement society

Because of circumstances, I never had a chance to watch the Republican convention while it was happening. But I saw some of the speeches last night and this morning. I think it was a a fairly successful convention for Romney and the Republicans.  I think it accomplished a couple of important goals for them.  

They did a lot to show that Romney is not the caricature of a rapacious, ruthless plutocrat that Obama and the Democrats had been portraying him over the last few moths with their attack ads and editorials.  They gave a fairly convincing story that he is a hard working, committed, successful businessman, family man, and religious man. 

Plus, I think that the Republicans were able to lay claim to the stance that they are the party that is focussed on personal and business success, and that they are interested is a creating opportunity for people to succeed, and they see the essence of America as successful people looking for opportunities. I believe they see themselves as the keepers of the flame of the opportunity society, and feel that their opponents are the keepers of the flame of the entitlement society.

Romney promises change, but I appreciated his closing pledge, not to offer the grandiose promises of Obama to halt the rise if the oceans, but rather to help people and their families. His message is one of a pragmatic hard working problem solver focused on the economy, rather than an historically transformational figure.

His is the message of competency rather than the message of inspiration. 

I think the Republicans got their messages across competently. 

Checking on, Romney's pre-convention standing was 1.0 percent behind, and this morning, Romney's post-convention standing is 0.3 percent behind.  So, looking at the Real Clear Politics average poll numbers, he gained only 0.7 percent.  The post convention numbers could be a little out of date, however, as some of the polls may not have post-convention data yet. But, Romney needed about a four percent bounce, I thought, since that is about the average bounce from a convention.

It could just be that not that many people watched, or at least not that many who weren't already on the Republican bandwagon.  This election may be one where just about everyone has made up their mind, and there aren't that many folks left to compete over.

So, a job pretty well done, but perhaps not good enough. We'll see what Obama and the Democrats come up with.