Chesterton says in Heretics, that “progress is a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative.” That is, to say that we’re “progressive,” or going “forward,” we have to have some goal in mind, some ideal toward which we are striving. It is a term only for people of a shared faith.
But Obama has no ideal, no goal. There is no improved future that he is promising us. All he offers us is more
He is instead, blinded by the beam in his eye, trying to remove the splinter from Mitt Romney’s eye.
It is customary, of course, for an incumbent to go negative. But Obama is so cynical that even when he does tout the one undeniable bright spot on his record—the killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy Seal Team Six—he goes negative with it, asking if Mitt Romney would have made the same decision.
?This is a counterfactual, which means that you can’t disprove it or even talk about it meaningfully. Hence its usefulness to Team Obama. They’ll take what-might-have-happened any day or what-actually-has-happened. Don’t believe me? See all their rationalizations about the weakness of our recovery from the recession. By their standards, anything other than the Great Depression would be a victory.
?Team Romney, while certainly going negative early, has actually been the Party of Hope in this cycle. Romney’s election slogan is “Believe in America.” This, too, is light on content, but not quite so destitute of meaning as anything Team Obama has put out. It’s simple optimism—don’t count us out. Forward? That depends on what direction you’re facing, and the vast majority of Americans think that we’re headed in the wrong one.
?If even the President, Mr. Hope and Change himself, has given up on hope, then our country might be hopeless too.