At a campaign speech in Virginia on Wednesday, Mitt Romney took a 20-second break from attacking President Obama to lay out this stirring vision of opportunity in America:
I want to make sure that we keep America a place of opportunity where everyone has a fair shot, they get as much education as they can afford and with their time they're able to get and if they have a willingness to work hard and the right values they ought to be able to provide for their family and have a shot at realizing their dreams.
"As much education as they can afford." If you can't afford college tuition—something Romney himself made more difficult
for many in Massachusetts during his time as the state's governor—that should, in Romney's view, define the opportunities available to you. That's a severely harsh vision in an economy in which high school graduates face high unemployment and low wages
; in other words, in which a willingness to work hard and the right values (whatever those may be) are not
enough to provide for your family and have a shot at realizing your dreams.
Even when he's seeking to present America as a shining city upon a hill, Mitt Romney's vision is entirely bounded by wealth. Even when he dreams, he doesn't dream about opportunity for all, just for those who can afford to buy it.