I watched the entire debate last night, despite my inclinations to turn it off several times. (I found it very tedious)
I am glad I stuck with it until the end, because the moment that made me sit up in my seat and go, "WHAT did he just say?" came at the end of the debate.
I'm surprised this morning to find no one is really talking about it.
Mitt Romney: "Well, first, I love great schools. Massachusetts, our schools are ranked number one of all 50 states. And the key to great schools: great teachers. So I reject the idea that I don't believe in great teachers or more teachers. Every school district, every state should make that decision on their own. The role of government -- look behind us: the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The role of government is to promote and protect the principles of those documents."Let me repeat what he said: "The role of government is to promote and protect the principals of those documents"
He's worried about the damn documents. He's worried about the principals behind the documents. That's what Mitt thinks the PRIMARY role of government is. Not to promote and protect people, not to promote and protect our interests around the world, not to promote and protect the common good. He's concerned about the principals and the documents.
What does that even MEAN? We as Americans serve the Constitution? Isn't it supposed to be the other way around? Was this country founded to enshrine principals in a document and then fight to the death to protect them?
I understand that wars in general are fought to protect "The American Way", as it were, that we're fighting to "Keep America Free". But no one has ever fought a war over the Tenth Amendement, per se. World War II was not fought to keep our freedom of speech. Indirectly, of course, we fought to keep totalitarians off our shores. The only time that a war has been fought to protect the constitution was the Civil War. That's the only real way that our principals could be attacked, is if it comes from within.
Perhaps I'm reading too much into what Romney said here, but I heard a subtext beneath his words, which is that people are trying to take away our Constitution, and the implication must be that Obama and Obama's supporters are trying to take away your Constitution.
At heart, saying that the government's role is to protect the Constitution is the most bizarre piece of tripe I think I've ever heard at a debate.
I've been reading at length about the debate all over the internet this morning, and I didn't see a single person bring this moment up. I wonder if it was only me that thought it was a significant line.