By Ben Stein on 10.1.12 @ 7:23AM
We knew who Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale were. And (alas) we know who Barack Obama is. But what about Mitt? He should tell us who he is.
Through the magic of C-SPAN, right in my bedroom, with my Julie Goodgirl next to me, I am watching a 1984 debate between Walter Mondale and Ronald Reagan. Reagan is great and frankly, so is Mondale. The numbers they talk about are hilarious. They were worrying about a deficit in the billions. Now it's in the 16-17 trillion range. Wow, are we far out on a limb.
But here is what I noticed and what I recall from 28 years ago. The media were totally aligned against Reagan. They HATED him. But he won by a landslide largely because he was a magnetic, likeable guy, and also because he had a specific program:
*stand up to the Soviets;
*win the Cold War;
*more defense spending;
*have a list of specific budget cuts;
*be a patriot.
Now, we have a difficult struggle. The media, except for Fox News, is desperately against Mr. Romney. They love and worship Mr. Obama, the cool mixed-race kid from Hawaii who has skate-boarded and surfed his way into our bland hearts.
But we also have a huge problem of our own making: we do not know who Mitt Romney is. Even to me, who is a political animal, Mr. Romney is a mystery man. Is he "the best, most honest governor Massachusetts has ever had" but a distinct liberal? Or is he now a conservative? What does he stand for? And what does it mean that he is a Mormon?
I worry about that last one. I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormons are honest and fantastically patriotic and hard working. But what does it mean to believe in Mormonism? A close friend said she could not vote for him although she is a Republican because, she said, "Mormons are not Christians..."
We know what Mr. Obama is and what he stands for:
(1) He is for apologizing to the rest of the world for our freedoms of speech and for our power and prosperity.
(2) He is an indolent President who has not even submitted a budget for three and a half years;
(3) He loathes the oil and gas sector of the society.
(4) He wants to make as much of the country as possible dependent on the federal teat.
(5) He unequivocally believes in unilateral nuclear disarmament.
And so on down the line of jejune left-wing thought.
So, we know that about him.
But, as I said, Mr. Romney is a mystery. Why doesn't he use that vast hoard of money he has to make a clear statement of his principles, something like this: