Last week, Mitt Romney made a special point of going after GOP frontrunner Donald Trump in the supposed interests of the Republican Party, but did his effort do more than harm than good?
In a high-profile national address delivered at the University of Utah this past Thursday, Romney laid out in detail what he sees at distinct shortcomings in both the Donald’s personal and business existences. Among many points made, Romney cited numerous failures of Trump’s entrepreneurial efforts, and was also highly-critical of behaviors Romney called “absurd third-grade theatrics.”
Count me as one who actually agrees with much of what Romney said. However, whatever justifiable righteousness and correctness may have been contained in the message is “trumped” by both the messenger and the arrogance his ilk within the party have come to represent…and I do not appear to be alone in this assessment; if there is support for what Romney did, it is difficult to find much evidence of it anywhere.
The biggest problem with Romney’s posture here is that it telegraphs the idea that party elites clearly know better than the rank-and-file electorate what is best for them. Some additional, anecdotal proof of that came in the form of Romney’s post-speech interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto; when Cavuto challenged Romney at one point to defend why it is his place to insert himself in the race this way and try to circumvent the apparent will of the people, Romney responded by saying that, “I don’t think a lot of people understand who the real Donald Trump is.” It was an answer that smacked of elitism, and clearly suggested that “I know better than you, lowly citizen.” That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but there is no question that Romney’s speech, as well as his tenor about Trump, more generally, fairly gives further credence to the idea that party elites believe not only that they know better than the GOP electorate, but that it is their divine right to alter the path being taken by voters, if they do not like what appears to be that path’s ultimate destination.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large