Mitt Romney and David Cameron: Conservatives Who Won’t Defend Conservatism

“Firing is fun. But in a good way, you understand…”

Is any of the GOP presidential candidates actually capable of standing up for small government, liberty and free market capitalism? You’d have thought that celebrating these values would be an essential part of their job. But not, apparently, if you’re so desperate to beat Mitt Romney you’d sell your every last ideological principle down the river.

As Troy Senik notes at Ricochet:

Rick Perry has called Romney and his ilk at Bain Capital “vultures”; Newt Gingrich has essentially accused of him of pillaging the companies that Bain took over; and Jon Huntsman has said that Romney “enjoys firing people.”

Sure this is very much the line of attack you’d expect from a Leftist opportunist like Joe Biden, as Tim Stanley noticed in his excellent appraisal this morning:

Already the Democratic National Committee is running ads quoting the “I like to fire” line. Only the day after Romney let it slip, Vice President Joe Biden told a rally in New Hampshire: “Romney thinks it’s more important for the stockholders, shareholders and the investors, the venture capital guys, to do well than for employees to be part of the bargain.” The prospect of a Romney nomination seems to be helping the Democrats rediscover their inner populist.

Well here’s the thing: capitalism isn’t nice. As Schumpeter noted, it involves a process called “creative destruction” which is why, in Britain, for example, we no longer have a hand-loom weaving or shipbuilding industry.  Times change; industries die; economies develop. And in the process it cannot but be otherwise people lose their job.

But while free-market capitalism isn’t nice it happens to be the least worst of all the available options. Which is why the speech Mitt Romney should be making in defence of his behaviour at Bain is this one, kindly written for him by the abovementioned Troy Senik at Ricochet.

Over the past few days, you’ve been hearing my opponents say not only that I was responsible for people losing their jobs, but that I actually enjoyed the process. That ought to tell you that these individuals aren’t ready to manage something as complex as the largest economy on the planet. We’ve already had three years of a president who believes that jobs are created or lost based on what kind of mood employers wake up in in the morning.  But that’s just not true. Unlike politicians, employers have to face the harsh reality of balance sheets.  Unlike politicians, employers often have to sacrifice today to ensure that they can keep the doors open tomorrow. A bad day for a politician is flubbing an interview. A bad day for an employer is not knowing how you’re going to meet the next payroll period.

I would remind my opponents – as I would remind President Obama – that work is a form of public service. Our ability to make money is directly tied to our ability to provide something of value to our fellow man. But sometimes when the customer’s needs change or when we lose ground to our competitors, we have to make changes. We don’t choose these circumstances. As a matter of fact, we hate these circumstances. But, like many Americans that are struggling today, we accept the things that we cannot change, we make the hard choices, and we persevere. That is never an easy task. And unfortunately, sometimes people lose their jobs as a result. But what, I wonder, do my opponents think the alternative is?  If a company on the brink of failure has no choice but to let a few employees go now or to see all of their jobs disappear eventually, what should they do?

Those are the kind of painful choices that people face in the real economy. And I find it telling that that concept is foreign to my opponents. They’re not foreign to the American people – because they’re living through them every day. You can talk to anyone who’s ever sat behind a manager’s desk – whether it’s in a corner office or a corner store – and they’ll tell you that there’s nothing that they hate more than having to fire someone. Americans take pride in their work. Losing a paycheck hurts. But losing your sense of dignity hurts more. My experiences in business didn’t make me enjoy firing people. It made me loathe the politicians in Washington for whom those people are nothing more than statistics on a spreadsheet.

So let me tell you something that my opponents don’t understand. In businesses like the one I was in, you do well when the company you’ve invested in does well. And when they do well, it creates a virtuous cycle. Employees are better off because a thriving company can create jobs or increase pay and benefits. Consumers are better off because they can meet their needs within their budgets. And yes, management profits too when things are going well. And if my opponents have a problem with that, they’re running in the wrong primary.

Will Mitt Romney ever say such a thing? Of course he won’t. Why won’t he? Because, like David Cameron, he’s one of those “conservatives” who believes the best way for a conservative to “win” an election is to pretend conservatism doesn’t exist. This policy hasn’t done much for the cause of conservatism in Britain. I doubt it will do much for the cause of conservatism in the US either. Roll on 2016

Related posts:

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  2. Romney’s Bad Judgement
  3. Rick Santorum is a big government conservative. He’d be a disaster in the White House
  4. David Cameron’s worst nightmare

One thought on “Mitt Romney and David Cameron: conservatives who won’t defend conservatism”

  1. John George Matthews says:18th January 2012 at 12:03 pmRon Paul is the only candidate worth a damn, even then I don’t agree with him on everything, but at least he has a brain.

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God, I’m brilliant!

Like my esteemed colleague Dan Hannan, I have a pathological aversion to posting up videos of myself on my blogs.

