Opinion

Mitt Romney: The National Dad No One Asked For

|
Posted: Dec 01, 2019 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Mitt Romney: The National Dad No One Asked For

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

There must’ve been something in the water back in 2012, because everyone on the top of the ballot turned out to be even worse than we originally thought. Barack Obama’s legacy is shot, being destroyed by President Trump and the radical left who now view him (laughably) as a conservative. Joe Biden doesn’t know where he is half the time, the other half has his campaign staff wishing he were somewhere else. Paul Ryan was a feckless Speaker of the House who cut bait and ran once he was free to push all the things he’d sworn for years were his deeply held beliefs. But worst of all was Mitt Romney – the nicest-seeming of them all who ended up becoming the nagging, nannying squish we all secretly knew he was but pretended he wasn’t because he was the GOP nominee. And he keeps getting worse.

If there’s one Republican in the Senate who’d vote to remove President Trump, it’s Mitt Romney. He’d be happy to, though only after a long, boring press conference where he talked, earnestly and tearfully, about how difficult the decision was for him to reach.

After every decision or tweet Trump makes, reporters beat a path to Romney in the hope he’ll morph into John McCain and scold the president. They’re rarely disappointed.

Mitt Romney does not approve.

I have no problem with him disagreeing with Donald Trump, or anyone, as much as I dislike the attitude behind it. Buried in Romney’s disapproval is the air he emits that he should be the president. Maybe it’s just part of having run for the job and failed, then seeking a lower office, which makes him seem smaller.

It’s actually not just one thing, it’s the sum of a lot of things. At least for me. I have a dad, I love my dad, but Romney seems to revel in acting like everyone else’s dad.

Mitt Romney has become the nation’s Mike Brady – never angry or yelling, but disappointed in everyone and wants to make sure everyone knows it.

The latest example, though far from the only, is on vaping.

Vaping is important to millions of other former smokers who found in it the long-elusive tool we desperately sought to successfully quit smoking. I know because I’m one of them.

But the news over the summer was all about how people who vape were checking into hospitals with mysterious lung issues, some even died. That led, as overblown media coverage always does, to calls for bans. The more panicky someone appeared, the more likely they were to be booked on TV to talk about the “dangers of vaping.” Receiving much less coverage was the fact that the culprit was not vaping being legal, regulated products, but unregulated black market vaping “juice” where people added chemicals not found in legitimate products.

In politics, however, facts rarely matter.

Facts did, however, matter for President Trump. He’s listened to the evidence and backed off his call for a flavor ban, now supporting only raising the legal age to 21. Romney, naturally, remained undeterred by evidence. Under the banner of “protecting the children,” Romney is pressing forward with his calls for a ban, falsely claiming adults don’t use flavored juice. This would come as a surprise to all my former-smoker friends who vape everything from cotton candy to raspberry.

Looking to ban all non-tobacco flavors of vape products, Romney claimed “half the kids in high school are vaping” in Utah. He pulled that number out of the air, later admitting he didn’t know the real percentage of children in his state who vape, but the truth doesn’t really matter to him.

Not to make light of the issue. Children vaping is a problem. It’s also illegal. A sale to anyone under 18 is against the law. That should be the end of the discussion, with the focus being put on enforcing that restriction.

Adults are free to do what they choose. States are decriminalizing marijuana, alcohol is legal, and some Democrats seeking their party’s presidential nomination are calling for that attitude to extend to hard drugs.

And then there’s Romney, insisting on a ban of vape flavors because Mitt Romney does not approve.

Mitt’s likely never smoked, and good for him for that. But millions of Americans weren’t as smart. Now we have literally the most effective smoking cessation tool ever created, and he wants to ban nearly all of it because he thinks flavors other than tobacco and menthol appeal to children? Does he have no concern for the adult former smokers they appeal to? How about focusing on punishing those who sell vape products to kids and leave the adults alone?

We don’t need action against everyone for the bad acts of a few. That’s what Democrats do. We don’t need a national scold tisk-tisking us over how we choose to wear our hair or the kind of music we like.

Most importantly, we don’t need a national dad, Mitt. We need a reliably conservative senator who cares more about protecting our individual rights from government intrusion than how we choose to legally exercise them.

Adults shouldn’t need Mitt Romney’s permission, because Mitt Romney never approves.

Derek is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses.