The Republican primaries offered the amusing spectacle of the conservative poobahs searching for a hero who could defeat Mitt Romney. These power brokers switched their support between Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum in the hope of finding a conservative candidate to lead the party instead of Romney, who was perceived to be too liberal for their tastes.

The astonishing thing is that although Republican rank and file voters expressed their preference for Romney, showing a preference for a more liberal candidate, Romney has since betrayed the very voters who supported him, by embracing the conservative and ultra-conservative wing of the party.

Who is Mitt Romney? What does he really believe in? What are his values? What is his vision for America? Is he an unprincipled opportunist who will say or do whatever is necessary to secure his nomination and election? Or, does he in fact have principles and values that he is hiding.

I had hoped that the Republican Convention would provide the opportunity for Romney to reveal himself, and perhaps to display some true leadership. Sadly, his acceptance speech failed to inspire or to offer any good reason to vote for him.

Romney’s speech offered two principal reasons, echoed by others at the Convention, to vote for him. He is a rich and successful businessman and claims that a businessman should be elected president (and if elected president, will make you rich and successful, too). Secondly, he claims that he deserves to get the vote of people disappointed by Obama.

The appeal to personal greed is, of course, the song of snake-oil salesmen and hucksters everywhere. The only ones who would benefit financially from a Romney election would be his country club buddies. The financial burden would fall on those who could least afford it, especially in a recession.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney with billionaire Donald Trump in Las Vegas (photo credit: Shutterstock)

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney with billionaire Donald Trump in Las Vegas (Romney image via Shutterstock)

If having a businessman as president is a good idea, then why did the party so quickly reject Donald Trump’s candidacy. Also, none of their most popular presidents were successful businessman, including Eisenhower (military general), Reagan (actor) and Nixon (lawyer).

I wonder: If the government can pass laws to increase jobs, why hasn’t the Republican-controlled Congress done so during the past two years? Part of the Romney plan to increase jobs is to drill for oil in Alaska. Who will this help more — the unemployed in Ohio or the fat-cat Republicans who will sell the oil? (If you wanted to know why rich Republicans are backing Romney, this was a clue.) Also, if Republicans are so concerned about jobs, why did the Bush administration champion outsourcing, thus exporting American jobs to China and India?

The ones who are concerned with Obama’s performance as president consist primarily of dyed-in-the-wool Republicans, and those who foolishly expected instant change and a quick fix for the economic havoc brought on by the Bush administration. The lack of proper government regulation during those years brought on the financial crisis from which we are still reeling. Now the Republicans want to cancel the new regulations so that they can continue their program of short-term personal gain in exchange for long-term public harm.

The key question is not whether everything is OK now, but whether the country will be better off letting the Republicans reinstitute George Bush’s disastrous economic policies. Of course, the economy hasn’t yet recovered, but that is not a reason to abandon the current right path to recovery. For people who are not prejudiced against the president, the choice is pretty clear.