In this case, however, I feel I must make an exception. It’s not often you get to appear on Uncommon Knowledge being interviewed by the mighty Peter Robinson. (Our subjects: Climategate; Watermelons; the imminent collapse of Europe)Peter Robinson is the uber-poised, uber-intelligent, uber-civilised (well he did go to Ch Ch) commentator, broadcaster and former Reagan aide who as a young man scripted the “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Brandenburg Gate speech in Berlin in 1987. He’s the co-founder of the US conservative website Ricochet which contains some of the most brilliant writing in the entire blogosphere and fabbo podcasts too including one mysteriously called Radio Free DelingpoleHe’s also a fellow of the Hoover Institution – an island of immense conservative soundness set in a vast ocean of liberal sanctimoniousness at Stanford (aka “The Farm”) University, in Palo Alto, capitol of Silicon Valley, in the People’s Republic of California. His Uncommon Knowledge series is pretty much the most distinguished political discussion programme you’ll see on TV because – thanks to Peter – it still exudes that otherwise vanished gravitas which used to be a commonplace in the days of Face to Face or Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation.Normally, Peter interviews hommes serieux like  Thomas Sowell , outspoken MEP Daniel Hannan, and the late great Christopher Hitchens.Hell, though, Robinson’s too smooth by far and it’s about time he did some proper slumming.

Related posts:

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  3. Global Warming: the Guilty Men
  4. Miliband’s brilliant plan to combat climate change: ‘We’ll export unicorns to China’.

2 thoughts on “God, I’m brilliant!”

  1. Nige Cook says:17th December 2011 at 11:36 amWith all due respect, James, God already KNOWS you are brilliant, so you don’t need to remind Him in the title of a blog post. You will start sounding a little bit arrogant to the lefties unless you make a big acting scene of being more humble and diffident.

    Also, Dan Hannan MEP speaks his mind in videos, amusing the lefties like the brown man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94lW6Y4tBXs

    But the Uncommon Knowledge interview IS brilliant.

  2. Vincent Jappi says:25th December 2011 at 3:06 pmRon Paul accused of being “raaaaaaacist” for allowing THIS to be published in his name?

    “LOS ANGELES RACIAL TERRORISM
    “The Ron Paul Political Report, 1992

    “The Los Angeles and related riots mark a new era in American cultural, political, and economic life. We now know that we are under assault from thugs and revolutionaries who hate Euro-American civilization and everything it stands for: private property, material success for those who earn it, and Christian morality.

    “Ten thousand stores and other buildings looted and burned, thousands beaten and otherwise seriously injured, 52 people dead. That was the toll of the Los Angeles riots in which we saw white men pulled from their cars and trucks and shot or brutally beaten. (In every case, the mob was not too enraged to pick the victim’s pocket.) We saw Korean and white stores targeted by the mob because they “exploited the community,” i.e., sold products people wanted at prices they were willing to pay.Worst of all, we saw the total breakdown of law enforcement, as black and white liberal public officials had the cops and troops disarmed in the face of criminal anarchy.

    “In San Francisco and perhaps other cities, says expert Burt Blumert, the rioting was led by red-flag carrying members of the Revolutionary Communist Party and the Workers World Party, both Trotskyite-Maoist. The police were allowed to intervene only when the rioters assaulted the famous Fairmont and Mark Hopkins hotels atop Nob Hill. A friend of Burt’s, a jewelry store owner, had his store on Union Square looted by blacks, and when the police arrived in response to his frantic calls, their orders were to protect his life, but not to interfere with the rioting.

    “Even though the riots were aimed at whites (in L.A. at Koreans who had committed the crime of working hard and being successful, and at Cambodians in Long Beach), and even though anti-white and anti-Asian epithets filled the air, this is not considered a series of hate crimes, nor a violation of the civil rights of whites or Asians.

    “The criminals who terrorize our cities–in riots and on every non-riot day–are not exclusively young black males, but they largely are. As children, they are trained to hate whites, to believe that white oppression is responsible for all black ills, to “fight the power,” and to steal and loot as much money from the white enemy as possible. Anything is justified against “The Man.” And “The Woman.’ A lady I know recently saw a black couple in the supermarket with a cute little girl, three years old or so. My friend waved to the tiny child, who scowled, stuck out her tongue, and said (somewhat tautologically): “I hate you, white honkey.” And the parents were indulgent. Is any white child taught to hate in this way? I’ve never heard of it. If a white child made such a remark to a black woman, the parents would stop it with a reprimand or a spank.

    “But this is normal, and in fact benign, compared to much of the anti-white ideology in the thoroughly racist black community. The black leadership indoctrinates its followers with phony history and phony theory to bolster its claims of victimology. Like the communists who renounced all that was bourgeois, the blacks reject all that is “Eurocentric.” They demand their own kind of thinking, and deny the possibility of non-blacks understanding it…”
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dLraW1pPL1pNWyZ94Ht1wwN2dOxwwr-CiRTRvFy44MA/edit
    accounts.google.com

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