“The question of this campaign is not who cares about the poor and the middle class. I do. He does. The question is who can help the poor and the middle class. I can. He can’t.”The simple brilliance of that statement is not merely that it is an indictment of Obama’s limited capabilities. It is actually an encapsulation of the liberal argument versus the conservative one, a powerful insight into why this campaign appears to be so close, and a key to successful messaging for Romney’s campaign.
Liberals want to turn every campaign, every debate, every issue (and every newscast) into a battle about feelings and intentions: “We care about the children.” “We love women.” “We want to alleviate poverty.”
There are two reasons why this tactic is absolutely essential for liberals.
First, it enables them to distract the public’s attention away from the fact that in instance after instance, liberal policies have failed. More education spending hasn’t helped improve student outcomes. Adding people to the welfare rolls only creates dependency, while imposing a work requirement (which Obama just gutted) actually reduces the numbers of people on welfare and moves them to gainful employment. And the events of the last two weeks have certainly shown that bowing to dictators and apologizing to extremists hasn’t transformed their attitudes toward America.
Laura Hollis is an Associate Professional Specialist and Concurrent Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame, where she teaches entrepreneurship and business law. She is the author of the forthcoming publication, “Start Up, Screw Up, Scale Up: What Government Can Learn From the Best Entrepreneurs,” © 2014. Her opinions are her own, and do not reflect the position of the university. Follow her on Twitter: @LauraHollis61.