FIRST-PERSON: Why virtue matters in politics
When Mitt Romney blurted out his now notorious 47-percent lament, liberal gaffe-o-meters went ballistic, acting as though he were an American Ebenezer Scrooge who had just shoved Tiny Tim Cratchit into a ditch and then burned down a crutch factory. As several observers have noted, this amorphous statistic includes myriads of worthy beneficiaries indeed, such as veterans, social security recipients, the physically or mentally disabled, the deserving poor, and those utterly unable to take care of themselves in a society where the federal government has assumed tasks that once were the preserve of families, churches, voluntary organizations, and state or local governments. And the president’s advocates have leapt on this figure, which has since exploded in campaign ads that feature a heartless Romney dismissing nearly half of the American population as too anesthetized by government dependency to take seriously in this election.
Party conventions are no longer just about rallying the faithful. More important is making a good impression on the "persuadables," the narrow slice of the electorate that is still undecided about whom to vote for, or at least open to a convincing argument to change their minds.
The more completely a person, group, or organization embraces liberalism, the less virtuous it becomes. It's almost like a mental sickness in that respect.
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